French-born jewellery designer and model, Nafrayou is a creative force to be reckoned with. While her style—a palette of black, white, studded embellishments, and leather—reads dark and dangerous, you’d be surprised to know that her Japanese street fashion journey includes a stop over at 6%DOKIDOKI. We caught up with Nafrayou to talk fashion, unconventional beauty, and teeth that are more precious than gold!
Please introduce yourself!
Hi I’m Nafrayou, a French model, and an avant-garde and high fashion lover. I’m the jewellery designer of my brand, True Lies, and I also offer shopping and concierge services. I’ve been working in the fashion and beauty industry for more than 10 years.
When did you first encounter Japanese street fashion?
A long time ago, I was into kawaii and pink styles. I discovered them on my first trip to Japan. I discovered so many different styles—colorful ones like Yamanba, Ganguro, Hime, and Lolita. But there were also very chic and classic styles with a touch of avant-garde from brands like Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake. In Japan the sense of aesthetics is very strong. It’s an open door with an infinite number of styles, and infinite forms of self-expression.
You were a part of the 6%DOKIDOKI world tour. Can you tell us a little bit about your time there?
Yes, it’s true. With one of my best friends [Princesse] Pudding. I remember we went to the 6% DOKIDOKI store a lot. Then we were contacted via social media about this big project. We met the team in Tokyo and then we joined the world tour. It was an interesting experience working with the entire Japanese team. We did a meeting, a runway show in Harajuku, and then interviews with Japanese TV and magazines. I really enjoyed meeting Yuka and the other shop staff.
How has your style evolved since then?
Haha, as you can see quite a lot. But it didn’t really evolve, I just returned to my first love: high fashion and avant-garde. My pink period was a break between my dark periods. I only wore bright colours as a celebration of life. But something felt missing. So, around 2010 I decided to not only be the kawaii girl. So, I reinvented myself and switched to incorporate my love for avant-garde, conceptual ideas, and minimalist, dark fashion.
You have cheek piercings, stretched ears, a bridge piercing… the list goes on. What does body modification mean to you?
Body modification is an important part of me. It’s the same for clothes. When I was young I really enjoyed drawing and painting. I understood very quickly that the first canvas we have is our body. Body modification is a really positive tool for empowering myself. I created something new, something I think was more revealing about myself.
Your jewellery brand, True Lies, makes accessories with real human hair and teeth, and you describe teeth as more precious than gold. Why are teeth more precious than gold?
Around 2010, for months I had this idea to create something new. Something that would disturb the point of view of the general public: mixing fashion, estheticism, and a unique concept. Then I dreamt of True Lies. True Lies is my interpretation of the relationship between humans and art. Of course there is fashion but that’s not all. It’s about life and death as a memento mori. It’s about true authenticity. It’s the art of intus et in cute. True Lies is a story about the mouth, tongue and how we use it to put a spell on the truth. The teeth became the glue of my concept. And that’s why it’s more precious than gold. True Lies deals with the conscience, the unconscious, and the profound dark feelings we have towards life.
Much of the fashion industry is concerned with beauty but in a commercial or idealistic sense. What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty can mean different things to different people. For me beauty is the expression of the truth, of authenticity even if it’s brutal or minimal. Beauty is a creation. Beauty is not necessarily glamour or beautiful in the common sense. For me beauty is something strong, something fierce, something that will make me happy, or something that will challenge me.
In recent years, street fashion has seen a new wave that embraces avant-garde makeup on social media. What do you think has encouraged this shift towards the unconventional?
Yes it’s true. Now it’s the rise of deviant and avant-garde makeup. A lot of Russian makeup artists explore this kind of vibe and I really enjoy it. I think the world needs it. Maybe the masses have embarked on a sort of awakening. They need something more authentic, something different because we are all different.
What are your future goals and dreams?
At this time I’m really focused on realizing my biggest dream: moving to Japan permanently. I don’t recognize myself anymore in my own country. I feel much more like myself in Japan. So I hope I can find a main job there or investors to expand my shopping service. My dream is to open a concept store there, have a nice apartment near Omotesando, and a cute Scottish fold cat haha.
Any last words?
Stay true. Stay strong. Life is short.
Introduction and questions by Ash.
Images courtesy of Nafrayou.