The countdown to kawaii has begun! On December 9th, Rune Boutique will make its world debut at the Royal/T Cafe in Los Angeles. The event’s organizers came together in Tokyo this week to officially introduce the Rune Boutique concept to the Japanese media.
The L.A. event will feature original artwork by Japan’s “father of kawaii” Rune Naito, a fashion show from Harajuku “sensational kawaii” fashion brand 6%DOKIDOKI, the American debut of Japan’s reigning queen of kawaii Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a popup shop, special goods from Medicom Toy, and much more.
The Rune Boutique press event at Parco Shibuya was attended by all of the major participants – including Sebastian Masuda of 6%DOKIDOKI, Yoshiharu Honma of the Rune Naito estate, and Medicom founder/CEO Tatsuhiko “Ryu” Akashi. All of the cast members (Japanese models dressed as Rune Naito characters) were on hand as well: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu as “Candy”, Shiho Takechi as “Beauty”, Yuka as “Drugs”, and Fumiko Aoyagi as “Savon”.
We reported the on the Rune Boutique when the event was first announced in November, but more information was released at this week’s Tokyo press conference. In addition to specifics about the debut party, there was also much discussion about the importance of Rune Naito and his art in the birth of kawaii culture in Japan. Way back in 1971 – three years before the most famous Japanese kawaii character of all, Hello Kitty, was born – Rune Naito’s big-eyed “Runepanda” launched a kawaii boom across Japan.
Sebastian Masuda from 6%DOKIDOKI talked a lot about how he became involved with the project, eventually taking the role as the producer of Rune Boutique. While Sebastian is from a younger generation than Rune Naito, the two men share a belief in the power of “kawaii” to make the world a better place. Sebastian also had an onstage chat with longtime Rune Naito collaborator Yoshiharu Honma. Mr. Honma shared stories about Rune Naito, and said that a project like this is something that Naito had dreamed about during his life. Tatsuhiko Akashi, the founder of Medicom Toy, also joined Sebastian onstage to discuss how and why he became involved with Rune Boutique.
Some of the kawaii items that will be available at the popup shop were previewed for the press (see pictures below) and the following details about the Los Angeles Rune Boutique launch party were confirmed:
When: Friday, December 9, 2011 from 8pm-12am
Where: Royal/T Cafe, Culver City (Map Here)
The schedule for the Rune Boutique party will include:
- 6%DOKIDOKI Fashion Show – featuring Japanese models (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, etc.) and the 6%DOKIDOKI shop girls directly from Harajuku.
- Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Appearance – not sure exactly what Kyary will be doing at this appearance, but whatever it is, it will definitely be cute. Everything Kyary does is cute.
- 6%DOKIDOKI Mens Line – the worldwide debut of the 6%DOKIDOKI menswear line. We didn’t see a preview of this yet. Should be exciting.
- Rune Naito Art Exhibition – featuring artwork from his long career, including works rarely seen by the public.
- Rune Naito Fashion Contest – attendees can win prizes by dressing up like characters from Rune Naito’s paintings. See all of the contest details here.
- Popup Shop – a popup shop will be selling Japanese fashion, Japanese character goods, and other cute items.
- Medicom Toy – the toy company who brought the world Bearbrick (along with millions of other awesome toys & figures) will be selling special items for this event.
- Model Autographs/Greeting Session – Kyary, Yuka, Vani, and maybe other Harajuku models will be signing autographs and greeting fans.
- Attendee Street Snaps – various photographers will be on hand to photograph the cute fashion everyone is wearing for publication on websites (including this one) and possibly in magazines.
- Food Trucks – some of the best food trucks in Los Angeles are expected.
The Rune Boutique popup shop at Royal/T Cafe will run from December 9, 2011 through January 9, 2012.
We shot video at the press conference, but we’re still working on English subtitles for you. In the meantime, please enjoy our pictures of the Rune Boutique team, each of them working hard to bring Japanese kawaii to the world. They’re looking forward to seeing you in Los Angeles on December 9th!
Click any of the Rune Boutique photographs to enlarge them.
If you’re near Southern California, we definitely encourage you to get out to this first-of-its-kind event. At the press conference, the Rune Boutique organizers said that they would love to bring Japanese kawaii fashion and art to other countries as well. Assuming that the Los Angeles event is a big success, anything is possible in the future!
For more information on the Rune Boutique in Los Angeles, please check all of the following links:
- Rune Boutique Official Website
- Los Angeles Rune Boutique Facebook Event Page
- 6%DOKIDOKI Facebook Page
- Bubble Punch Official Website
- Medicom Toy Official Website
- Rune Naito Official Website
Rune Boutique press conference photographs by Kira. Logos and other artwork is property of Rune Boutique.