JENNY CHO

JENNY CHO

LIFE IMITATING ART

Hairstylist Jenny Cho remembers a most cinematic visit to Tokyo.

Tokyo’s Shinjuku Park Tower, where the Park Hyatt occupies the top floors, photograph courtesy of Flickr; previous and proceeding: stills from Lost in Translation

Traveling with a celebrity is a completely different experience than traveling on one’s own.

I learned that in 2003, when, just after Lost in Translation debuted, I went on a press tour with my very first client, Ashlee Simpson, that kicked-off in Japan.

I was 25, and hadn’t been to the country since I was a little kid. Ashlee’s bandmates, assistant, mom, and I flew business class — another first for me — and stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the hotel featured in the film. I couldn’t help but think, ‘This is exactly like the movie.’

The minute we arrived, tons of greeters lined up to meet us and then bowed as we walked through the lobby. Another was waiting for us at the elevator — they were everywhere.

I remember looking out my room’s window at the city covered in fog while strange music played. It was so surreal.

And even though we were only in Tokyo for three days, we had the time of our lives.

It was kind of like summer camp. We did everything together: partied all night, sang karaoke, shopped, and ate incredible food.

I was so lucky to be there at someone else’s expense — and that my hair tools were compatible with Japanese outlets!

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Hairstylist Neil Grupp meets a mentor, inside stylist Jeanne Yang’s mid-century modern Los Angeles home.