SpaceX Monday named Yusaku Maezawa as their first private passenger to the moon. A Japanese businessman, Maezawa is the founder and chief executive of online fashion brand Zozotown. Born in Chiba prefecture (district) in Japan on November 22, 1975, Yusaku Maezawa started a rock band ‘Switch Style’ soon after he joined high school. He was a drummer there. The band also got an extended play record released in 1995.
Stint with business
The man, who now owns Japan’s largest online fashion website, had a rather humble beginning. Maezawa used to collect CDs and records of the artists he loved to listen to. In 1998, he started selling them through the mail from his home. Tasting success in his music business, he founded Start Today Inc. in 1998. Start Today became a joint stock corporation in 2000 and they started retailing clothing as well. Maezawa launched his online fashion retail website Zozotown in 2004.
The uniqueness of Maezawa’s brand lies in its offshoot ZOZO, a custom-fit clothing brand, and ZOZOSUIT, an at-home measurement system. This makes easy for Zozotown’s customers to fit into its clothes and has made the brand immensely popular.
A collector by heart
The Japanese billionaire, who has been ranked 18th in Forbes’ 2018 list of Japan’s 50 richest people, is an avid art collector. He collects modern art and plans to build a museum in Chiba, east of Tokyo, someday. In an interview to Forbes last year, a passionate Maezawa said, “I’d like to emphasize in the construction (of the museum) that each work of art plays a leading role in the museum. I’m also particular about the colour of the lighting and the walls, the feel of the material and the height of the ceiling.” In 2016, he had purchased paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso, which had cost him about $80 million.
With SpaceX’s announcement, Maezawa has also become the first passenger who will be travelling to the moon since the United States’ Apollo missions ended in 1972.