The Japanese billionaire who Tesla chief Elon Musk says plans to blast off on the first-ever non-public business area journey aboard the SpaceX Massive Falcon Rocket usually makes headlines in Japan.
The SpaceX mission, set for takeoff in 2023, is simply the most recent exploit in tycoon Yusaku Maezawa‘s colourful and impressive profession.
Maezawa, 42, is the chief govt of Begin At the moment Co., which he based in 1998 as a CD gross sales enterprise when he was nonetheless in his 20s.
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The corporate pioneered e-commerce in Japan and now runs the favored style mall Zozotown, promoting varied, comparatively inexpensive clothes manufacturers. Annual gross sales totalled greater than 98 billion yen ($890 million) within the fiscal 12 months that led to March.
Forbes journal estimates Maezawa’s wealth at $2.9 billion. In a nation the place billionaires are comparatively uncommon, he will get consideration for his celeb mates and for zipping round in a personal jet and a fleet of sports activities automobiles. Such flamboyance is unusual in a rustic the place even very wealthy males usually hold a low profile.
Maezawa’s trademark defiant however disarming fashion could also be rooted in his begin as a musician, taking part in drums in indies rock bands. The punk band he was in, known as Swap Type, signed with a serious Japanese document label. He opted out of attending prestigious Waseda College in Tokyo to pursue music after which began his personal enterprise promoting imported CDs.
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The identify of his firm was impressed by the title of an album by the American punk band Gorilla Biscuits.
Maezawa has invested lavishly in artwork, accumulating works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, amongst others, and in designer-brand furnishings from overseas.
He paid $110.5 million for Basquiat’s 1982 portray of a graffiti-like black and blue rendition of a human cranium, a document worth for an American artist, at a Sotheby’s public sale final 12 months.
“After I noticed this portray, I used to be struck with a lot pleasure and gratitude for my love of artwork,” Maezawa mentioned on the time.
He had set the earlier public sale document for a Basquiat, in 2016, when he paid $57.three million.
Maezawa has just lately proven off a wearable expertise known as the Zozosuit, the centerpiece of his Zozo style model.
Clients first order a black, body-hugging outfit lined with white dots. They then take a smartphone photograph sporting the outfit which is used to do a full physique scan, figuring out styles and sizes with a particular app. Selections are nonetheless restricted to primary pants and shirts for now, however that might change.
Maezawa says the deliberate journey to area is a approach “to encourage the dreamer in all of us.” He plans to take six or eight artists, architects and designers with him.
He hasn’t mentioned who these artists may be or how a lot he’s paying for the journey. The thought is for these artistic minds to see the moon up shut and planet Earth from afar.
Maezawa says he has usually puzzled what Basquiat might need drawn if he had travelled into area. “I select to go to the moon, with artists,” Maezawa tweeted each in Japanese and English.