10-Year-Old Coco Pink Princess Is a Style Inspiration For All Ages

Photography by Takashi Homma
Styled by COCO and HIJIRI

COCO wears Gucci glasses, earrings, and bag; all other clothing, accessories, and Gucci necklace, he...
COCO wears Gucci glasses, earrings, and bag; all other clothing, accessories, and Gucci necklace, her own.

For our annual “The Originals” issue, we asked creatives—pioneers in the fields of art, design, fashion, comedy, activism, and more—to share their insights on staying true to themselves. Read all of this year’s interviews here.

At 10 years old, you’re one of the youngest style influencers on Instagram, with a following that has grown to over 600,000. Your mother, Misato, has helped you post your vintage-inspired looks since you were 4—and she’s still in your corner, helping translate this interview from Japanese to English. You practically grew up in your parents’ vintage shop, Funktique, in Harajuku, the Tokyo neighborhood known for its fashion-obsessed residents. What inspires you about the stylish people you’re surrounded by?

Harajuku is a place where different kinds of people enjoy fashion on the streets. For example, there are colorful people and also monotone-style people, maybe Lolita style, and sometimes you can find rockabilly style. So there’s a lot of fashion energy when you just walk the streets of Harajuku.

How would you describe your style evolution since you started on Instagram?

When I started, I posted everyday outfits. Most of the children’s accounts were just children’s outfits, and there weren’t accounts like mine. When I started putting together outfits that looked like adult outfits, I got many likes. And my styling quality got better and better as more likes came in, so I started to express each photo as a piece of art. With more of an audience, I started to be more on the art side of fashion.

Which brands are inspiring you right now?

I’ve always loved Gucci. Lately, I’m interested in Thom Browne, too. They both have children’s lines, so that’s a more accessible way into their worlds.

Do you follow the fashion industry closely?

I always check the runway collections, but I haven’t been accessing trend information that much lately. This is due to the pandemic, since there aren’t many parties where you can go and enjoy fashion. So for the past one or two years, I’ve been looking into how nature connects to fashion, and also reflecting on my roots. I was born in Fukushima, and there was a very big earthquake there in 2011, and a nuclear explosion. I was only 3 months old at that time, and my family had to evacuate to Tokyo. We do go back to Fukushima often, so I have two homes, in a way. I have my notions of the countryside, and also the city. I’m always comparing the people and the atmosphere of these places, which reflects my fashion sense.

What do you consider your most original quality?

My generation grew up in a social network world, and there’s so much information on the Internet that you can access very quickly. But my fashion is based on vintage. Originality, for me, is having a sense of myself without any outside information.

Whom do you consider original?

Rei Kawakubo.

COCO wears Gucci glasses, earrings, and bag; all other clothing, accessories, and Gucci necklace, her own.

Hair and makeup by YuuiVision using L’Oréal and Laura Mercier.

What’s the most prized possession in your closet?

A Gucci black velvet cape with rhinestones.

Who was the first person who made you realize you could break the rules?

With fashion, my dad. That’s why I was encouraged to style like an adult, even though I was a kid. With everyday life, I don’t break the rules.

What do you hope the future of fashion looks like?

We have to solve the environmental issues surrounding clothing. But with fashion in the future, I think it will be more emotional and artful, because people will have more of a need for those things.

Where in the world are you happiest?

Snorkeling in beautiful oceans and seeing fish that live near tropical islands.