Japanese fashion innovators, UNIQLO, are forever at the forefront when it comes to the freedom of fashion. Harnessing functionality, aesthetics, and quite simply… beautiful design, UNIQLO’s LifeWear collection is about our reconnection with our creative selves and the nature which surrounds us. In light of their new Autumn/Winter collection, we gathered together some of our favorite Amsterdam-faces, four creatives dressed head-to-toe in the simple luxury which the LifeWear collection has to offer. Next up, we spoke with JAEL about his musical adventures, inspiration points, and connectivity to Japanese fashion.
Hey Jael! What is your passion, and how did it find its way into your life?
My creative outlet is music. My love and passion for it were ignited by growing up in a church-going household where music was always present. It was a major part of our community and how we spent time together. Because of this, my parents raised and influenced me with a rich taste in music, so the interest was sparked at a very young age. My uncles and aunts also all sing and/or play instruments. They were my initial inspirations to become a musician.
Starting from such a young age, how has your relationship to music changed, or grown?
My relationship with music has never changed, it mainly just evolved. It is and has always been the most important thing in my life. I always describe music as my oxygen; I can’t live or breathe without it. When I was younger it was something I was very passionate about. I loved spending time developing my skills to be able to create what I wanted to create and express myself. Now that urge has become my profession. As a musician, you can learn and develop yourself endlessly. There is no end-point to its evolution. Perhaps the only thing that might change in the future is what I decide to do with my craft, but for now, I just want to be the best musician I can be and perform and entertain as many people as possible.
The creative scene in The Netherlands is vast and spans many disciplines. You mention being initially inspired by your family’s church-going. How does the city/environment you live in today ignite your artistry?
My environment means a lot to me. There are many musical peers in The Netherlands who are also my good friends. I think we all influence each other in one way or another when it comes to our music. Even if it’s not a direct influence in sound, we definitely hype each other up and motivate each other to do better. What is pretty exceptional is that we 100% support each other’s work. That really creates a safe and steady base to come home to. When traveling a lot for shows, nothing feels better than coming home to a place that gives you calm and peace where you can express your creative output at ease. It charges me up and gives me the right energy to focus on my projects. We also just have a lot of fun together, whether it is in daily life, during studio sessions, or at shows.
The clothes we wear, and personal takes on fashion are, in many ways, intimate forms of expression. What is important to you when it comes to selecting pieces?
I see fashion as an extension of my creative expression in music. How I dress represents how I feel and how I feel you hear back in my music. It is all somehow interlinked I guess. If I look good, I feel good and vice versa. I guess that’s what I look for in fashion; to be myself and dress in a way that makes me feel good. Brands do not matter to me, but certain styles for example do. I am very much into Japanese style fashion, so oversized outfits with high-quality garments, but I also really like streetwear. I mix & match these styles and try to create cool unique combinations. Overall, how I dress is very comfortable, colorful, and expressive.
A very UNIQLO approach ! This year is nearly over – but what are you manifesting for the future of JAEL?
I’m manifesting to become a worldwide-known all-around musician; meaning, known as a singer, producer & instrumentalist. As a result of that, I hope to be able to do a big world tour with my band and bring the JAEL Live experience to the most renowned venues & festivals in the world. I have toured a lot but as a DJ. To bring the JAEL Live experience all over the world would be a dream come true.
Photography: Maria Bodil
Creative Direction: Rogier Vlaming @ Glamcult Studio
Styling: Anna Claassen
Assistant styling: Carolijn Hooij
Hair and Make-up: Vannessa Chan
Light: Rupert Tapper
Words by Grace Powell
All clothes: UNIQLO LifeWear