It's impossible not to love Teen Vogue's most zestful editor, Aya Kanai. I first came under the former Nylon fashion director's spell in 2004 when I stumbled upon a zany garden editorial that celebrated her signature offbeat styling (mingling prints! shots of neon! layers aplenty!) and I have been utterly smitten ever since. It was an honor to be granted the tremendous opportunity to work with Aya last fall for a delightful little bit featured in last month's Teen Vogue. In lieu of the standard fetching of spring samples, the entire production was styled exclusively with my own wares. It was supremely inspiring to observe her unique take on my clothes: especially how she mixed and matched garments that had long since been "retired"... or rather, wrongly so. In the throes of a major spring cleaning herself before making a big move to the left coast, it could not have been more opportune to grill (gently, of course) the born-and-bred Manhattanite known for her killer taste for our new "Spring Cleaning with..." series.
Name: Aya T. Kanai
Location: Born and raised in Murray Hill, Manhattan. Soon to be bi-coastal: living in LA and NYC!
Chosen occupation: Teen Vogue (senior fashion editor)
Unchosen occupation: Puppeteer
Side-gig: Crafts and sewing projects (not clothes) like quilting and appliqué.
Best spring of my life: The one that’s happening!
AYA'S SPRING PICKS
Park for picnicking: Sheep's Meadow, 1996 (West Side, mid-Central Park from 66th - 69th St.)
Stroll route: Anywhere in NYC
Facial: Mario Badescu (320 E. 52nd St.)
Massage: Great Jones Spa (29 Great Jones St.)
Haircut: Anthony Campbell at Cutler (47 W. 57th St.)
Upcoming event: Vacation to South Africa and moving to Los Angeles
Upcoming exhibition: "Younger than Jesus" at New Museum (4/8/09 - 6/14/09)
Farmers market: Grand Street Greenmarket (on Essex St. & Grand St.)
Staycation hotel: Sunset Tower, LA (8358 W. Sunset Blvd.)
Spring flower: Daisies, sunflowers
AYA'S SPRING ESSENTIALS
Jeans: Insight's beanpole jeans
Underwear: Calvin Klein
Basic T-shirt: Clu and T by Alexander Wang
Lipstick: Shiseido the Makeup in SL7
Mascara: Whatever is waterproof!
Springtime fragrance: Issey Miyake's L'Eau d'Issey
Stationery: Tiffany & Co.
New episodes of: Lost on ABC
Film release: Valentino: The Last Emperor
Spring escape: L.A., hello?
Spa weekend: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Lenox, Massachusetts)
Photo by The Selby
**Previously featured on "Spring Cleaning With..."