Takashi Kitamura is famed for the pure poetry of his onstage cutting and styling, but his hair-biz ascendance required taking some massive chances. True, he was born to a hairdresser mother in Japan, practically growing up in the salon and pitching in by sweeping hair, so his calling was clear: cosmetology school at 17 followed by in-salon training. But he wanted more. “Watching my mother inspired me to get into the hair industry, but then I worked with a fellow hairstylist and friend who always talked about becoming well-known, teaching and traveling the world,” Kitamura recalls. “Through his motivation, I was inspired to do the same. When he decided to move to Tokyo to chase his dream, I knew at that moment I wanted to move to America to pursue my dreams.”
Kitamura hightailed it to Santa Monica, CA, to attend Sassoon Academy and never looked back—or stopped moving. For the last 20-plus years, he’s juggled traveling the globe as a platform artist while working behind the scenes on video and photo shoots. And recently, he took another career leap by joining Rusk’s team of platform artists. “As a young hairdresser, I always liked Rusk for its unique style and eye-catching creativity,” Kitamura explains. “And when I found out that Luis Alvarez had joined Conair, I knew I wanted to be a part of his incredible vision and inspiring talent.”
A cutting virtuoso who has been lauded as a scissor magician, Kitamura also professes his love for Rusk shears, with metal construction that “cuts wet and dry hair like butter” and a design that maximizes efficiency, effectiveness and comfort. Says Kitamura, “Through the many years of experience I’ve gained through being a platform artist and sharing my knowledge as a hairdresser, I look forward to bringing something new to Rusk—and plan on many years of commitment to create a powerful team.”
Memorable Mentors: My mother, who inspired me to get into the hair industry. I had the opportunity to work for Fuji Aburaya, an amazing haircutter and hairdresser—still one of the best I’ve ever seen. And Vidal Sassoon.
Greatest Strengths: Haircutting and styling.
Weakness: Updos—too much pressure!
[Images: top courtesy of Patrick Miller; bottom courtesy of Luis Alverez]