A day in the life of Tokyo’s up and coming model
A calling – people would say. A one-month vacation in Tokyo turned three years last April when Georgia Risa fell in love with the city that she now calls home. Opening our new #ThroughMyBolon series, we get up close and personal with the model and her exciting lifestyle. Recently featured in our eclectic Tokyo editorial shoot, she gave us a quick crash course of the beautiful city through the perspective of our Jin series.
Hailing from the down under, the British-Japanese model made a bold decision to relocate from Sydney to the bustling city of Tokyo in order to pursue her modelling career. Now, an established model with a growing 80k Instagram following, we took the chance to find out what a typical day in Tokyo is like for Georgia Risa.
Konnichiwa Georgia, we’re so excited to have you on our #ThroughMyBolon series. Do you normally go by Georgia, or Risa? Which do you prefer?
Konnichiwa! Thank you for having me on board, I'm very excited to do this interview together with you! I go by both names, but generally Georgia for English, and Risa for Japanese.
We’ve been following your journey on Instagram for a while now and we’ve noticed that you moved from Sydney to Japan, specifically Tokyo. Could you tell us what made you decide to make that move?
Originally, I came to Tokyo on a little holiday. My intention was to stay for just 1 - 2 months, but before I knew it, I had completely fallen in love with Tokyo. I continuously extended my holiday month by month, not wanting to go back home so soon, until I finally decided to leave everything behind and stay.
I had no plans on how long I'd be here for, nor did I know what was to come, but for those reasons precisely is what made my journey so exciting. I faced many unpredictable challenges which I often reflect back on and think about how much that had made me grow as an individual. Over the years, I've created many memories in Tokyo, so this city holds a special place in my heart.
“ My intention was to stay for just 1 - 2 months, but before I knew it, I had completely fallen in love with Tokyo. - Georgia Risa
How long have you been there? What about Tokyo made you stay?
Last April marked 3 years of living and working in Tokyo.
I grew up in a very peaceful area, surrounded by nature, so I became incredibly fascinated by this bustling concrete jungle that we call Tokyo. There were so many things about Tokyo that were unfamiliar to me as a non-city dweller, and my curiosity to explore this sleepless city never ceased to end.
Even years later, I often catch myself looking up and admiring the buildings that tower over me, along with the bright neon lights that illuminate everything that it touches. There is this energy that continuously pulses through Tokyo, especially in the heart of the city, which is something I never felt in Australia. That's when I knew I wanted Japan to become my second home. I longed for more adventures here.
What is it like to be Georgia Risa on a typical weekday and weekend in Tokyo?
As a freelance model, my work schedule has never been the same. But on my off days, I often go for bike rides around my local parks. When I'm home, I love to cook, game and work out.
When I'm not at home, I'm usually with my friends having picnics, playing fun games, bike riding together and enjoying coffee at our favorite cafes. Oh, and of course... photo shoots!
You mentioned that as a freelance model, your schedule is never the same. Could you tell us more about what you do and how you got started?
Becoming a model here in Tokyo is something I never expected to do, especially being a shy person. Some people suggested I try modelling, which led me to organizing photo shoots to build my portfolio, then applying for agencies, attending auditions and eventually booking jobs. And that's how I became a commercial model.
We would have never thought you’d have a shy personality! What excites you the most about being a model?
Every day is exciting as I am always presented with something different. I'll have a variety of jobs such as weddings, television commercials, clothing, cosmetics and more. Through this, I am also able to meet many new people and talented creatives. I just love how my days are always changing.
A must to ask: When you’re out working, what are your must-haves in your bag?
My must-have list is fairly simple! Firstly, I always make sure I bring a mini cosmetic case for touch ups – most importantly, my tinted lip balm! I always have to make sure I feel confident and look my best for my job.
Other necessities include a portable umbrella for sun/rain/hair protection, portable hair straightener, phone charger, earphones (as I always have to listen to music when I'm on the go!), a bottle of water, my wallet, hand sanitizer and of course sunnies on a hot day!
Yes, sunnies are essential especially on a hot, bright day! We’ve recently worked with you on an article featuring our Jin series. Do you have a favorite from this Spring Summer collection?
My favorite pair has to be these purple-red sunglasses that I first laid my eyes on during the shoot. I have a huge thing for rose gold accents and vibrant colors; so this pair is just perfect. The pop of color really adds to my outfits!
The purple-red lens from the series is definitely a unique shade. Do tell us more about your fashion style. Is there a specific style you gravitate to when choosing what to wear every day?
I've always had a love for one-piece dresses of all kinds. I tend to switch up the styles depending on how I feel, such as wearing collared button up dresses for casual outings, or long floral dresses for special days out. I tend to gravitate to more elegant or smart casual looks. I love how convenient they are to wear as well as how easily you can accessorize them.
What about your go-to make up look? We know you love your tinted lip balm.
I'm a huge believer in less is more, so my go-to makeup look is always natural! I can't live without my tinted lip balm - it adds color to my face and gives me life!
Besides being active on Instagram, you have also started to post vlogs on your YouTube channel. What do you have in plan for YouTube?
Just like myself, many others around the world have a fascination for Tokyo, so I would love to portray more of what life is like here through my eyes. I wish to create a variety of videos catered for everyone. Although I am still quite new to this and have a lot to learn, I really enjoy the process and seeing my audience appreciate it too!
Always willing to try new things, we recognized your adventurous and bold spirit that led to where you are today, is there someone that has always inspired you?
There are many people around me that I look up to, including my friends, fellow creatives and public figures - all for different reasons. But I would say my father has been my biggest inspiration and a role model for me. He is hard working, humble and has always supported me by encouraging me to follow my heart.
That’s really nice and heartwarming to know, you must have a very special bond with your father. Since you’ve been living in Tokyo for 3 years, do you have a favorite spot you’d like to share?
I always find myself appreciating Tokyo's cityscape from high up, and where else to do that than in an observatory! There are many observatories I love to visit, but I would have to say my favorite is Ebisu Garden Place. From here, I have waited for days to turn to night and watched the city come to life. You get a clear view of the Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge and even Mount Fuji. Not only is it a spot known to very few people, soft jazz music also fills the air, so it is by far my favorite spot to visit.
So, what’s next for Georgia Risa?
Life is always constantly changing for me. I'd love to continue modelling while I am still young. I am currently working on some exciting projects, so maybe in the future I'll have my own business - I guess we will see!