Meet MEGA’s New Fashion Director: Ryuji Shiomitsu

Meet MEGA’s New Fashion Director: Ryuji Shiomitsu


As a storyteller, Ryuji is ready to tell the world what Philippine fashion is all about.

Related: The Stylists Of The 30th MEGA Anniversary Go Beyond Just Glitz & Glamour

Ryuji Shiomitsu’s name is almost a regular in MEGA’s monthly issues. His impactful, pragmatic and purpose driven work brings not just the most inspired editorials but stories that can actually move people. Now that he’s helming everything style and fashion in MEGA Magazine as the new Fashion Director, let’s take a look at how he started (and no, it wasn’t initially in fashion), how his creative process works, and what his vision is for the local fashion scene.


With Ryuji’s incredible talent, who would’ve thought ​​that his career in the fashion industry was brought by sweet serendipity?

“It was so unexpected that to this day I’m surprised that I’m in the creative industry. I was set to take my civil service exam and work my way up the ranks towards working for the United Nations,” says Ryuji, who graduated with a degree in International Studies before entering fashion.

It was through his friend Alyssa Maru, who is now a lawyer, that he was introduced to the world of fashion. It was her who wanted to go to fashion school. Ryuji simply accompanied her on weekends but little did he expect that he’d end up intrigued and inspired by the whole fashion process. Before he knew it, fashion was already a part of him.

“I was so entranced by the passion of my mentor, fashion designer John Herrera and his late brother, bag designer Paul Herrera, and all the designer-instructors I met in school that I stayed at,” Ryuji shares.

While in school, he crossed paths with photographer Rxandy Capinpin, makeup artist Hanna Pechon and hair stylist Jay Wee. They created a powerful synergy within the group that made photoshoots almost like a daily routine. This eventually led them to build their own portfolios. In 2010, Suki Salvador scouted Ryuji and asked him to be interviewed for MEGA. Right after the interview, Ryuji was assigned to work on the fashion section under Teej Nepomuceno—and that’s how his MEGA journey began. From styling covers, fashion editorials to features, Ryuji has always been part of the MEGA Universe, and so when Editor-in Chief Peewee Reyes-Isidro broached the idea of joining the team, his immediate answer was a resounding yes.


Ryuji’s creative process usually starts with an intuition, then an idea, followed by a color palette, eventually an art style, and so on. To him, it comes randomly and instantly.

“When I start formulating a fashion story, the first thing I do is think of a photographer. I usually look for a photographer that would fit the aesthetic of the story I’m trying to do. Second, I build up the fashion, gradually developing the looks required to create flow. Then I try to look for a model and shoot! I get inspired by movies, runway shows, music videos, celebrities, fashion designers—everything!” Ryuji says.

This local talent is not just a fashion stylist by practice. He also spent time being an instructor at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. Ryuji found it truly fulfilling to teach and impart his knowledge to his students. For him, teaching was a chance to relearn and rethink fashion differently, and it was his students who taught him that point of views truly vary.

“‘Fashion is a conversation not a monologue’ served as my guiding principle as I work in the industry. I believe the local fashion industry is very much alive and thriving in the new world, with so many up and coming talents in photography, creative direction, styling, hair and makeup. The Philippine fashion industry can only grow bigger and better. It is now our responsibility to help build an environment that encourages growth and creativity for the future generation,” Ryuji explains.


With all the work Ryuji has done with One Mega Group Inc., it was almost impossible to pick out the best ones—but there are definitely those that stand out.

He first named the MEGA X Cirque du Soleil fashion editorial he did for the July 2011 issue as one of his memorable works. It was photographed by Milo Sogueco with model Danica Magpantay. He especially loves this editorial because it featured a mix of local established designers and young designers.

Second, Ryuji lists his first MEGA cover, which incidentally were two covers that starred Kathryn Bernardo, Jessy Mendiola and Xian Lim, while the second one featured Alden Richards, Bela Padilla, Sarah Lahbati and Kris Bernal.

Also part of his favorite MEGA works is his fashion editorial inspired by Audrey Hepburn and the old Hollywood glamor, photographed by Jerick Sanchez with model Bronija Ales. It was produced using all custom pieces Ryuji commissioned from local designers.

And then next would be his editorial with Jasmine Curtis-Smith, which was also photographed by Sanchez. Legendary fashion photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Pennblack were paid homage to as well as the art of black and white photography, creating a modern twist to the modern woman.

And lastly, making it to his top five best works would be the March 2022 cover—the mark of his first day as Fashion Director of MEGA. It features Bianca Gonzales, Bea Soriano and Vania Romoff in smart, beautiful modern dressing fit for the alpha woman.

“I’m a storyteller. My medium is fashion and clothes. I would like to tell relevant stories that are both inspirational and aspirational. When they see an image in MEGA, I want our readers to be inspired to dress up, explore fashion they haven’t tried before, see themselves wearing it, and acknowledge that fashion is fun. I want them to fall in love with fashion all over again!” says Ryuji.

With his brilliance, creativity and passion, Ryuji’s chapters with MEGA are already written—and he just flipped the next page.

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