In the shadow of fast fashion and giant department stores, it seems as if Harajuku fashion is officially dead. Gone are the days when a visit to Takeshita Street promised to yield a few pictures gyaru style, fairy kei, and legendary decora style. While you might not see the aforementioned “Harajuku kids” as much anymore, that doesn’t mean Harajuku style is dead. The fact that 6%DokiDoki is still standing is proof that the true spirit of Harajuku will never fade.
Created by Sebastian Matsuda, known as the “King of Kawaii” in Japan has given his artistic direction to the likes of Kyari Pamyu Pamyu, the Kawaii Monster Cafe, Nicki Minaj, and BlackPink. The landmark store 6%DokiDoki has been a staple of the Harajuku fashion scene since it first opened in 1995. Subtle isn’t part of the brand at all. Instead, 6% ‘s image is “sensational and lovely”—which is how we hope all our clothing makes us feel every day.
Visiting the shop can be a little intimidating at first. My everyday look is nowhere close to the artful style of decora. I was greeted by a youthful staff member dressed head to toe in bright colors reminiscent of a raver. Visiting the 6% shop was much smaller than what I envisioned in my head. The store is located in a small building in the back streets of ura-harajuku on the second floor.
For a moment I was a little disappointed that maybe I wouldn’t be able to find anything here despite how much I had hoped for a little memorabilia. After a few moments, the shopkeeper politely and excitedly explained to me how to wear and try on some of the more intricate pieces. But ultimately I decided it might be easier to slowly introduce myself to the sensational aesthetics the store has to offer and settled on a new tiny lip-shaped bag for the small price of ￥4,000.
Something I really like about the brand despite its small image, it does try to be inclusive across genders, sizes, and races. 6% just launched a line of plus-size clothing going all the way up to 4XL. Across the website and Instagram pages, you can easily find non-Japanese models showing off their latest finds from 6%DokiDoki as well. It’s such a rare feeling for brands in Japan to offer inclusivity and I’m hoping this is only the beginning of a new fashion revolution.
Even with current trends taking a turn in the direction of mass-produced fashion, it’s comforting to see this small shop continue to stand the test of time. Although the streets are no longer filled with whimsical 90’s Japanese fashion, I’m sure in a few years we’ll start to see a new revival of these eccentric styles with 6%DokiDoki once again at the forefront.
Mood: Kawaii Explosion