After Kuwahara earned a doctorate of optometry degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in psychobiology with Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude distinctions from UCLA, he worked as an optometrist until he was drawn into the world of eyewear design. Does he look familiar? Perhaps you’ve seen him on E!, MSN.com, Access Hollywood, or at Fred’s in Sausalito.
Describe your personal style. It’s a bit conflicted. In general, I’m a modernist—I love the purity and “zen” of minimalism. I’m an admirer of Tadao Ando and John Pawson, but I am also very much attracted to old things with soul and character.
What are you wearing? [Hair] I like to think of hair as a built-in accessory. I thank my dad for my hair, but I thank Rick at Posh for the cut. [glasses] A prototype of an upcoming style for John Varvatos Eyewear. [necklace] An antique silver and coral rosary from the 26th Street Flea Market in New York. [jacket] Royal Flash, bought in Tokyo. [t-shirt] Bought at L’ Eclaireur in Paris. [belt] Custom designed by L.A. designer Henry Duarte. [jeans] Levi’s Black Label, bought in Tokyo. [boots] Drone from Instinct by Midwest in Osaka. [underwear] Dolce & Gabbana—you’ll have to trust me on this one.
Who are your fashion influences? My chic 91-year-old grandmother, who still wears heels and chunky jewelry of her own design and carries an alligator purse she’s had for years that beats anything by Prada. She knows what looks good on her and wears it with confidence.
Favorite designers? Kiminori Morishita, Hedi Slimane, Neil Barrett and of course, John Varvatos.
Where do you love to shop in Marin? Mill Valley Mercantile when looking for something cool for my niece and nephews.
What is always in your bag? A ferry schedule, my Filofax (I’m old school!), my laptop, and my new Sony Cyber-shot digital camera.
What is your best cheapo secret? The new skinny, black waxed jeans from Zara—they look and fit like the Dior Homme version but cost 10 times less. That, and göt2b hair “glue” from Longs Drugs. It works much better than the expensive stuff.
What’s your fashion pet peeve? Deliberately torn jeans and rhinestones on any apparel item.
What is your view of Marin style? Unkept prep.
Where do you love to eat in Marin? I’m a creature of habit: Sartaj (No. 11) , Fred’s (corned beef hash and eggs), Sushi Ran (blackened cod), Poggio (café latte), Saylor’s (crab enchilada), and the Lighthouse (Annette’s Special). I can just sit down, and they know what to bring me—I love that!
Where do you go to pamper yourself? Mill Valley Massage and Evo Spa. And, Fred’s for my corned beef hash.
How would your friends describe you? You’ll need to ask them! All two of them.
What was the last book you read? Barrel Fever by David Sedaris and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Barrel Fever is a compilation of quirky short stories so I was able to read both books simultaneously while on the beach in Costa Rica.
What was the last movie you saw? Paris, Je T’aime. I do indeed love Paris. I thought that the short by Alexander Payne was particularly poignant.
If your life were a movie, what would be your theme song? “Tapestry” by Carole King.