Re-introducing 'Tastemakers' & Visual Artist, Kaori Nik

Tastemaker: A person or group that determines or strongly influences fashionable or popular taste.

We’d like to introduce you to a new-ish feature to ...and re-introduce you to the inspiration behind the idea, Ms. Kaori Nik!

The idea for a Tastemakers feature first came from an online urban lifestyle and culture magazine that we used to run back in the day (DaLyfe). Kaori was so unique and special that we decided to create a brand new section just for her, and the amazing tribe of unicorns just like her :)

In a society full of copycats, it’s refreshing to see people whether on their own or in business, stand up and take a stand for individuality, for uniqueness, for self. Tastemakers is dedicated to introducing the individuals and businesses who not only have an influence on society, but who are doing it as themselves, without apology, and in their own way. To those who make the mold rather than try to squeeze into one that currently exists, and to whom at the same time we cannot help but to be inspired and influenced by.

We’ll introduce each and every tastemaker to you in a way that will allow them to individually tell you in their own words who they are, what they’re about, and what being a tastemaker means to them (even if they don’t always consider themselves as such).

As a society we don’t all fit the same mold. Why we’re forced to feel we should is cruel and unnecessary. It’s our hope that you will be inspired and encouraged by the people you’ll meet here, no matter how old or how young you are, to stand up and stand out be the person you truly feel YOU are. Some will question your choices, and oddly enough as our tastemakers will tell you, others will follow in your footsteps. As long as you’re comfortable with who you are, with the skin you’re in, and with the life you lead, it really doesn’t matter which they choose to do, you… just do you!

“My purpose… is to inspire others to feel comfortable representing individuality, non-conformity, and evolution.”

FlyDuo: Please tell us a little about yourself.

Kaori: I am a Visual Artist whose specialties include Hair Styling, Make-up Artistry and Modeling. My purpose, through these mediums, is to inspire others to feel comfortable representing individuality, non-conformity, and evolution. In addition to being self-taught I have an education background in fashion; however, my artistic expression extends beyond fashion. I also work in photography, creative directing and acrylic painting.

FlyDuo: How would you describe your personal style?

Kaori: I’d have to describe my personal style as very androgynous. I love my biker jackets and Harley boots, Chuck Taylor’s, band tees and baggy jeans. But I also know how to rock heels and dresses if I have to lol although it’s not preferred. I switch it up often because I get bored fast and different jobs call for different looks. At the end of the day I feel most comfortable just wearing my skin.

“It took me a while to understand that the things that set me apart from mainstream were actually my super powers in a sense…”

FlyDuo: You seem to be happiest creating your own mold rather than trying to fit into someone else’s… how important is individuality to you - both personally as well as in your career?

Kaori: I’m all about paving your own way, so individuality is huge in my world. I’ve faced a lot of rejection, whether it has been from an agency or a production, even in my personal life because I didn’t fit the “standards”. It took me a while to understand that the things that set me apart from mainstream were actually my super powers in a sense, lol. So I use them to show them and anyone else on the rise that our differences are what make us shine. And in today’s world we lack originality, everyone wants to look and be like someone they’ve seen or heard about as if it’s not “cool” to be yourself. I’m constantly trying to remind people that it is ok to be yourself!

“The more secure you are with yourself the more power you have.”

FlyDuo: It also seems as though you are very comfortable in your own skin - and if you’re not you’re very good at hiding it - how would you encourage others to love the skin/body they’re in?

Kaori: When you’re feeling self-conscious or insecure I challenge others to face the mirror. I think it’s important to do it often. Instead of making excuses or blaming others really take the time to evaluate yourself. See what you like about yourself, see what you want to change, and love it ALL. The more secure you are with yourself the more power YOU have. No one can really shake you if you have a concrete perspective.

FlyDuo: How does it feel to be considered a tastemaker?

Kaori: To be a tastemaker, lol, is crazy to me because I would never think that I’d have an influence on what’s popular, especially since I was never the popular type. But it’s a feeling of accomplishment and hope; this means that my energy is traveling and people are accepting and embracing my message while digging my “swagg” lol.

FlyDuo: Lastly, if you could give your style a name of it’s own, what would it be?

Kaori: If my style had a name I’d call it “Kao”! Kaori Nik stems from Kaori meaning essence, aroma, or fragrance in Japanese and my first name, Nicole. I chose Kaori as an artist name because it best describe what I wanted my audience to leave with after experiencing my work. So “Kao” would be a perfect way to describe my style…and it sounds like a knock out. ^_^

Thank you so much for your time and consideration, I enjoy these opportunities because it gives me a voice. As a visual artist I normally let my work do all the talking, but this allows people to get to know the woman behind the work. I’m appreciative.

Kaori Online:
Twitter: @KaoriNik
YouTube: KaoriNik

We wanna hear from you! Are you or someone you know a Tastemaker? Tell us why!

Show some love! #YeahSheFly