Born in New York, but brought up in Japan, Gen moved to the UK after school with the aim of learning English, hairdressing and surfing! After Gen succeeded in conquering all three skills, he was offered a place with Anthony’s team and worked in the Mayfair Toni & Guy salon. For several years after he joined the TIGI Creative Team, Gen worked in the London Academy and on TIGI seminars, campaign shoots and TIGI global shows.
Gen led the team at Bed Head Hair Space, a creative, conceptual salon in East London, for several years until returning to Japan in 2019 where he now acts as Creative Director for Asia.
Originally my mum suggested the idea of hairdressing while I was studying English in Devon, England. I then met Kenji Saiga, who was an original member of the Toni&Guy Art Team through his son, my best friend, Hidetoshi Saiga. That was in 1996. When I found out about Toni&Guy, and Anthony Mascolo of course, it was ‘the moment’. I decided then that I wanted to work beside them. And as they say: ‘dreams can come true!’
I’m constantly walking around and watching people. This is not necessary walking only in London, it can be any city I’m visiting, and I’m lucky to regularly spend time in Milan, Taipei and Tokyo, which are all really inspiring places. I always try to go off the main streets to see and meet the pure locals.
To be honest, a good night’s sleep! Then I know I’ll have a fresh mind for the next day, which will allow me to connect to every positive thing around me.
Well, that would have to be ‘The Long and Winding Road’ by The Beatles!