Today I want to share an interesting article about Lolita with you. The article mainly deals with how such an extraordinary fashion style like Lolita and the "Kawaii"-culture in general could evolve in Japan, and only in Japan! It is really a phenomenon why you don't find something similar in other countries.
Also you can read about why the brands are so expensive and that the emloyees and owner of the brands actually are far away from being rich.
The article can be downloaded here: www.stanford.edu/group/sjeaa/journal111/Japan5.pdf
It is written by Teresa Younker who is a student from the USA (but I think she is Japanese) and she had the oppurtunity to work at Btssb and Mary Magdalene.
|Picture from "Kamikaze Girls" movie|
Here some interesting quotes if you don't want to read everything:
~ "Cuteness is used to soften up the vertical society, to soften power relations and present authority without being threatening."
~ "Unlike in much of the West, where adulthood is seen as a period of freedom, in Japan adulthood is viewed by many young people as a gloomy period of heavy burdens."
~ "Adulthood in Japan [...] places special burdens on women. [...] Unfortunately, life after marriage is not a glowing picture of family bliss. Mothers are discouraged from social life and increasingly expected to devote themselves to supporting their children’s trajectory through the education system.
Against this social background it is no surprise that cuteness has gained such widespread popularity and that Japanese cute focuses so squarely on childishness."
~ "By acting selfish and childish, the Lolita contradicts nearly every single “traditional” Japanese value: self discipline, responsibility, self-sacrifice, and hard work. She is saying, “I’m a spoiled, immature little brat and I like it that way!"
~ (about Mary Magdalene:) "They would usually only produce around 50 of each item, but each item would be impeccable. A staff member would personally inspect each product, remove lose threads, and iron it before it shipped out. The staff salaries were quite low. The starting salary at the time was JP¥700 an hour (US$8), and even the CEO could not have been making much. He ate sack lunches, shopped for used clothing, and rode his bike to work every day."
~ "Although Baby has larger operations than Mary, they encounter similarly high production costs and rely mostly on staff dedication to make ends meet. There were moments when I was amazed they could afford to stay in business, and it was clear that everyone working there, including the CEO and designers, were not in it for the money. Although the company spent considerable sums on marketing and goodies for their customers, they kept their labor costs very low. The average salary for a shop staffer was JP¥800 (US$9) an hour, and the highest paid workers were only paid JP¥1000 (US$10)."
Thank you for reading,