The work of a stylist is to create a new style by inducing a chemical reaction of various elements such as the coordination of garments, a model, and a shoot location. Among the many stylists, Lambda Takahashi is one who is acclaimed for his compelling sense of fashion, use of colours, and also his personality. Recently, I have been hearing that people have seen him riding a bike on the streets. He used to drive around in his beloved Jaguar but why has he now started to ride a bicycle?
“Because of COVID-19, I stopped going out drinking. I don’t spend money on extra expenses and my lifestyle has become more simple, which in turn enriches my personal time. The more extra time I had for myself, the more stressed I felt using taxis and trains. But when I cycle, I can feel freedom and speed, on top of that, it is healthy. I found it’s the best way to get around, and especially recently, I am cycling a lot”. Having said this, Takahashi and his assistant arrived to this interview by bicycle. “When we go anywhere by car, I tend to make my assistant nervous as I am sitting in the passenger’s seat. When we walk, I tend to make my assistant walk behind me. But when we are riding a bike together, we ride side by side. We can have a conversation as we can see the same scenery and action on the street. And, if we travel to a meeting by bike and get a little sweaty, it will make the client simile. It’s just nicer than going by car, as I feel like it encourages more communication and good conversation”.
It seems like the bicycle is an important communication tool for Takahashi. But not only from the social aspect, it also brings him benefits. “Bike riding gives me the ability to think clearly. While riding a bike, I don’t notice telephone calls which essentially means I can go ‘offline’ and I can use my brain to its maximum advantage by shutting out other information. I can use the time to empty my thoughts, or focus on how to conduct a shoot. It increases my sensitivity. When going to a meeting, I can reset my mind by riding a bike, like ‘OK, let’s go’. It is a small thing but there is no other vehicle where you can use your time so efficiently and be as relaxed. My clothes are imported and my car is foreign-made but my bicycle is made in Japan. I haven’t changed in any other way, but I feel like cycling has ‘upgraded’ me. I used to work at night, choosing and coordinating outfits, but now I tend to do these jobs in the morning. In this respect, the way I use my time has changed so much, and I don’t want to go back to my old ways”.
Takahashi’s bike is an ordinary bicycle, a so-called ‘mama-chari’ (‘mom’s bike’ in Japanese) with a green colour that evokes a melancholic feel. “I didn’t want to go for ‘the classic’ with a customized frame and colouring etc… I am a complex person, so I didn’t want to have something that others have. Since I like old motorbikes, my intention of owning this bicycle was to be like a young teenage student who got an old motorbike and couldn’t become a motorbike gang member. I have the same approach with clothing, I go off-beat. I got this mama-chari because I wanted to symbolize the analogue style and nostalgic feel which is contrary to modern times. I bought it from a Yahoo auction and went all the way to Ibaraki, northeast of Tokyo to pick it up. Good things are worth getting no matter what. I choose things that fit my style. The same as a car, a bicycle is an important tool for expressing my personality”. A bicycle he started to ride with a shift in his change of lifestyle. Although he officially says that he rides a bicycle for himself, he is conscious of the impact that he can create around him with the bike he rides. This is the way in which Takahashi goes, who is an active stylist on the front line.
As a stylist, he has been involved in various projects for Silver since its launch. His talent is attracting a lot of attention in a wide range of activities such as his own brand R.MGANG and his YouTube channel.
|Photo John Clayton Lee||Interview & Text Yutaro Okamoto||Translation Fumie Tsuji|