there are no more cool kids to photograph
If you don't already know, Japan is home to some of the best and wackiest street fashion. The best outfits can be found across Tokyo, in urban districts such as Harajuku and Shinjuku. Harajuku is known for its renowned street art and quirky fashion. Traditional hand-printed kimonos have been replaced with eccentric fashion subcultures including Cosplay, Gothic Lolita, and kawaii Decora.
Since 1997, the rise and fall of various trends have been captured by photographer Shoichi Aoki in the notable fashion magazine, FRUiTS. The magazine specifically focuses on the individual styles and challenges the mainstream trends. It quickly rose to become an influence for designers and creatives alike, giving a voice to the street fashion of Japan.
Sadly, the street style bible stopped publication in February 2017 after 20 years and 233 issues, after Aoki announced: "there are no more cool kids to photograph".
However, there is still hope. With thanks to fashion designers Virgil Abloh and Demna Gvasalia, Aoki has noticed a re-birth of upcoming street fashion and is now working on a FRUiTS relaunch (Yaas Aoki!).
If you can't wait that long definitely check out the Instagram page @fruitsmag and archive page @fruits_magazine_archives for reposts of previous issues. Aoki's private account @aoki_street.1985 also has recent pictures of Harajuku youths.
Japanese brands such as Comme des Garçons and A Bathing Ape have been prominent brands over the past years. If you’re more into streetwear, upcoming Japanese brands include:
- Wacko Maria
For more style inspiration check out the website www.tokyofashion.com for up-to-date street snaps.
Cosplay (costume play) involves portraying a character often from video games or comics.
Gothic Lolita is inspired by the Victorian era and Tim Burton films, featuring petticoats, lace, ruffles and dark colours.
Decora fashion features bright colours and lots of accessories to create a child-like appearance alongside toys.