Yasumasa Yonehara, known around the world as “Yone”, has been a major player in Tokyo’s street fashion scene since the 1990s. As the founding editor of Egg Magazine, Yone was instrumental in bringing Shibuya’s kogal/gyaru subculture into the mainstream. With an office in Harajuku since 1995, Yone was heavily involved in the Urahara street fashion boom of the late 1990s. His low-fi “cheki” photography style has influenced brands and magazines around the globe. He has founded Japanese fashion magazines, published numerous books, and written countless articles on Japanese fashion and pop culture.
Yone is a friendly and outgoing person who strongly believes in the kids on the streets of Tokyo. After last year’s earthquake, Yone was quick to join up with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and 6%DOKIDOKI to raise money for those affected by the disaster. He speaks English and spends much of his time traveling around the world promoting Japanese street culture.
So, when we heard about the “Yasumasa Yonehara 53rd Birthday Party” at Velours in Tokyo, there was no possible way we were going to miss it!
As Harajuku neighbors, we see Yone walking around the streets of Harajuku quite often. Even though he has become a celebrity in his own right, Yone is still accessible and remains a visible participant in Japanese street culture. Yone also spends a lot of time thinking – and talking – about Harajuku and Shibuya street fashion. He is one of the few loud voices who has been a consistent advocate of Tokyo street fashion kids and their place in Japanese culture, rather than (like many others) just being concerned about how to exploit the scene to make more money.
Yone’s decades-long passion for Japanese street fashion, along with his general awesomeness, assured that his 53rd birthday party would be a big event. Held at Velours in the Aoyama area of Tokyo, the party’s guest list included everyone from street fashion kids to major brand and agency bosses to the beautiful women featured in some of Yone’s photobooks. Regardless of where the guests came from, though, everyone (including us) had a common goal – to wish a very “Happy Birthday” to one of Tokyo’s finest.
Happy Birthday Yasumasa Yonehara!
Click any of the Yone Birthday Party pictures to enlarge them.
All photos by Michael.
About the photographer:
Michael Steinebach has been fortunate enough to travel and see the world. Exposed to the limitless possibilities of photography 20 years ago, he grew up looking at things differently. He currently shoots in the areas of people, fashion, and news photography in Japan. He maintains a Facebook page with samples of his work. He can be emailed about contract work or with questions or comments on his photography.