With recent announcements by FRUiTS Magazine and KERA Magazine that they have ceased publishing print editions, it may be tempting to believe that all of the news coming out of Harajuku is bad. Fortunately, there is good news as well. Four young women at Bunka Fashion College just launched a new free independent Japanese fashion magazine called “FANATIC”.
FANATIC Magazine was intended from the start to be a print magazine, something that the producers believe is still needed even in an increasingly digital media world. For now, they plan to publish several issues of FANATIC a year. The frequency will increase if the magazine becomes more well known. Initial free distribution of FANATIC is through vintage shops, cafes, and brand boutiques in neighborhoods popular with Tokyo’s young and fashionable – including Harajuku, Koenji, and Shimokitazawa.
The first issue of FANATIC features Harajuku street snaps (in a format similar to FRUiTS) along with interviews with young Japanese designers, editorial shoots, and fashion-related articles (Japanese language). The feeling of the first issue is that of a high-quality fanzine. The magazine is created and published by young college students, so the design and content can be expected to evolve and improve over time.
We asked Rizna, Fuki, Haruka, and Mei to share the concept and purpose of FANATIC Magazine. When you meet the girls, they are all cutely-styled and colorful. As fun as they look, they’re very serious about this project. We translated their FANATIC Magazine manifesto into English below:
In order to raise up the fashion culture of contemporary Japan, Tokyo, and Harajuku, we four students of the Bunka Fashion College have launched FANATIC Magazine.
We are working every day to preserve the history of modern fashion through a resurrection of print media, focusing on the inexpressible things which will someday disappear from social media and the internet, shaping a new era of fashion that is both emotionally and visually vibrant as we create a chronicle for our own and future generations.
We are currently producing a free seasonal paper four times a year. Next year we will focus on announcements and sponsorships; it is our dream to receive a barcode and line shelves in bookstores around the country, and even around the world. For the time being – following our launch – we are focusing our distribution in vintage clothing stores and beauty salons in the Tokyo neighborhoods of Harajuku, Shimokitazawa, and Koenji. We will also accept orders through e-mail so that people outside Tokyo can get their hands on our magazine.
The theme of FANATIC’s first issue is “self-expression”. We have gathered together snapshots and projects with a focus on people who are able to express themselves and their own personality.
FANATIC Magazine is edited at the Student Center, and a lot of the people introduced in it are students themselves. The reason for this is that in today’s world, while people with a lot of followers on social media have their creations seen and evaluated, we still think it unfair that other students producing really interesting creations of their own are limited by how many social media followers they have. This is the forum for our desire to be more fair and to introduce a larger number of people to the Japanese students who will be responsible for fashion culture in the future, as we allow these children to spread their wings and expand their horizons.
In addition, our cover concept is “Remember how we felt back then, because we want to be our true selves.” Let’s begin by looking at the naked, unornamented self. That beating of your heart when you first like someone, when you first yearn for them. You’d forgotten that feeling, right? Let’s remember the true self, innocent, gentle, without ostentation, the self that was pure. We have produced a first issue in order to make people feel this way more and more as they turn the pages.
For more information on FANATIC Magazine, check the following links:
- FANATIC Magazine on Instagram
- FANATIC Magazine on Twitter
- FANATIC founders on Instagram: Rizna, Fuki, Haruka, Mei