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Mariko: Story & Interview

Well I was born and raised in Colorado where I was adopted at birth. I honestly don’t have much to say about CO, I did a lot of gymnastics there. I also did a lot of traveling to Europe with my parents and my older brother. I moved to LA because my dad had to switch law firms. And I guess that’s when everything started happening. I got signed with ESI mgmt when I was 11 I was with, Jana Luker agency and KSA modeling agency. I had three and a half years of on-camera acting training with Aimee Farrell. I was pretty young back then so I mostly went to a lot of commercial cattle calls. But I’m thankful for my acting lessons because it did teach me how to get out of my head and not really care about what other people thought of me. It made me confident. I then had to move back to CO for high school (again changing law firm locations) and I really had a passion for fashion design and styling. So I always kind of knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry. I moved back to LA when I was about 17 for a brief year, and I decided to come to Kauai. When I first got to Kauai I switched my high heels in for bikinis and my makeup for sunscreen. (Which mind you, wasn’t easy.) I made friends here fairly fast and before I knew it was jumping off waterfalls, going to parties on the beach, skating around on my cruiser board. But the thought of acting and modeling was still in the back of my mind so I thought I’d give it a shot. I have been freelance modeling for about a year here. I was signed with Niche models for three months and apparently they weren’t my “niche” so I am actually trying to find an agency that will put me on the map. I have done photoshoots for local designers and a lot of freelance photographers slowly building my references and portfolio. I love modeling. I love the creativity I love the clothing I love promoting other people ideas. I’m still 18 so if I had to describe myself I am still in a phase of everlasting change, I’m a free-spirited, jet setting, optimistic petite model. I am just trying to find the right person who can help push my career forward. (:

What does fashion actually mean to you? What inspires your passion and what excites & motivates you about modeling? Mariko: Fashion to me is a way to capture the essence of culture and movement and condense everything you see into a design or a single image for example. It’s a staple in our culture that will continue to thrive and grow. I think what makes me most ecstatic is the ideas and thoughts that no one has created before. And when I say this I mean: a fashion design to something a photographer wants to do with a model that’s completely unique and innovative. (: that’s what really motivates me.

What do you think, Is it important to attended fashion modeling courses? Do they really help newbies to get a foothold in the Fashion Industry? Mariko: No. Unless you are trying to be a designer or makeup artist. I believe “modeling classes” are a complete scam. Obviously you will have to start somewhere but you begin to learn your own body and honestly in my own experience every photographer likes different things. So I think modeling classes may even teach you bad habits.

How you communicate with other netizens, especially your subscribers? Are you patient? polite? friendly? How often you reply to them? Mariko: Depending on how they approach, how their profile/”about section” and they have real friends.. etc.. I’m normally comfortable enough to message them. If I am to iffy about them in the first place I usually won’t reply.

Has modeling changed other aspects of your life? What does your career do for you? Mariko: It’s made me start to take care of my body a lot more… It has made it easier for me to communicate with other people. (I used to have horrible social anxiety).. It’s made me more confident. A lot more cautious about who I talk to online/ who I meet for a photo shoot. Although it has changed the way I try to come across. There definitely is a “Professional Mari” and of course “Normal laid back Mari”. But no matter how far my career goes I know I will always stay down to earth.

Is there anything you dislike about modeling ? Mariko: Men who think they can call themselves “photographers” when they are really just a random guy with a camera being perverted and taking advantage of models. A lot of models don’t understand that this happens a lot and they need an escort with them when they first meet the photographer.

And what are some things you dislike or want to change about the fashion industry? Mariko: MORE PETITE MODELS! honestly the whole you have to be 5’8 to be a supermodel is ridiculous. I think if they made different categories for short supermodels I think the industry could really grow (money-wise at least). A lot of petite models are also commercial actors because they can’t literally aren’t allowed to ever have the title of “supermodel”

How you prepare yourself for a modeling shoot? Mariko: I’ll get everything I’ll need for the shoot the night before. Possibly do some (at home) yoga to stretch out my muscles in the morning before the shoot! Sometimes have an intense work out session every day for 2-3 days before the shoot. I always go tan in the smallest bikini I own just to make sure I don’t show tan lines. Also for emergencies I keep frozen spoons in the freezer. For puffy eyes (;

What are your favorite types of outfits to model in? What are your least favorites? Mariko: I love editorial high fashion outfits, bikinis with accessories– My least favorite… I have to say lingerie. It’s really hard to make it look tasteful. I honestly don’t really have a “least favorite” I don’t think. I’ll shoot in anything! Maybe Halloween costumes?… Lol

Any ultimate goal to fulfill as a model? How do you see yourself progress in this field? Mariko: I want to be an icon, that would be a dream come true. I want everyone to know Mariko. I want to be able to actually be a petite supermodel and also an actress… a girl can dream.. (:

What kind of shoots would you like to work on in the future? Mariko: I want to really do a teen vogue cover shoot. I love the aspect of the youth and all the stylists are amazing. I really would love to be a cover girl. I want to work with Designers and creative photographers. I want to do a unique mind-bending high fashion shoot as well.

Would you like to tell us something about your city, your favorite hang out spots there? Mariko: Paris.. I love hanging at the cafe’s ordering Mimosas and Tiramisu all-day

What do you like to do for fun & entertainment ? Mariko: Practice Piano, play video games, read, go hiking, finding secret waterfalls, skating on my cruiser board, listening to music, soaking up the sun!

What is your perfect day? Mariko: Waking up to my gorgeous boyfriend, and hit the road for a beach day or hiking to somewhere I’ve never been with a bottle of champagne and a pick nick. (:

What’s your fashion mantra? Please describe your style? Whatโ€™s your beauty regime? Mariko: My style is a mix of the boulder, CO (hippy-chic/alternative)+LA (city punk fashionista)+Kauai (booty shorts and a bikini tops) (; although I am in everlasting change, its kind of like my taste in music I love everything, but it depends on what mood I am in.. As for makeup: I used to do my makeup before anyone is up, now that I am here, I will do my make up sometimes but I am actually really getting into taking care of my skin, more than covering it up. I usually will put on some Mascara and my M.A.C lipgloss and go out!

Do you eat nutritiously? Tell us about the diet you follow on a regular basis? Is there any food which you avoid eating? Mariko: I feel like I have a very fast metabolism because I eat.. ALL THE TIME. I love salads though and steak! I try and stay away from twinkies, HO-HOs.. etc. ๐Ÿ˜›

How often do you exercise or go to the gym? How much time do you spend there? Mariko: My mom is a pilates instructor so whenever I feel like I need to tone up I have intense sessions with her, plus I swim A LOT!

Excluding all complicated beauty & fitness mantra what do you think to be the easiest way to look pretty and glamorous ? Mariko: Simple. Clean. The best way to realize your self-beauty is to accept the natural beauty you have. Then add a little bit of makeup (;

What other modeling projects have you done? Could you provide us some links? Mariko: KAIKINISHOOT –


What are your experiences in the fashion industry? What is fun and rewarding about modeling? Do you have any advice for other aspiring models? Mariko: BE SAFE lots of men “photographers” are just some perverts with fancy cameras. Always bring an escort! Practice your posing in a mirror, learn your “go-to” pose, and have fun!!

What fashion magazines you like reading? Mariko: I love Cosmo. Vogue is also awesome, U’NiQ.. there is honestly way too many.

Tell me about your favorites. Mariko: My Favorite Color is Purple

  • Favorite Film: Gladiator (; Nostalgia.
  • Favorite Actor: I love James Franco.. and Emilie Hersch
  • Favorite Actress: I’m obsessed with Mila Kunis, and Rachel Bilson (I was almost cast as her younger self on the OC.. a LONG time ago)
  • Favorite Singer/Band- Brighteyes
  • Favorite Food: Sushi.. or Pesto Pasta!
  • Favorite Holiday: HALLOWEEN! everybody loves being able to not be themselves for a day!
  • Favorite Hobby: Playing my guitar
  • Favorite Author/Book: Vladimir Nabokov- Lolita

How you access the Internet? What device do you use: Is it a tablet, smartphone or laptop? What according to you is a more comfortable, quick, and easy device for accessing the Internet? Mariko: For talking for a long time, my iPhone. It’s quick and easy to check on updates, I store ALL my music on my iPad because it’s the only thing that will hold that much memory! If I am talking online for a long time or writing emails I will use my Macbook air- The best laptop for traveling!

Is there anything you like to add? Mariko: Contact me @mariko_lytes both for Twitter and Instagram. I am in the process of having my website set up. But feel free to Email me about bookings or even just networking at

Your ultimate message for netizens? Mariko: Thank you for your support! Without you I wouldn’t even be able to do anything I want to do! Also, be safe, the online world is full of scams (:

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