Hi, My Name is…
Lyena Hironaka Kang. I’m 5’2, 26 years old, Japanese/Chinese and I’ve lived a decade as an artist creating my own path starting from virgin black hair to now an electric blue.
I believe in hair colors representing a certain chapter in my life and blue meant the final one! It was the biggest transformation going from a redhead to blue, it took the amazing work of my hair colorist @_jennysorakong to color correct opposite sides of the color spectrum in ONE day! She has been there for me since the very beginning and I trust her every time! It was a process and I felt that it was a metaphor for what I was going through. There’s many times I had doubts about leaving this industry to search for something more in alignment with me. I’ve learned that if I want to truly grow as a person I must create the space to do so!
So I asked myself..
What is personal freedom? Right now I define it as investing in myself for the first time, not for others or for society. I want another chance at higher education because I did not pursue it when I was in college… I was not ready, I always thought “how can I help others if I haven’t lived, haven’t experienced life?” I have never lived outside of myself. So being an artist to me meant for the first time living life outside of my family, my small town. It meant discovering who I could be on my own. Creativity was a powerful tool in discovering my creative skills, values, and how I view myself as a human being. For the first time I want to truly attach my worth to what I can do to change the world, impact students, and learn so much about myself throughout the process.
I want the personal freedom to see how I view myself as just Lyena Kang, not kitsuneghost. She still exists but it was really an avatar, online persona that I created for myself to protect myself against this cold, brutal industry. It made me experiment, take risks, connect with others, break boundaries with my bffs. It was one of the best ways I learned how to put myself out there over the years, then I learned how to put my creative skills to use and sustain myself as a creative. Trying and experimenting with so many roles that I became a creative powerhouse building my own model mentor course and using photography as a way to empower artists I work with to break their self limiting beliefs!
I got into my dream grad school for educational counseling despite all odds and I’m absolutely living for my highest self! I hope this shoot inspires you to see the joy that it means to be a creative and work with all these beautiful souls. I wouldn’t turn back time because I believe in divine timing, what’s meant for you will never pass you by! To personal + creative freedom this is what this shoot represents for ALL of us!
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is an expression of our soul. Fashion is timeless. Fashion is deciding that you can be anyone you want to, it’s transformative. It’s also about letting go, yet exploring the new. I find that as a model or “kitsuneghost” I would experiment more with DIY pieces because it felt that I could give meaning to a piece I already loved but worn so much! I enjoyed wearing Zig Zag Goods pieces because they were made to be sustainable, colorful, DIY, + I felt that it represented our inner child! The jewelry from Shop Sweet Bead reminded me so much of my childhood yet had such creative eclectic pieces that made us all smile or feel curious when wearing them! You feel so special hehe because it’s ALL handmade from the heart! It’s been a joy to create this shoot + just let everyone, no matter where they are in life whether it’s the beginning or a new transition.. just explore their craft with us! That’s what fashion is for to connect with each other on another level, thank you to Zig Zag Goods + Shop Sweet Bead for allowing us ALL to be inspired by y’all!!
Tell us about your editorial!
“This shoot concept titled “Bubbles” is getting back in touch with our inner child. Zig Zag Goods and Shop Sweet Bead emphasizes on non-conforming attitude, color, youthfulness, through their eccentric clothing + jewelry. We embraced being comfortable in our own hair and skin without judgement. Going back to our child-like selves of carefreeness, playing on nostalgia and fond memories of running to pop bubbles and the satisfyingly familiar crackles of the sound of bubble wrap. Reminding ourselves we all grow up but never grow out of our innocent child-like ways.” – Sammi, Photographer
Any last words?
Never stop exploring your inner child! When life gets too serious just play! Be creative! You’ll find all the answers you seek by being in this bubble you can create for yourself where you feel safe, secure, love + belonging with who you are becoming!
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Photographer: Sammi Wong (@sammicwong)
Makeup + Hair : Brianna De Anda (@buttercupbrianna) Joyce Lin (@makeupbylooks)
Styling: Ceanne Klein (@ceanne.klein) Ricki Ramirez (@ricki_ramirez_)
Clothing + Jewelry brands: @zigzag.goods @shopsweetbead @freepeople
Models: Lyena Kang (@kitsuneghost) Brianna De Anda (@buttercupbrianna)