Inside the weird and wonderful Japanese clothing magazine, FRUiTS

Started in 1997 by photographer Shoichi Aoki the now defunct monthly magazine FRUiTS was created as a way of documenting the changing landscape of how individuals interpret and express themselves through alternative clothing styles. Aoki, also famous for starting Japanese magazine STREET in 1985, began photographing locals and tourists who had adapted their styles to the wider clothing subcultures such as the Punk and Goth movements. 

As well as this, many of the styles were influenced by the subculture "Lolita" which drew inspiration from children's clothing through the Edwardian and Victorian times and the "Late baroque" era of European history. This was characterised by typically regal attire with decadent embroidery, contrasting colours and pastels.

To help you understand how important this sub-culture was to the wider interpretation of Japanese style throughout the 90s & 00s, we've laid out 3 of the most popular sub-sets of the Lolita style.

Gothic

 

Classic

 

Cute. 

Aside from these these 3 'Lolita' subcultures, there also came numerous iterations such as "Sailor", "Princess" and "Steampunk".

By focusing on clothing sub-cultures outside the norm, minimal advertising from local business and photographing passers-by rather than models, FRUiTS started to gain a loyal following as an artistic platform for Tokyo's residents who wanted inspiration as much as appreciation for the world of alternative Japanese fashion. 

Sadly though, FRUiTS closed off its publications in February 2017 after 20 years and 223 issues with Aoki giving the statement that "there were no more cool kids to photograph", as Japanese fashion began moving back into the mainstream. 

Although FRUiTS magazines are now hard to come by in print, https://archive.org/details/fruitsmagazine has a whole list of old issues which you can browse online and maybe get a bit of inspiration for yourself while you're there. 

Enjoy...

 

Note: Secret street Tailors does do not own any of the photos above, they are purely for editorial purposes. 

 

 

 

Dan Phillips