Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has made a reputation for himself as a rock musician, a web based vogue mogul and, now, Earth’s first moon vacationer.
The 42-year-old tech tycoon made headlines Tuesday when SpaceX revealed that Maezawa has chartered a flight aboard the corporate’s Large Falcon Rocket, which remains to be being developed, for a slingshot journey across the moon as quickly as 2023.
He is planning to take six to eight artists with him, and he will not be charging them for the journey.
“I wish to share this expertise and issues with as many individuals as doable,” Maezawa instructed a information convention. “So, I select to go to the moon with artists.”
Maezawa made his fortune in e-commerce, however his past love was music — an trade through which he made the transition from artist to entrepreneur.
He began an indie rock band in highschool, releasing an EP in 1993. He skipped school to observe his then-girlfriend to america, the place he began accumulating CDs and data of bands he favored.
When he returned to Japan in 1995, he began an import music enterprise, promoting CDs and vinyls of his favourite bands by mail from his residence.
In 1998, he used the mail-order music enterprise to launch Begin At the moment, naming the corporate after an album by punk band Gorilla Biscuits. That very same yr, Maezawa’s band, Change Type, signed with the label BMG Japan. He launched three albums with them earlier than stepping away to concentrate on his enterprise.
Begin At the moment had moved on-line and was now promoting clothes, too. The style arm turned so profitable that Maezawa spun it off as Zozotown. Vogue described the e-commerce vogue big as a cross between Internet-a-Porter and Amazon ( )
Maezawa is a rarity in Japan: a billionaire who shuns fits and encourages his workers to have enjoyable.
At an annual outcomes presentation final yr, Begin At the moment CFO Koji Yanagisawa delivered the earnings report dressed as a mushroom, saying he was carrying on a practice began by Maezawa in 2010.
Final yr, Maezawa dropped $110.5 million on a Jean-Michel Basquiat portray, the best ever worth paid at public sale for a piece by an American artist.
In an interview with the Observer, Maezawa stated that whereas he’d at all times had a deep curiosity in artwork and vogue, he did not begin accumulating till about 10 years in the past.
He is constructing a museum in his hometown of Chiba and has been scooping up artwork at a feverish tempo.
He had set the earlier public sale excessive for Basquiat months earlier, bidding $57.three million for an untitled portray at Christie’s. In 2016, he additionally bought a piece by Pablo Picasso for $22.6 million and several other different costly items.
Forbes estimates Maezawa is price $2.9 billion, so he is bought deep pockets to bankroll his artwork dependancy and house ambitions.
The ex-musician is at present courting well-known Japanese actress Ayame Goriki. No phrase but on whether or not she’ll snag a seat to the moon.
— Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.
CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First revealed September 18, 2018: 7:09 AM ET