MTV STYLE: Meet The Man Making Wigs for Kylie Jenner and Rihanna
Kylie Jenner’s oft-changing hair has become a ubiquitous media presence in its own right, even prompting Kylie to launch her own line of extensions called Kylie Hair Kouture. But when you’re as high maintenance and constantly evolving as Kylie’s locks, sometimes you have to ask for back up. When it came to Kylie’s recent light blue tresses, she called for the help of hairstylist and wig-creator to the stars, Tokyo Stylez.
Tokyo, who’s also the mastermind behind that very memorable gray wig Rihanna wore for her Tush Magazine cover, met Kylie through her makeup artist and was called to do a wig for her just as he was about to board a flight back to the east coast. Despite the short notice, Tokyo worked with Kylie to come up with her next wig, a process he says that she was very hands on for.
“She is amazing, very down to earth. She took the pressure off immediately because of her humbling and welcoming spirit,” Tokyo told MTV News in an email. “She is very particular and she broke it down to me exactly how she wanted it. One thing about her is she knows what she wants.”
From a young age, Tokyo knew he wanted to do hair for a living and started teaching himself by “watching tutorials and practicing, [and] even looking at hair magazines in a grocery store.” At only 25, he’s built up a star-studded clientele, working with everyone from Rihanna and Kylie to Naomi Campbell.
“When I was 11 years old, I started doing my little sister’s hair when my mother went away to prison,” he explained. “I started to become really good at it and adults noticed my skills and had me doing their hair at 12 and 13.”
He started getting noticed, especially for his wide variety of custom-made wigs, and has since become well-known within the industry. Through his friend, Yusef Williams, who also works as Rihanna’s hairstylist, he was tapped to make the silver gray hairpiece for her Tush Magazine spread last year. Despite a tight deadline to come up with the style and then create the entire wig, he delivered a key piece to one of Rihanna’s most memorable editorial looks.
“When [Yusef] calls for [Rihanna], things tend to stop and I get on their request right away,” he said. “Their whole team is great and gave me a lot of creative control. They let me do me, and that’s always fun.”
Through his work, Tokyo’s been able to travel all over and create looks for some of his favorite celebrities. For him, working with Naomi Campbell was especially influential.
“Meeting an icon and seeing her day-to-day was breathtaking,” he said. “She works just as hard if not harder than she did when she first started, and it inspired me to work harder myself.”
And that hard work clearly seems to be paying off.
– Erika Harwood, MTV.com