JUNKO ARAI was a co-producer at Universal Studios Japan, a theme park based in Osaka. With her strong aptitude for fashion, she oversaw and coordinated the production of various costumes for performers in many different live entertainment shows over the course of ten years. She is certified by the Color Style Consultants Association of Japan as an image consultant and personal color analyst, and currently offers various services, including personal color analysis and styling consultations at her private salon. She obtained her undergraduate degree from New York University in 2000 and will return to New York City to pursue a master’s degree in Global Fashion Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the fall of 2016 on the TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship.
About Junko Arai
Q: Why did you apply to the TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship?
A: Although I have over ten years of experience in the entertainment industry and specifically amusement parks, I aspire to enhance my career by strengthening my entrepreneurship and professionalism. When I found FIT’s Global Fashion Management program and the chance to receive a scholarship from the TOMODACHI-UNIQLO Fellowship, I immediately applied with no hesitation. At the same time, the TOMODACHI Initiative and their efforts to better conditions in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake has given me the opportunity to reflect on how I can give back to the community, and for that I am forever grateful.
Q: What would you like to learn from this program?
A: The FIT Global Fashion Management program trains individuals to be effective and successful leaders that have the capability to manage the constantly evolving world of fashion. Unlike an MBA, this program is geared specifically towards fashion entrepreneurship, and is a networking platform for fashion pioneers.
Q: What connection and/or interest do you have with the United States?
A: Within the fashion business that is predicted to transform immensely in the coming years, I am most intrigued in custom-made products that cater to the specific body types, personalities, and interests of the customers. Since the U.S. seems to constantly be a step ahead of Japan in terms of fashion, I am excited to live in New York City, and experience the art of custom-made products firsthand.