Interviewer: Chika Makabe
Makabe：Today I`d like to talk about your hairstyle. Also, I thought it might be fun to take a peek at your private life, a different side of the lighting designer, Mr. Mende. But let`s just see where the conversation takes us.
Mende： Hmmm…Yes, let`s see…
I am a very curious person, so I like to try new things. About my hairstyle, I have tried an afro before. Also, I used to part my hair straight down the middle!
Makabe： I saw a rare picture of you with curly, permed hair when you were younger!
For me, short hair, brushed back on the right side is the standard Mr. Mende. I don`t really have an impression of your playing around with your hairstyle.
Mende：I think I got the perm right after I graduated from the university. I had a friend who lived in Nihonbashi and worked at a hair salon. This picture was taken around the time I just started working as a lighting designer. The ladies magazine JJ was doing a close up on “Up and Coming Lighting Designers.” Now that I see this picture again, it`s a little embarrassing. Although if I do something too strange, my wife will get after me! I have to consult with her, too!
Makabe：I see. You take into account your partner`s feelings before trying a new hairstyle. By the way, on your online schedule, you have a monthly haircut scheduled until December of this year. Do you schedule an entire year of haircuts with the barber in January of every year?
Mende：Makabe：Just by chance?! Since you claim to be the ultimate type-A personality, I thought: “Wow! This is just the ultimate touch for being well-organized!” So I took the opportunity to look at your online schedule over the last four years, starting in January 2014, and extracted all your haircut appointment data. (Showing chart and circle graph tracing four years of haircut appointments.)
Mende：Wow!! In graph format you can really see that I make most of my appointments on Saturday or Sunday. The barber is open from 9 to 1 on weekdays and from 11 o`clock on weekends. We have weekly Monday morning staff meetings, so you can clearly see that I`ve never made an appointment on Monday! Now, Sundays, I relax and enjoy making pancakes, maybe with a carrot salad and coffee. Then go to the barber after cleaning up the house.
Makabe：Sounds like a good way to spend a weekend. From a wife`s point of view, I`m very envious. This is a new scoop on Mr. Mende, considering we don`t see you in a relaxed environment or on the weekends very often.
Mende：The barber that I went to for over 30 years, just closed up his shop a few years again. So I am going to a new barber and the result is a shorter cut, which I am very happy with.
Makabe： A passive image change?!
It`s not easy when a stylist you are familiar with has to change. The stylist I was going to moved to a new salon, so I went with her! She works at and moves between three salons in Yokohama and Tokyo and I`m right there with her! But, I heard that LPA staffer, Ms. N, followed her stylist to Guma and Tochigi!!
Mende：Wow!! That`s amazing!!
Generally speaking, women tend to get fixed on one stylist more than men do.
Makabe：Maybe so. As a rule, women seem to have longer hair and more volume around their face than men. This plays a huge part in looks and impressions. Haircuts are a given, but also frequent hair treatments and lots of attention to hair texture and so on. Most men probably wouldn`t know the difference or understand the insistence on such detail.
Mende：As a designer, it is important to take some responsibility in having your own style. You don`t have to be eccentric, but a hair style that fits our body type, face, and personality is always a good choice.
Makabe： Yes, designers don`t seem to dress up in business suits every day, favoring a more relaxed personal style. So it is even more important to balance one`s personal style, while also relaying a sense of trust and reassurance.