Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa
Creative Director / Coordinator / Event Producer / Journalist / Fairy Godmother
Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa is a British creative director, coordinator, event producer, interviewer, commentator, and a journalist for TV and other media who is one of the top cutting edge directors that forged the “Japanese Style” in fashion and lifestyle as we know it. Most importantly, she is a fairy godmother and you will see why on Wednesday, May 10th!!
Maxine moved to NY when she was 21 to live with her sister who was then a famous model to pursue her career as a freelance makeup artist fresh out of Art School. There, she met Diana Vreeland, the iconic editor-in-chief of the American VOGUE who booked her for a shoot with Irving Penn, one of the two most internationally famous fashion photographers along with Richard Avedon. She later met Eichiro Sakata while he was working as an assistant to Richard Avedon and fell in love – they got married 8 months later in NY while she was working as a successful hair & makeup artist and a stylist for magazines such as VOGUE and Harper’s BAZAAR.
Eichiro Sakata and Maxine moved to Japan shortly after: as Eichiro was already famous as a photographer and Maxine was working for Vogue, they together became creative influencers in fashion and photography in the early ‘70s as the “Japan Look” was about to begin. Thus, their fame were established even further as part of this important fashion movement.
Maxine then launched her own company in Japan – Maxine Group – in 1978. Upon her stewardship and her unique creativity, she has produced many groundbreaking projects in Japan for the last 30 years. Her cultural projects include film, art, theater and music – her network and activities are internationally acclaimed and highly appreciated. She has the energy and vitality that will last her lifetime, not only limited here to Japan, Europe nor USA but in all of Asia and the entire 21st Century Market. She worked as a stylist and a style director for cutting edge publications such as “Ryuko Tsushin” and advertising clients such as SHISEIDO and PARCO.
She also worked as a fashion show director for HANAE MORI as well as many individual shows for multiple international designers for their best events for 23 years. Among them were Christian Dior, whom she worked for 8 years as its advertising & image catalogue producer and style director. Maxine also worked as a special liaison to none other than Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones’ Japan Tours’ coordinator. As a fashion director, she has covered and continues to cover all areas of Luxury & Style to this day, coining the term “luxury consultant” which led her to continue to expand her clientele list in the film and entertainment world internationally.
Maxine developed an anxiety depressive disorder after 25 years in Japan due to all the pressure of work with little time off. This eventually led to a severe nervous breakdown during which time she went to England to get treatment. Although Maxine has lost 10 years due to this illness caused by overwork, she came back strong and returned to Japan in 2006 as a creative director and founded Maxine Digital Magazine (www.maxinedigitalmagazine.com) which became instantly successful thanks to her daughter, ELLI- ROSE’s fame as a model and a DJ. ELLI- ROSE’s followers all followed Maxine as well as the digital magazine! With her husband of 35 years and her beautiful daughter, Team Arakawa is going on strong! Maxine is extremely grateful for her current international career to TEAM ARAKAWA, and her workshop will reveal how adversity in one’s life can make him/her stronger with a bit of fairy dust!