Make way for Mika Schneider! The Japanese-French model knew that fashion was her calling from a young age. Fronting our Power of Next issue, the rising model stuns in Chanel for her first Vogue Hong Kong cover, captured by photography duo Luigi and Iango. We spoke with the model about her off-duty style secrets and the most important thing she’s learnt from the modelling industry.
Where did you grow up and where do you now call home?
I grew up in Paris, Tokyo, Moscow and Chennai. Now, my home is Paris.
How has your heritage and culture shaped who you are?
I would say that I am very adaptable and understanding, thanks to my double culture and being able to travel a lot.
How did you start your journey into modelling?
I submitted to a Japanese agency at the end of high school, by sending pictures. Shortly after, I got scouted on instagram by Parisian agencies.
As a model, how has your perception of beauty evolved over the years? How do you define beauty now?
My perception of beauty is becoming closer and closer to the concept of aura. And ways of behaving and treating people. Charisma isn’t something you can copy easily, I think you develop it and mature the seeds of beauty you already have.
What was your most memorable runway walk and why?
I can’t pick just one but i almost cried after my first Saint Laurent show. The rain, the music and the energy together were magnificent. The runway under the Eiffel tower was intense – and it was my first show in Paris.
What is the most important thing you’ve learnt in this industry?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I can’t project my future, as life showed me. I can move around and be fine with anything that comes into life – it will all be okay in the end. I will probably know myself better in 5 years, and settle down in a place with a comfortable environment. And have lots of fun.
Aside from modelling, what are you passionate about? Do you have any hidden talents?
I love Asian medicine and massages. Naturopathy and reflexology, ways to heal and pamper myself and others using herbs and oils is something i’ve always loved. Perfumes are also very important. I started wearing them around 5 and kept experimenting with seasons and countries.
My hidden talent would be more of a passion – learning languages.
How do you unwind in your free time? What are some of your self-care rituals?
I get proper rest, eat tasteful food, see grounding people. I also walk my dog in the forest.
I stretch, breathe, shower with music and use a massaging oil on my neck and feet, with my hair up for my self-care time.
How would you describe your style, off the runway? Are there any designers you look up to?
Off the runway, i dress according to my day, warm, comfortable and smart. I go crazy sometimes with coloured jackets or pants. I give a personal attention to jewellery.
I admire any designer who respect its team while staying creative season after season, and gets inspired by similar things than me (nature, buildings, feelings)
Photography: Luigi and Iango
Styling: Schanel Bakkouche
Hairstylist: Sacha Nesterchuk @Artist Management
Makeup Artist: Georgi Sandev @Forward Artists
Manicurist: Aja Walton @See Management
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EditorVogue Hong Kong