Photography: Lindsey Okubo
MUA: Natalie Gupta
Styling: Tokina Yamamoto & Lindsey Okubo
I met Jesse in Zara when I was picking up some Issey Miyake knock off pleats that I had ordered online. I had never seen anyone like her in Hawaii, to be quite honest, she immediately reminded me of the notorious @slickwoods, pew pew. Her shaved head was bleached blonde at the time and her gold name plates swayed as she sauntered across the store floor, like girl, you work here? Going up to her was empowering in a sense, being able to acknowledge beauty, to bow down to the light that her soul emitted in a way that wasn’t crippled by jealousy or self-loathing. The shoot was put together with some help from my co-workers who also work retail with me -- combining talents, closets and palettes into a single vision. We shot in the mountains, the air was crisp, the sun was on its way down, the last reams of light through the forest canopy looked like tangible magic. It was refreshing to connect with everyone in a space carved out by passion, untouched by obligation. It felt right, and I don't do cheesy. During our time together we found out that each of us had some connection to New York which for me, seemed like another affirmation that I am indeed destined to return.