Passion, Talent and Killer Style | Meet MISSBISH Rola
Rola is one of - if not the most - popular and loved models in Japan right now. But that's not the only thing she's become known for; she's also a TV personality, actress, singer and owner of her own fragrance line. We were lucky enough to chat to her about how she was discovered, her love of cooking, future endeavours, and why women have to be strong and take on the world. Read the full interview below and fall in love with Rola.
You’re a model, TV personality, actress, singer, and you have your own brand. How do you juggle all of these things?
Yeah, sometimes my brain explodes from it all, haha. But I really love what I do, and I'm so excited to show people what I do and what I love. I'm really grateful for the chance to do that.
Tell us about your story and the path that led you to where you are today.
I've been a model for 10 years. I was discovered in the streets of Shibuya and 5 years into that, I started doing TV shows, so people began to know me through that line of work. I've always loved fashion and I started showcasing my style and lifestyle through social media. I've never been satisfied with doing things halfway, and I've always made time to pursue my passions and hobbies (cooking, fishing, fashion), despite my busy schedule.
What was it like growing up in Japan and in Bangladesh?
They're two totally different worlds. I grew up in the countryside of Bangladesh, where I used to climb trees and eat mangos like a little monkey. It was a peaceful, free, and fun life. Then I came to Tokyo. I couldn't speak the language, and I struggled a lot in the beginning, but Japanese people are very kind. Even though I couldn't speak Japanese, people helped me out and, gradually, I became acclimatized to the Japanese lifestyle and language. It was a big change for me coming from the countryside to one of the largest cities in the world, but the lifestyle fit me and I love it now.
You’ve worked with some pretty amazing names in the fashion industry. You've even recently designed your own shoe with Salvatore Ferragamo. What have been some other standout moments for you?
You already mentioned it, but the Ferragamo collaboration was huge for me. I was so floored by that and I'll never forget it. Aside from that, any time I do a fashion show or event and my fans are there, and they yell and cheer for me - I feel true gratitude in those moments. It really moves me, and it's the reason why I do what I do.
You’ve released three books since 2012, including a cookbook. Can we expect more books in the future from you?
Yes, I think so! I've been working on another cookbook. Also, in Japan, there are a lot of people who don't speak English. For the past year and a half, I've been studying English really hard, and many people have been asking how I've made the progress that I have. So we decided to do a book on some of the ways I've been studying English, and how people can use more native-style phrases as opposed to the stuffy things you find in textbooks.
You’re also known for your musical talents, are you planning to pursue more music endeavors in the future?
Yes! One of my big dreams is to sing in an Italian opera. I've been practicing a lot this year, but I'm going to get even more serious about it in the coming year. I'm also working on an opera album.
You’re set to star in the new Resident Evil film that's coming out very soon, which must be super exciting! Tell us a bit about the experience.
We filmed in South Africa, and it was my first time seeing zombies, haha. The shoot was so exciting. Mila and the other actors were really sweet. On our days off, we went to a lion park, had dinners as a team, and really enjoyed some great moments together. We're going to mess so many zombies up in that movie! It'll be a lot of fun to watch, I think. Be sure to check it out!
“Being in the public eye, I've had to learn to be stronger and steel my heart against them. In the end, how you choose to look at life becomes your perception of reality."
Is acting something you wish to do more of in the future?
I definitely do! In the coming year, I'm going to focus on acting. I really enjoyed doing this action movie, and would love to do more movies like Resident Evil. Also, I really love fantasy movies, so I think it would be fun to do something along those lines.
You have your own fragrance line called, "Vasilisa" and recently released your fourth perfume. Why did you decide to branch into fragrances?
I love scents. I use and enjoy existing perfumes, but I really wanted to create fragrances that encapsulate who I am and my style - not only for me to wear, but to share with other people.
What are some of your biggest beauty and skincare secrets?
You have to drink a lot of water, as it keeps your skin moisturized and looking healthy. That, and eating lots of salads and healthy, organic foods. Exercise is also super important - working out regularly has been vital to both keeping my figure and having the stamina to do the work that I do. Also, never skip your skin routine. In my opinion, it is less important what you use, and more important that you use it regularly.
If you manage to get some downtime in your busy schedule, what is it that we would find you doing?
Cooking! I like preparing things that I can use to quickly and easily make dishes, like making stocks, bases, etc. It makes it easy for me to make meals when I'm pressed for time.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned thus far, or challenges you've had to overcome in your career?
In this line of work, there are often a lot of rumor-based articles that end up in circulation. Some of them I just ignore, but some of them can really hurt me. Being in the public eye, I've had to learn to be stronger and steel my heart against them. In the end, how you choose to look at life becomes your perception of reality.
What are three-hidden gems in Tokyo?
1. There's a ceramics workshop in Omotesando called Saideigama! You can make your own ceramic plates, mugs, vases. The staff are very friendly and helpful.
2. Takamitsu. My favorite sushi restaurant!
3. Organic table LaPaz. It's an organic restaurant in Jingumae and I love it!
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
MISSBISH is about showing women that it's okay to be strong and independent. Sometimes, in the media, there are times when it's not looked upon positively to be a 'strong' woman - that it's more of a man's role to be strong. But I think that is living in the past. Women have to be strong, go out into the world and conquer it!
Photos by: Yuma Yamashita