If you've been to New York's more glittering clubs of late or attended any recent Heatherette gathering, you've probably noticed Jun Nakayama, a large, spirited Japanese woman who sports the glitziest clothes and the most extravagant blond wigs to be seen since Charo's heyday.
Born in Yuuki City two hours north of Tokyo, Jun is the older sister of a svelte model. "I was big girl," Jun says in her charmingly accented English. "I thought you have to be skinny to be pretty." Longing to escape her sister's less substantial shadow, Jun studied beauty therapy in London, where, she recalls, "I find out you don't have to be skinny. Everybody big there." After finishing school, she returned to Tokyo and met a drag queen-DJ named Envy. Soon the two were working at a party called Passion, and Jun became one of the most notorious club kids in Japan -- as well as the confidante of many gays. "Gay men," she explains, "they change my life."
In 2001 she met Gotham staples Richie Rich and Amanda Lepore, who were visiting Japan, and decided to move to New York. She's been honing her skills as a beauty therapist ever since, while brightening the lives of downtown fashionistas, including Boy George, with whom she's recorded a song. But despite such surface glamour, she insists, "Beauty, it is on the inside."