We couldn’t do an issue about making the work-life balance fabulous without featuring our very own Choom! As the editor-in-chief of an amazing, highly-sophisticated and trendy magazine—The COMM, if you couldn’t guess—Choom is already busy enough as is. She styles and directs shoots, plans issues and events, and leads a team of 20+ people. On top of that, she owns an e-commerce shop, is an influencer and model in her own right—and a graduate student! We sat down with Choom to discuss how she balances being a full-time student with her whirlwind job.
You have experienced working at The COMM as a full-time teacher in Japan and as a full-time student at Bunka. Which has been easier to balance—The COMM and work or The COMM and university?
Definitely The COMM and university. I only go to classes 2 or 3 days a week which gives me plenty of time to go to shoots and meetings for The COMM. While I was working, I would write articles in a net café on my lunch break and after I got home around 9pm. I was constantly working and it was really unhealthy. I do not recommend! Now that I’m doing a degree in fashion I can be creative 24/7, which suits me way more.
How do you balance your life as editor-in-chief of The COMM, influencer, and student? Do they ever interfere with one another?
So far I’ve managed to keep all three in check. I do let The COMM take over a bit more than I’d like to admit though, so I have to remind myself that I still have a master’s degree to complete! I feel like being a student feeds into The COMM (creativity-wise and for finding new people to work with), so I think each aspect complements each other quite nicely. As for being an influencer, that’s probably the least important.
This issue we have considered what workwear means to Japanese street fashion. Where do you stand on the debate? Can you be kawaii and work-appropriate?
I think so. Of course practicality precedes all desire to be kawaii, but as long as your outfit adheres to clothing regulations I think there is always room for a bit of cute workwear.
Kawaii workwear is great for Japanese street fashion, but would you take a lawyer or a doctor seriously if they showed up to work in street style staples such as chunky necklaces, crop tops, and platforms?
I’ve always maintained that if someone can do their job, that’s the most important part. Who cares what frills their talent is dressed up in?
What advice would you give someone seeking to start an ambitious project while still in school?
Use your time and resources wisely! Don’t burn out, it’s not worth it.
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your professional and academic endeavours?
I got a BA in Japanese and I am now getting an MA in Fashion—my two passions. Each issue of The COMM has been an improvement on the last. I like seeing movement and change. I’m proud of the steady evolution of my personal projects and mindset!
What are your future goals and dreams?
Professor Choom, CEO of The COMM Enterprises.
What’s the last piece of culture that you’ve loved and why?
Beyond the Road at the Saatchi Gallery in London actually changed my life. I am well-known for being a neon lover but this blew my mind. An immersive, sensational experience that brought me to tears. Absolute euphoria and crippling melancholy all at the same time.
Top 5 fashion must-haves?
Buy. Things. That. You. Like!
Any last words?
Please support our independent magazine and e-commerce shop! The team works really hard and they’re all fabulous people that deserve recognition.
Introduction and questions by Ecre.
Image courtesy of Choom.