The Importance of Pursuing Your Passions | DJ & Designer Alisa Ueno
It’s difficult to put into words what exactly it is about Alisa Ueno that makes her such a cool, inspirational bish, simply because there are so many reasons. She’s the founder of trendy Japanese clothing label Fig&Viper, a successful DJ, model, and world traveller. If that’s not enough to convince you, Alisa’s also a sweetheart, an advocate for self love, kindness, and pursuing your passions.
The Tokyo born-and-based creative believes in staying ahead of the game, which is what prompted her to begin her career as a DJ. It’s also the “trick” to creating a successful fashion label. “As a selector, I already had the foundation in Tokyo and I realized that I needed to start producing in order to stay in the game so I'm doing my best right now, but it takes a lot of time. It might take some time before I start getting used to it,” she explains. Alisa’s determined though, and we’d argue she’s well on her way—she’s featured alongside Nervo and Knocks on a new track from Sofie Tucker, titled, “Best Friend.”
"The beauty of fashion is that there is no correct answer, so what's important is to try to have as much fun as possible at what you’re passionate about, and share that with as many people in the world as possible."
Founded in 2011, Alisa’s brand Fig&Viper is an impressive foray in fashion that draws inspiration from multiple sources, with vibrant results. Her label is a result of her passion for Japanese culture, combined with her experiences of different cultures around the globe. “Every city I've visited has its own unique face and that leads to my inspirations,” Alisa tells me. Aside from her great appreciation for other cultures and love of travelling, Tokyo is undeniably home, and for good reason. “This is where I was born and raised so it's very easy for me to live in Tokyo, but that could be good and bad I think. I also feel that there's a lot less drama than the rest of the big cities I've visited,” Alisa shares. “Japanese hospitality is the best in the world so whenever I come back to Japan from travelling abroad, I am glad to be back.”
Being the mastermind behind a successful fashion label is no easy feat, and it can be particularly frustrating when an item you’re excited about doesn’t sell well. In her years at the helm of Fig&Viper, Alisa’s learned to cut her losses and persevere, saying, “At the end of the day, there is no correct answer when it comes to fashion. In business, you can just look at numbers but for fashion, there are many factors such as design, pricing, material for why the product didn't do so well. What's important is to accept this result and learn and change from it, but at the same time, you shouldn't change what you love.”
While the business aspect of fashion design can be challenging, fashion is still art, and it’s imperative to maintain autonomy and passion as a designer. As Alisa wisely explains, “There are times where the rest of the world may not see the beauty in what you truly believe in. The beauty of fashion is that there is no correct answer, so what's important is to try to have as much fun as possible at what you’re passionate about, and share that with as many people in the world as possible.”
To conclude, Alisa shared who exemplifies the MISSBISH persona in her eyes. “The girls in my crew here in Tokyo are pretty up there, but for me, my mother is the MISSBISH. I want to become a strong, loving, and caring woman just like my mother, and want to have my kids look up to me as a MISSBISH as well.”