Gwen Stefani rode her so-called “Harajuku girls” to a comeback about a decade ago. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry have frequently flirted with Japanese street style. And earlier this year, Avril Lavigne even abused its style again in the abomination that was her “Hello Kitty” music video.
But don’t get it mixed up – Harajuku is just the name for a fashionable Tokyo neighborhood, the center of Tokyo’s most out-there street style. The bright, cartoon look flogged by western celebs is just one Harajuku style—alternately called decora, because it’s, uh, highly decorative, or kawaii, for cute.
And it pretty much came from here – 6% Dokidoki, the clothing and accessories boutique run by artist and designer Sebastian Masuda. Not only do American pop stars love his creations, but so does Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, the hottest pop icon currently going in Japan.
Fusion met Masuda in Tokyo at his Harajuku shop to clear up Japanese street style misconceptions and talk the global language of kawaii–that means cute.
Shot by Ingrid Rojas
Edited by Jesse Swinger