Who is Yusaku Maezawa?
Yusaku Maezawa is a Japanese entrepreneur best known as the first commercial passenger due to fly to the Moon. On September 17, 2018, American space transportation services company, ‘SpaceX,’ announced that Yusaku Maezawa would be the first ever private tourist to fly to the Moon on their specially designed ‘Big Falcon Rocket’ (BFR). Yusaku is also known as one of the top businessmen in Japan and the owner of the popular online fashion website, ‘Zozotown.’ He also has a strong social media presence as his verified Instagram page has over 199,000 followers. He also has an official Twitter page with more than 345,000 followers.
Childhood & Early Life
Yusaku Maezawa was born on November 22, 1975, in Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He went to the ‘Waseda Jitsugyo High School,’ where he was part of a band named ‘Switch Style.’ The band even released an extended play in the 1993. After his high school, Yusaku moved to the United States of America with his girlfriend. In the US, Yusaku started collecting records and CDs, which would later become the basis for his first company. He returned to Japan in 1995 and started his maiden company, which sold imported CDs and albums of popular musicians. The idea of selling foreign music CDs through mail was a hit and that encouraged Yusaku to come up with similar business plans.
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Yusaku used the money earned from his maiden business to start a company called ‘Start Today.’ The company was established on May 21, 1998, and by 2000, his company had begun selling clothing on an online platform. Four years later, ‘Start Today’ launched its retail clothing website, ‘Zozotown,’ which would go on to become one of the largest online fashion retail websites in Japan. The company later launched brands, such as ‘Zozo’ and ‘Zozosuit’ and became a major online retail brand in Japan. ‘Zozosuit,’ which offers custom-fit clothes, has customers in more than 72 countries. The current head office of ‘Start Today’ is located at Chiba, Japan.
Love for Art
In 2012, Yusaku Maezawa founded ‘Contemporary Art Foundation’ in an attempt to support young and contemporary artists. Yusaku has always been an art lover and has an impressive collection of art works from all over the world. At an auction in May 2016, he bought several art works of artists such as Bruce Nauman, Richard Prince, Alexander Calder, and Jeff Koons. He created a significant buzz at the auction by purchasing an untitled work by Jean-Michel Basquiat for a record price of $57.3 million. He spent over $98 million at the action over a period of two days. He once again grabbed the media attention in May 2017, when he broke the record for the costliest purchase at an auction by buying another art work of Jean-Michel Basquiat for a whopping $110.5 million. Yusaku Maezawa plans to open a museum in Chiba to display his extraordinary collection of art. His love for art is such that Yusaku has decided to take with him a small group of artists in his first voyage to the Moon.
Flying Across Barriers
On September 17, 2018, ‘SpaceX’ announced that Yusaku Maezawa would be the first ever commercial passenger to fly to the Moon. As part of their lunar tourism mission, ‘SpaceX’ has been developing a fully reusable launch vehicle called BFR. The company is now confident of sending its customers to the Moon, with Yusaku as its first passenger. The flight is set to happen in 2023, for which Yusaku has started a project called ‘Dear Moon.’ According to the project, artists like painters, musicians, film directors, and fashion designers will fly to the Moon along with Yusaku Maezawa. Through the project, Yusaku aims at inspiring artists all over the world.
Apart from business and art, Yusaku Maezawa is also passionate about music. As a young man, he was part of a band in which he played the drums. His band had even signed with a major record label, ‘Bertelsmann Music Group.’ However, he took a break from his music career in 2001 to focus on his business. In May 2017, ‘Forbes’ estimated his net worth to be around $3.6 billion, which makes him one of the richest business tycoons of Japan. Yusaku is active on social media and has thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. Details regarding his relationships are obscure apart from the fact that he is currently divorced with a kid.