Japanese man discovered by Balenciaga on streets of Tokyo becomes fashion model on Paris runway

One day he’s simply walking around Tokyo and the next he’s the darling of the Paris fashion world.

When it comes to fashion, nowhere in the world raises eyebrows quite like Japan. As the home of cosplay, trendsetters like to dress up and walk outside the boundaries of mainstream fashion here, and when international designers and musicians like Gwen Stefani and Kanye West are looking for inspiration, Tokyo is the city they turn to for ideas.

This year, Balenciaga came to town, scouring the streets of Tokyo for a new face for their upcoming runway show in Paris. And proving how hip the Balenciaga scouts were, they headed to Koenji, a neighbourhood west of Shinjuku known for its grungy vibe and second-hand thrift stores. This is where they surveyed the streets and spotted a Japanese man called Plasma.

The story of their chance encounter first came to light back in May this year, when Plasma posted this tweet on his Twitter account.

“I was just walking around Koenji when three foreigners who were like fashion personified crowded around me, saying they’d come from Paris to do casting for Balenciaga. They took photos and asked for my email address…if this is true it’d be amazing.”


貞子⊗プラズマ⊕口兄音員⊖ (@__plazma) May 25, 2018

Less than five months later, he posted an update to the above tweet, saying “It was true.”

本当でした🤣🤣🤣 twitter.com/__plazma/statu…

貞子⊗プラズマ⊕口兄音員⊖ (@__plazma) September 30, 2018

Despite sounding like something out of a dream, what happened to Plasma certainly was real, as this clip shows him far away from Koenji, strutting his stuff on the Paris catwalk late last month.

パリコレのバレンシアガのショーにプラズマ降臨 https://t.co/lp9IoaDJXO

g.a.g (@gag_japan) September 30, 2018

Plasma posted another tweet, with details of the designer outfit he modelled for the high-end luxury fashion brand, and the impressive looking space where Balenciaga showcased their new collection.

“After being scouted while walking in Koenji, I walked on the Paris runway as a model for Balenciaga”

高円寺歩いてたらスカウトされてバレンシアガのモデルとしてパリコレのランウェイを歩きました🇫🇷 すべてこの身に起きた事実です💣先ほど帰国しました🇯🇵 #balenciaga #pfw #パリコレ https://t.co/3Byg8q6wY6

貞子⊗プラズマ⊕口兄音員⊖ (@__plazma) October 02, 2018

During his stay in Paris, Plasma was also photographed for a special Balenciaga story set to appear in the next issue of Re-Edition Magazine. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of Balenciaga, was also interviewed for the article, where he talks about their models being “Not just actors and models, each of them does something, each of them has the presence I’m always looking for, each of them has their own way of wearing clothes”.

This is certainly true of Plasma, who’s been rocking his unique style in Tokyo with a squad of cool friends for years.

His long hair and bushy bleached eyebrows is enough to turn heads on the street wherever he



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