As Owner + Managing Director of MARAIS, Australia’s leading luxury fashion retailer and exclusive distributor of Céline, Givenchy + Off White (to name a few), Hiromi Yu knows quality and excellence when she sees it.
There’s a discerning eye which permeates every facet of her business—from MARAIS’s meticulous curation of elusive luxury pieces, to an unfaltering commitment to customer service—and this appreciation of excellence is also a befitting characteristic of the RATIONALE Luminary, who demands superlative results and radiance in their skincare.
Hiromi’s jet-setting lifestyle takes her to fashion events the world over, and this Luminary has elevated international travel to nothing short of an art form. Case in point: on the set of our Luminary shoot, Hiromi produces an unassuming backpack from which she unfurls immaculate pieces from Dior, Chloe + Givenchy like some sort of modern day Mary Poppins. Here at RATIONALE HQ, we have a special sort of regard for this level of sartorial prowess.
Paying obeisance to her mother’s good skin genes and her beloved Superfluid SPFs, Hiromi talks to us about her current skin rituals, and how she changes up her routine based on where in the world she finds herself.
Do you remember your first experiments in beauty?
When I was young I had a very uneven skin tone and had blemishes constantly—so my first experiments with beauty unfortunately involved applying thick, heavy foundation all over my face to try and cover this.
Skincare with active ingredients cost an absolute fortune back then—more than I could afford—so cover-ups were the only option for me. I would apply blush to try and distract from the acne on my cheeks…little did I know I was actually drawing attention to it!
What’s a daily non-negotiable for you now?
My SPF—I wear it every single day. Most of us think that sunscreen is only needed for protecting yourself in the sun, little do we realise that damage can occur from pollution and incidental light (from mobile phones, screens etc.) regardless of whether the sun is shining or not! I love RATIONALE’s Superfluid SPFs because I know that they protect my skin from all of this damage, plus the formula adds an incredible glow to my skin.
Growing up, did anyone’s skincare routine influence your outlook on beauty today?
I remember looking at my mother’s skin when I was young and admiring her perfectly even skin tone, something which she inherited from her mother who I never had the opportunity of meeting.
My mother’s generation, and the generations before her, didn’t have the same access to the ingredients or technology that we do today, but she still managed to look after herself and treat her skin well.
How do you feel about your skin now, compared to when you were younger?
These days I feel a lot more confident about knowing what my skin needs, and being able to tweak my routine based on where in the world I am. I travel—a lot!—for my work, so for me it’s about knowing which products I can swap in and out of my routine based on climate or continent.
What beauty items can you not leave the house without?
Mascara—it’s the only makeup I wear now.
What did you want to be when you were young?
I’ve always loved food, so when I was young I wanted to be a chef.
What made you want to become what you are today?
It was really a strong sense of self-motivation which led me to becoming what I am today. I was trained in a completely different industry—and formally worked in computer programming—but I saw an opportunity in the luxury fashion market and seized upon it. So a lot of my learning was self-taught and self-motivated.
Best part of your job?
The look on our customers’ faces when they discover the range at MARAIS, or when they find an exact piece that they’ve been longing for—it’s priceless! We pride ourselves on having an exclusive range of pieces that aren’t available anywhere else in the world, and we also place a huge emphasis on client service, so when we can help someone find a gem it really is something special.
What do you value most in life?
My relationship with my parents. I have a few really great relationships with people in my life, but my parents have built the foundations for who I am today.
What’s the best career (or life) advice you’ve ever received?
Dive fully into everything you do, and do whatever it takes to be a good leader to your team.