|Fashion Focus: Tofu Cute|
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your brand and its identity. Who is it aimed at?
Tofu Cute is aimed at anyone with an interest in the kawaii side of Japanese culture. In Japan and other East-Asian countries, cuteness or kawaii is a big part of everyday life. We aim to bring a slice of that to the UK, it would be great if kawaii became widely accepted for adults and older teens!
What/who inspired you to start up your own brand?
Our inspiration came from a number of places - firstly, visits to Hong Kong, where some department stores dedicate an entire floor to kawaii items. Japanese kawaii brands and characters such as Sanrio (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars), San-X (Rilakkuma, Mamegoma, Tarepanda), Kamio and Crux - many of these super cute things are aimed at adults just as much as kids! Lolita brands such as Angelic Pretty and BtSSB, which allow girls and women to incorporate all kinds of delicious and kawaii things into their daily outfits.
How long have you been established and what has been the response so far?
We opened our online store in June 2010, and have been growing fast ever since. We started off specialising in kawaii stationery and small accessories such as phone charms, and also Japanese snacks and sweets. We got a great response at conventions and Japanese festivals around the UK, and so we plan to attend even more this year. Our range of snacks has dramatically increased, but we have also noticed a growing interest in cute accessories from the Lolita community, as a result, we have begun to branch out into lolita socks, dresses and blouses, as well as more "grown-up" (but still cute!) accessories.
What other parts of HYPER JAPAN 2012 Spring are you looking forward too?
We hear that the fashion area will be a lot larger than it was in 2011, so we're very excited to be selling our clothing and accessories ranges alongside all the wonderfully skilled independent brands for lolita and other styles. We're looking forward to seeing the amazing outfits of many of the visitors! We've also got a unit selling fun and unusual Japanese sweets and snacks in the cuisine section, next to On Cafe - hopefully they'll trade some of their delicious macarons for our delicious sweets! ;D
What is your must have or spotlight item?
It's so hard to choose just one! We'll be debuting some of our beautiful Jewelled Macaron Charms at Hyper Japan Spring 2012. They look lovely on a necklace chain. We also have our range of Wara Neko purses, cosmetic cases and tote bags with kawaii kitty faces, and not forgetting, our popular Lolita Candy JSK!
Interview by Michaela Baker