Came across the amazing work of Kyoichi Tsuzuki who has photographed Generation X Tokyoites in Japan who have been obsessed with a brand or designer.
Apartments in Japan are generally pretty small compared to what you can find in North America and their homes are hoarding boxes for their obsessions.
He calls them “Happy Victims”.
The photos went into a book called Tokyo Style.
As interviewed by Theme (highly recommended you read the interview), he said:
It is interesting to read his viewpoint and to see what he sees instead of what we are conditioned to see.
(An Anna Sui Happy Victim)
Granted, I have a bit of an affinity (and utter fascination) with these photos, as I am the type of girl who really takes fashion and style to heart.
I probably have what people might term a small obsession with hoard-like tendencies towards jewelery and clothing.
So I can absolutely relate to having things that make me happy.
I am not going to lie and say I’m some sort of Zen Minimalist who has nothing at all, because that could not be farther from the truth.
I just have the things that do make me happy.
With everything else, I am pretty low key.
Not much in my bathroom, not interested in decorating my home, I own a fair bit of technology but but only the things that I really do use often. If not, I just donate it to my family.
I even live in a super small apartment with my boyfriend. We live, eat, sleep and work in exactly one space.
I don’t hang anything on my walls because it would make the place even more cluttered.
People find it weird, uncomfortable and hard to believe it could be comfortable.
Some have even called it devoid of personality, warmth and comfort.
But it simply couldn’t be farther from the truth for me.
It all depends on your perspective.
As Tsuzuki says:
Rich people with big spaces—when there’s more than one level in the house, and all these walkin closets—it doesn’t really show what you have.
But in a three-meter by three-meter room, everything shows. The room becomes a part of yourself.
While others find my lifestyle very stark, bare and minimalist…. I think of myself as just putting my money and my energy in keeping what gives me the most pleasure.
I think Tsuzuki sums it up perfectly for me in this answer:
I don’t want to say it’s stupid, but imagine it: A very small room, the person doesn’t have a lot of money but they spend all their money on books, and they fill their small room with books, you wouldn’t say they’re stupid.
But a small room filled with Comme des Garçons, looks really stupid, no?
That is our prejudice—that the person who spends all their money on books looks better than the person with Comme des Garçons.
There’s a hierarchy: Books have the highest position, then records, and fashion is kind of on the bottom.
But it’s all the same.
It’s how your passion flows.
(A Happy Victim to Martin Margiela)
This guy in the above picture doesn’t even eat or cook in his apartment because he doesn’t want the food smells to get anywhere close to coming near the fibers of his precious collection.
This one is sort of sad for me.
(A Gucci Victim holding her baby)