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In our Fashion Nation series, we talk to people about personal style. 

Akina Sato
Designer
Los Angeles, CA

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Tell us about this outfit.

The ’40s sailor hat is from an L.A. vintage store, Please and Thank You. I bought the ’50s sunglasses online. I got the Woodstock-print poncho and pants from a Japanese vintage collector, and the pink mirror Tabi boots are from the Maison Margiela store in Paris.

How would you describe your personal style?

Vintage mixed with designers, mixed with anything else I like. I go through phases with vintage clothing, picking and choosing pieces from certain eras and adding modern accessories. I also have a tendency to buy novelty pieces.

Are you influenced by a particular time period?

As I go through vintage eras, whether that’s the ’40s or ’50s, I get inspired by a variety of things—workwear, rockabilly. Now I’m really inspired by the ’70s—the colors, the shapes of hippie style. I love the mindset of hippies, their freedom to love.

What about a style icon?

I really love Erykah Badu’s style and how she evolves. 

How has your style evolved?

I’m from Japan and I went to a fashion school in Osaka. At that time I was just into designers. After coming to America in 2011 I got more into vintage. I’m probably having the most fun with fashion now. 

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What pieces in your wardrobe can you not live without?

The number-one thing that hasn’t changed in my style is my love for Maison Margiela Tabi boots. They’re something I’ve loved since I was a fashion student. And my pink hair!

Any advice for someone who wants to dress boldly, but is afraid?

Don’t think too much about what anyone thinks. In America, you can wear whatever you want. Someone will think it’s cool. And the more you experiment, the more you’ll eventually evolve your style. I’m never worried about looking “high fashion.” To me, someone who’s cool is someone who goes all the way with their clothes.

COPYCAT

Make the free love flow with Akina's colorful style!

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  1. RF X KNC II SUNGLASSES, $250, ROBERIANDFRAUD.COM
  2. ROLLA'S EAST COAST FLARE OVERALLS, $129, SHOPBOP.COM
  3. CREW NECK KNIT SWEATER, £30, MONKI.COM
  4. VINTAGE TURQUOISE JEWELRY, $425 FOR SIMILAR PIECE, GYPSY-HUNTER.COM
  5. SILVER TABI BOOTS, $1,115, MAISONMARGIELA.COM

By Tessa Solomon
Photographed by Shanna Fisher
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2018 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today

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