In Tokyo fashion circles, Ryoji Imaizumi is a legend. The Japanese stylist has a wildly imaginative way with hair, which has been used to stunning effect on countless shoots and editorials for more than 20 years. Yet thanks to Instagram’s far reach, Imaizumi has recently become a bit of an international icon, too, with more than 151,000 followers drawn to his trademark transformation videos.
Each week, Imaizumi uploads one or two clips that provide an inside look at his creative process, mainly shot in his Nishi-Azabu work space, in a playfully sped-up style that almost feels like stop-motion. Most often, he functions as the editor, art director, and hairstylist in one. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it for the creation,” he says. There he is working with power dance couple AyaBambi, wrapping woven strands of straw into a braided crown. For a Comme des Garçons project, Imaizumi’s avant-garde approach did just the trick. “I am always looking for new things,” he explains of his far-flung visions for hair—which might involve sticking sour-belt strands to an adhesive skullcap or blocking plastic toys across the scalp. “My brain starts searching and dreaming; I like to try things I’ve never done, if I can.” Here, with Tokyo Fashion Week in full swing, seven of Imaizumi’s best transformation videos: Raw creativity at work.