The Michigan-based art teacher has gained over 20k followers who are obsessed with her runway-ready lewks
Fighting off fierce competition from twerking toddlers and pretty puppies is Mrs Masuda, a high school art teacher based in Michigan who has enchanted TikTok with her incredibly chic lewks. “My yearbook class was doing a story on TikTok and one of my juniors recorded me in the background,” explains Mrs Masuda. “It got more likes than her other videos and my freshman girls begged me to do one on the outfit of the day. I decided to try it and my students loved it, so I just kept it up.”
However you think a high school art teacher is “supposed” to dress, throw it away right now. Mrs Masuda’s eclectic looks could come straight off the runway. This black faux leather dress with gold chain trim and matching boots? Totally Bottega Veneta. An oversized blazer with dark stonewash jeans and casual vintage tee looks right out of Vetements’ latest lookbook. Jacquemus, Céline (not Celine), Balenciaga – she has a take on it all, put together without breaking the bank in a mix of vintage finds and independent designers (often ex-students).
Unsurprisingly, the app is eating. her. up. Amassing a loyal fandom of 22k followers who love to see Masuda’s outfit of the day and help her choose their faves. “The reception has been very positive, I’m so surprised that there’s so much interest and positive reactions to my posts,” she says. “The first thing my students will talk about as they come into class is if I did a video or something about one that I’ve posted. It seems to make me somewhat more relatable to them.”
“There is no one who can do you better than yourself. Take risks and finally, be the light in the world. You matter!” – Mrs Masuda
Ultimately, Mrs Masuda hopes her newfound fame will encourage her students to be themselves and take risks (BRB, crying). Her advice? “There is no one who can do you better than yourself. Take risks and finally, be the light in the world. You matter!” Wise words we could all benefit from.
Here, we speak to fashion’s newest icon about her fashion memories, where she finds her pieces, and the message she has for her adoring fans.
What is your earliest fashion-related memory?
Mrs Masuda: Pencil skirts. I can still clearly see in my mind the first pencils skirts I saw in the early 1960s. I don’t think I was even in school yet when I had this memory, so I might have been maybe four years old.
How do you use fashion to assert your identity?
Mrs Masuda: My outfit of the day always connects with my mood or the energy I need for the day. I like to wear my highest heels on the days that I have to deal with somebody taller than I am, so I can look them in the eye. I feel that it puts me on an even playing field.
Your looks are so chic. Where do you get inspiration from?
Mrs Masuda: I’m drawn to colour, but I love taking risks. Some of my outfits fail, but just like everything in life; you learn from it and move on. Tomorrow is a new day!
“Some of my outfits fail, but just like everything in life; you learn from it and move on. Tomorrow is a new day” – Mrs Masuda
Who are some of your favourite designers and why?
Mrs Masuda: Presley Bergmooser and Uphill Designs are two of my favourite independent designers right now. I love their passion for creating and the “ownership” they have for everything they create. I really understand where they’re coming from in that respect; whenever I have made something for somebody else, I want them to love and care for it, so I put so much of myself into it.
You talk a lot about independent designers and personally made pieces – why is that important to you?
Mrs Masuda: Often they are my friends and former students – I know they work hard and have such a drive and passion. I can see it in every stitch, stone selection, and stroke of the brush. It’s not the passion I feel in ready-to-wear pieces. Naturally, I’m not able to wear everything from independent designers, but every day I select at least something so that I can carry their energy with me.
What are some of your favourite fashion items you own?
Mrs Masuda: I simply love the dress I wore to one of my husband’s art openings, it’s like liquid metal. I love the dress I wore to my daughter’s wedding, a black tulip skirt I picked up at a small boutique in Vermont. Also, the white Zara dress I wore on date night with my husband recently. What they all have in common is lots of sequins, crystals, and drama.
What message would you like to give to your fans and followers?
Mrs Masuda: The most important thing I would like to say is: thank you for the support and thank you for following me. I am truly grateful and humbled that people are interested in my fashion and my thoughts. Additionally, I’d like to say ‘be yourself’. There is no one who can do you better than yourself. Take risks and finally, be the light in the world. You matter!
What impact has your TikTok fame had on your students?
Mrs Masuda: My students have told me that they have friends in other states, on sports teams, or others outside of our community who ask them if they have me as a teacher. It’s so surprising for them.
Our school is small enough that even students I don’t currently have will tell me that their mom, aunt, or sisters love to discuss my outfits with them. They’re always keeping up with the number of followers I have and continue to cheer me on.
What do you hope they get from having an amazingly creative teacher who loves to express herself?
Mrs Masuda: All I want from my students is for them to be confident, take risks, be themselves, be problem-solvers, and to enjoy every day.