Rising actor, pro skater, and brands' fave model.
Try to remember something you wanted so much as a child and ended up leaving behind as you grew up. Pressure, responsibilities, this kind of thing makes everyone drop a little of their essence, become more automatic, and be less creative. But some brilliant minds manage to stay true to it, in a nontraditional way, like skateboarder-actor-model Nico Hiraga who since childhood creates spaces where he can manifest his freedom.
A Californian raised in San Francisco, Hiraga keeps his mind open to all the possibilities his 23-year-old life has already offered and enjoys it one day at a time. So he picked the right companies when he joined the skate crew called Illegal Civ.
“It’s a skate company where we make clothes and videos. And we use our platform to tell kids they can do anything they want as long as they work hard, be positive, and be nice to people.” Said founder Mikey Alfred to i-D. Yes, it sounds like Nico to us.
Yes, he's an actor, a pro skater, a deconstructed form of heartthrob-y that isn't that typical golden boy and has become a fave face of brands and mags. He knows to match floral shirts, caps, and leather sneakers like we've never seen before. How to explain Nico Hiraga? Here go 4 reasons to stan.
If you met Hiraga through his role as Seth in Netflix's Riot Grrrl-inspired Moxie or in Booksmart, know that his true soul connection is with skateboarding. He got his first board at 9, and after that, he never left the skatepark, he even asked his parents to be homeschooled and so he'd be able to practice more, which they obviously didn't allow. Fortunately, so far, he hasn't had to separate his characters from their skater essence, which he considers positive. “I can give skateboarding a good name in the Hollywood industry, especially if I'm playing this good character,” he told Teen Vogue. Btw, watch North Hollywood too.
Keep it simple.
Besides not liking to wear shirts in general — all right — Nico doesn't like to plan fits or follow what appears to be massively used on social media. He’s natural. And because of this, many brands find him the perfect guy for chilling and lightful pics. Recently, for Wonderland, Nico wore Prada leather jackets for a biker vibe and Dior pieces that match his casual taste, like leather sneakers, hoodies, and prints. Don't ask him what he's going to wear or how he'll look in 6 years.
Lakai is a sportswear brand based in LA created for those who like to enjoy the history of skateboarding. And it was with them that Hiraga co-created the Cherry Blossom capsule collection, inspired by his Japanese heritage and the cherry blossom season in Japan. The leather sweaters, t-shirts, and sneakers with suede accents represent mindfulness, an enjoyment of the present moment, and his passion for skateboarding too.
Speak, include, represent.
Hiraga speaks openly and proudly about his Japanese heritage and how positive it is to see Asian people in roles that break away from stereotypes. With Seth, in Moxie, he saw himself as a heartthrob-y when he imagined that this role would be given to a white guy. Still, on the fresh-feminist movie, he believes it's a great way to open the minds of new gens about gender equality and that he learned a lot from the experience.
Keep your essence alive, like Nico.
Girls paving the way with their skateboards. Betty's here.