Kyoto Shimbun 2012.2.26 News

Kyoto as Lolita Fashion Mecca
Ritsumeikan University Students' Endeavors

In order for Kyoto to become known as a mecca of "Lolita Fashion," Ritsumeikan University College of Image Arts and Sciences, Kita Ward, Kyoto, as well as art-related colleges and universities, schools specializing in fashion and others in Kyoto City, are making cooperative efforts. They have explored the possibility by holding tea parties, Kyoto-themed Lolita fashion design contests and other events to hear the opinions of this fashion's enthusiasts. They would like to incorporate items such as braided cords and ribbons from the garment industries and traditional industries of Kyoto, saying, "We want to come up with a business model created in the local area."

Lolita fashion is a fashion style that expresses girlish innocence, impish cuteness and so on. This is different from fashion, created by designers or apparel makers, or "Cosplay," or dressing in costumes; rather, it is "Street Fashion," originated and supported by young people who gather in the city.

Koichi Hosoi, a professor in the College of Image Arts and Sciences of Ritsumeikan University and a specialist in business administration, and his students, who have been focusing on the trends among young people, launched "Kyoto Street Fashion Concept Study Group" with a subsidy in fiscal 2010 from "Kyoto San-Gaku-Kou Renkei Kikou," an industry-university cooperative institution, and have explored the possibility of making Kyoto over as a "Lolita Fashion" mecca through events and other activities.

Previously, they held a tea gathering for Lolita fashion lovers. They said that as well as feedback, including "There are few events for Lolita fashion in Kyoto," they also observed some young people hung around together after the tea party. They also designed and produced Lolita fashion incorporating kimono material, braided cords and other items which reflect Kyoto traditional industries.

They would like to advance discussions on production and sales with local businesses and students of fashion-related studies in the future. A student representative, who is a senior at Ritsumeikan University, said, "We would like to listen to young Lolita fashion lovers' responses and apply what we learn to the future." Professor Hosoi said with expectation, "We hope to develop a local business model, which is created in local communities using Kyoto traditional industries."

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= Students aim to send out information on Lolita fashion from Kyoto (Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto)