Role Call | Yuki Iwashiro, Creative Director

Yuki Iwashiro, a creative director at agency Baron & Baron, says don’t chase a paycheck. Instead, learn from the people and companies that you admire the most.

Yuki Iwashiro of Baron & Baron | Photo: Maxime Poiblanc

There are few sectors of the economy that offer as wide and interesting a range of career opportunities as fashion. In our ongoing series published in conjunction with BoF Careers, the global marketplace for fashion talent, we highlight some of the industry’s most interesting jobs and the talented people who do them.

NEW YORK, United States — For almost two decades, Yuki Iwashiro has worked alongside French art director Fabien Baron at creative agency Baron & Baron. As a creative director, Iwashiro guides and oversees the development of advertising campaigns and other design and communications solutions for clients such as Nars and Calvin Klein.

BoF: Please describe your current role.

As a creative director, I collaborate with all of the departments at Baron & Baron to create, coordinate and implement branding strategies and communications for our clients in the areas of films, print, digital and product design.

BoF: What attracted you to the role?

The calibre of work and that people I get to work for and with.

BoF: What is the most exciting project or initiative you have worked on?

Every project is exciting, especially at the beginning, because [the start of a project is] the most creative moment when possibilities are open, ideas flourish and strategy and creative solutions align. After that, it’s a test of willpower and stamina to see the project through and maintain the vision to the end. Many of our projects take years before they are seen by the rest of the world.

BoF: How is your role changing? What are the forces driving this change?

Nothing stays the same. The needs of clients and the business environment are constantly changing. So we have adapted our thinking and our organisation. Also, the medium is changing. And with that, I’ve adapted. It’s beyond print, film and packaging now. I still love going to silkscreening studios, post houses, model making shops and glass manufacturing plants. But I’m just as inspired by conversations about technology. Ideas and creativity are everywhere and that gets me going. I love going to electronics trade shows and talking about Gorilla Glass, RFID and conductive paint. I love pushing ideas and production outside of the comfort zone. I hate hearing that something can’t be done. I can be relentless and I have a hard time letting go. That hasn’t changed.

BoF: Tell us about a time you failed and how you learned from it.

A long time went by before I realised I didn’t have to do everything myself. Early in my career, I felt I had to have my hand in every aspect of a project. It’s healthy and natural — and it’s good energy to have during the early years. It was difficult to let go of that control, but learning the benefit of involving others has been incredibly constructive. That’s been a wonderful thing to learn.

BoF: What advice do you have for people who are interested in doing what you do?

When you are getting started, learn from the people and companies that you admire the most. If you’re chasing a paycheck, you’re in the wrong business. Focus on being a successful creative. The rewards will follow.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

To explore exciting fashion industry roles like this and others, visit BoF Careers, the global marketplace for fashion talent.

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1 comment

  1. Don’t chase a paycheck, because food and rent are free? Rewards do not always follow. This kind of vapid advice is classist to say the least and not very helpful, especially for those young creatives that don’t have parents to support their creative whims.

    Jude Gabbard from San Francisco, CA, United States