|Organization||Start Today, Zozotown, ZOZO|
|Net worth||US$2 billion (June 2020)|
Yusaku Maezawa (前澤 友作, Maezawa Yūsaku, born 22 November 1975) is a Japanese billionaire, entrepreneur, and art collector. He founded Start Today in 1998 and launched the online fashion retail website Zozotown in 2004, now Japan's largest. Most recently, Maezawa introduced a custom-fit apparel brand ZOZO and at-home measurement system, the ZOZOSUIT, in 2018. As of January 2020 he is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $2 billion and is the 22nd richest person in Japan.
Maezawa began attending Waseda Jitsugyo High School in 1991, where he started up a band with his classmates called Switch Style, in which he was drummer. The band released their first EP in 1993. After graduating from high school, he decided not to go to college; instead he moved to the US with a girlfriend, where he started collecting CDs and records. When he returned to Japan in 1995, his album collection became the basis for his first company, which sold imported albums and CDs through the mail.
In 1998, Maezawa used the basis of the mail-order album business to launch the company Start Today.The same year, his band signed with the label BMG Japan. By 2000, Start Today had moved to an online platform, had begun selling clothing, and had become a public company. In 2001, Maezawa declared a hiatus on his music career. Start Today opened the retail clothing website Zozotown in 2004, and six years later, Start Today became a publicly traded company, listed on the "Mothers" Index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. By 2012, Start Today was listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Maezawa recently introduced ZOZO, a custom-fit clothing brand and the ZOZOSUIT, an at-home measurement system, in over 72 countries and territories.
Maezawa resigned from ZoZo in September 2019 after selling a stake of 50.1% in the company to SoftBank for US$3.7 billion (400 billion Yen). He also sold 30% of his personal stake in ZoZo to Yahoo Japan.
Maezawa is the founder of the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation, which he started in 2012 with a goal of "supporting young artists as a pillar of the next generation of contemporary art."The Contemporary Art Foundation currently hosts collection shows twice a year. In May 2016, Maezawa attracted significant media attention with a record purchase price at auction of $57.3 million for an Untitled (1982) artwork of a devil by Jean-Michel Basquiat, and broke a record again in May 2017 with a $110.5 million auction for another Untitled (1982) of a skull by the same artist. At the same 2016 auction, Maezawa bought pieces by Bruce Nauman, Alexander Calder, Richard Prince, and Jeff Koons, spending a total of $98 million over two days. Maezawa plans to open a contemporary art museum in Chiba, which will house his collection.
On 17 September 2018, it was announced that Maezawa will be the first commercial passenger to do a flyby around the Moon.He will fly onboard a SpaceX Starship, which has been in development since 2017. The flight is slated to take place no earlier than 2023 with a duration of nearly six days. He plans to take six to eight artists with him as a part of an art project he has created entitled #dearMoon.
On 5 January 2020, Maezawa successfully secured the most ever retweets for his Twitter message offering one million yen (approx US$9300) each to 1000 randomly selected people who retweeted the message and followed him.More than four million people ended up retweeting Maezawa's tweet and following him.
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s, where rap, punk, and street art coalesced into early hip-hop music culture. By the early 1980s, his neo-expressionist paintings were being exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. At 21, Basquiat became the youngest artist to ever take part in Documenta in Kassel. At 22, he was the youngest to exhibit at the Whitney Biennial in New York. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.
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Untitled is a painting created by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) in 1982. The artwork, which depicts a skull, is among the most expensive paintings ever purchased. In May 2017, it sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby's, the highest price ever paid at auction for work by an American artist.
La Hara is a painting created by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) in 1981. The artwork, which depicts a skeletal police officer, sold for $35 million at Christie's in May 2017. It is currently Basquiat's fifth highest auction record.
Untitled (Devil) is a painting created by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) in 1982. The artwork was sold at Christie's for $57.3 million in May 2016. At the time, that was the record for Basquiat's most expensive painting. It is currently Basquiat's second highest auction record.