Words of Wisdom: How Stylist Aya Kanai Walks Tall (It's Not The Heels)

As we've already told you, a little good advice can go a very, very long way. That's why, inspired by Esteé Lauder's Drops of Advice campaign, we're tapping some of our favorite people for usable, eternal nuggets of sage wisdom.
The first installment came from the clever relationships columnist, Joanna Goddard. Today's, though, comes from a well-known face in New York fashion circles, stylist Aya Kanai. A former Senior Editor at Teen Vogue and a former Fashion Director at Nylon, you might think the seriously chic street-style favorite might offer us a chestnut from a respected editor or photographer. Think again – her oracle was a curious creative who lived by her own rules.
Aya Kanai, Freelance Stylist and Creative Director
"A woman I often called my godmother (one of my parent’s dearest friends) was Kazuko Oshima. She was the creator of crystal jewelry sold exclusively at Barneys which she called, 'one of one healing sculptures.' Simon Doonan made her famous in his book Wacky Chicks as he lovingly described his impression of her: 'She is a serious artist and a psychic who communicates with humans and animals. Beauty, art, and geology are the cornerstones of her religion.' I was lucky enough to know her for my whole life up until her passing in 2007. Soon before her death she said to me, 'Walk tall, show your confident stride. Be mysterious, be special, and be you.' I keep this bit of advice in my mind and heart, not only as a gift from a woman I admired, but also as a reminder of how she lived her life. She was mysterious and special, and she never apologized for it. She lived by her own rules and over time people came to love her for it. In the world we live in of reality television, social media, and so much information, it seems people are compelled to share everything of themselves with the world. Kazuko’s words remind me that it’s okay to hold back a bit, be private, and have confidence in making your own path."
Photos: Phil Oh from streetpepper.com,

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