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One of the more bizarre posts I’ve made about gyaru brands and shop staff, Rady shop staff in Shinjuku Lumine EST were arrested and charged with stealing clothes.

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Rady charisma shop staff HyeonJeong and Risa currently in jail for theft.

Rady shop staff thievery news

On February 3rd three Rady shop staff were arrested at the main Shinjuku Lumine EST store. The one I previously talked about as one of the most successful stores in Tokyo.

I previously quoted in the gyaru decline article that “Rady currently reports profits from only its Shinjuku Lumine store as 60,000,000yen monthly. About $500k a month.”

Those arrested were current employees and popular shop staff Ko HyeonJeong (高賢貞) and Katsumata Risa (勝又里紗). Along with former staff member Kaida Ren (海江田廉) a guy.

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All three together including former shop staff Kaida Ren.

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Formal police layout to show the clothing they took.

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Taking around 25 coats and jackets worth about 10,000 USD

They were arrested for taking 1.1 million yen (around 10,000USD) worth of clothing last November through December from the Shinjuku Lumine Est warehouse in the basement below. Taking mostly big items like coats and jackets. The news program reports the items mostly coming from Hysteric Glamour which is a pricey denim and casual brand.

It has come out during the investigation that they have looted various warehouses and clothing thought to total 5 million yen ($45,000USD) starting in Spring 2014.

They realized they could enter a warehouse as long as they said they were shop staff and take whatever. They always took clothing from stores other than Rady.

According to a news report the people are reported as doing it solely for money.

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“I wanted some extra cash.” says Risa

In a statement they said they wanted some extra cash and their regular salary wasn’t cutting it. They made the money by reselling the clothes to thrift stores. The news program reports reselling mostly to a used store in Shimokitazawa.

Despite the glamorous appearance of shop staff, Rady Shop staff who work there only get paid around 880 yen an hour. For those curious HyeonJeong’s instagram.

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Risa being arrested

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HyeonJeong being taken away.

A news report about the thefts.

Shinjuku Lumine EST Rady closing

Rady’s parent company SMBrand issued a formal apology on February 4th but it’s been silent since then. Yesterday February 21st Rady announced on their official blog post that they were closing their Shinjuku Lumine EST store. They have also wiped out any trace of HyeonJeong, Risa and Ren from the shop staff ameblo.

Founder and designer Shizuka Mutoh wrote that the Shinjuku Lumine EST store will be closed because of this business. The Omotesando store will stay open as well as the Osaka location. She aims to make the Omotesando location the jewel of the brand. I have a blog post coming with Rady Tokyu Plaza Omotesando shop staff and I’ll show off the store!

 

This is a big blow to Rady. It’s their most expensive store and was only renewed a few months ago.

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The glass casing around the chandelier print was actually their dressing room that fogs up when someone uses it.

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Along with that there were 2 video walls and Swarovski decoed earphones in Rady prints.

Good luck Rady and good riddance thieves.

News sources:

Mainichi Daily English about the original arrest

Breaking News JP

GirlsChannel chat about the Rady thieves. 

A big thanks to Oneegyaru lover Charlotte keeping up with the story and updating on the closure. 

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Evris shop staff are exceedingly nice. The Shibuya 109 group of ladies are stellar all around, but in particular Marin Matsuzaki (松崎茉鈴). I do gush often how shop staff are nice and good at their jobs, but Marin takes the cake. Marin is both stylish and kind. I met her first when I was shopping with Alanna and she was so friendly. The next time was 6 months later and she still remembered both me and asked after Alanna. She also asked after my man and my cats, since we spoke about both… 6 months ago!

Marin has excellent personal style and she’s doing well in Evris for it, working as a blogger for the brand. She’s recently gotten snapped in both #N and Jelly and I’m really happy she’s flourishing in print, too! For those looking for short hair inspiration she’s definitely got it.

Her blog: http://ameblo.jp/marin-matsuzaki/

Her instagram: http://instagram.com/marinmatsuzaki

Spring 2014 Marin’s looks

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Such a babe! I love her blue contacts with her blue necklace and the subtle nose shading. Did you notice her ring. I don’t know how anyone else gets to see the jewels, but it’s cool!

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I don’t know if I’d consider matching a bold necklace with a top that’s impact is around the neck, but it really works.

Her wonderful spring hot pink lip keeps her from looking too simple. If I remember right it’s YSL. The whole staff was required to wear it as it was Evris’s color for the Spring.

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Always showing off her brand. She looks both adult and casual at the same time. Love the skirt and top combination.

In my previous Evris snap post I took a picture of a different shop staff in the same shirt and shoes.  But the style is different, always cool to check two girls making clothing their own.

Marin and Staff from Fall 2014

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There was a Rockabilly theme for Fall and Winter and the leopard and tortoiseshell print shoes are great pairings for plaids and furs. Both girls look cute stylish and casual.

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Close-ups. It looks like Marin changed her contacts for the season, as did the other shop staff. Possibly to Evris producer Ayano Sasaki’s new produced lens Cidina.

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 Flipped out short hair and bobby pins were the big hair trends of Fall and Marin is rocking both. Creative and interesting bobby pins will be popular for Spring 2015 as well! Her cateye line is so stellar!

Marin for Spring 2015

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And from Marin’s instagram her style for this Spring. One year of Marin  :loveword: Her key for this Spring is orange.  I really like the orange, yellow, blue popularity of Spring 2015.

Bonus Jelly snaps!

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Bonus! Her shot from Jelly January issue talking about denim wearing all Evris. She’s also in the #N Neogal magazine photos last post.

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And Evris producer Ayano Sasaki in the coat Marin was wearing in her Fall snap.

Ahh this was a fun post. I’m an obsessive person and my obsessions have obsessions within them. So my obsession with Japanese fashion has gyaru within it and another is personal style. Another obsession within an obsession for me is style change, or evolution. How a singular girl goes through gyaru and changes. I really love the ones over time through many years. However this short year also shows how one girl, Marin, tried out a lot of style choices for herself  :smiley:


Emoda’s Ena Matsumoto retiring

Other news of note I posted on my twitter is that Emoda creator and producer Ena Matsumoto has decided to retire from Emoda.  She’s thus far not spoken of future plans. She acknowledges how much Emoda has changed since it’s inception (Summer 2010 post on Emoda coming to Shibuya 109). She said she’s also grown a lot during that time. She wondered if maybe she should create an older sister brand to focus on or even a completely new brand, but in the end she decided she just wanted to retire first.

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Speaking of style change. WOW! Ena Matsumoto 2010 and 2015.

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I delayed on writing a post about #N the new Neogal magazine for reasons. I was exhausted from being sick, and more importantly I felt that there have been a lot of rants on this blog lately. Rants coming from positive places, but well it seemed this blog had gotten negative.

My whole belief system is if you put positivity out into the world you’ll get positivity back. This boils down to what I like to call “bitch karma”. If you’re a bitch it’ll always come back to you, so best stay positive and nice. Not saying I deserve a halo, but I’m trying. But there’s going to be a rant in this one, or at least me calling out stuff, so be warned.

#N the new Neogal Magazine Introduction

#N is the new NeoGal magazine that came out in November 2014. I thought it was a one-of or what the Japanese like to call “mooks” or magazine-books. However they are now doing shooting for #N issue two so I guess it’s official as a magazine now. NeoGal is a new genre in clothing in Japan and I’ve talked extensively about it since it’s creation in 2013.

Most first issue magazines in Japan show up in bookstores and if they’re successful they trickle down to the impulse purchases of conbinis. Instead I actually found #N at a convenience store right near my Tokyo hotel for 650 yen (same cost of AneAgeha, more expensive than Larme and Sweet). Being in a convenience store first makes it have some distribution weight to it. It’s published by Million Publishing (ミリオン出版株式会社) which is an arm of Taiyo Tosho which publishes Larme.

#N contents

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#N at first glance is quite different than other Japanese magazines. Its size is actually 2 CM shorter and 4 CM longer than other magazines. And unlike all other Japanese media which is read from right to left with the binding on the right. #N uses the Western style of left to right with the binding on the left. Personally it feels a bit gimmicky, but that the magazine thought deeply about size and way of reading is commendable.

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NNight promoting the magazine featuring appearances by the three heads.

On the cover is former Ranzuki model and current Neogal icon: Natsumi Saito aka Natsumin. She strongly identifies as Neogal so she’s a perfect girl to put on the cover. She’s embarked on a pop music tour lately and currently derives her income from producing all sorts of teen consumed products. Natsumi Saito along with Fig and Viper producer Alisa Ueno and Evris producer Ayano Sasaki are the three current main models/heads of #N.

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Really loved this street snap page in particular. I felt it shows a lot of the variance of Neogal in one page. Harajuku-FnV-Evris-Sly

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Special shout out for Shibuya 109 Evris shop staff Marin who is the nicest shop staff. I have two shop snaps of her to come.

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This girl Tokine got a full page spread. With good reason. Wow!

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The magazine content itself feels half Western style and half Harajuku Fruits magazine style. There’s not much gyaru magazine influence in it. There are no brand highlights, make-up tutorials or coordinate tips. If anything the clothing is so far down the list, it’s actually more the real style of people that make up the majority. Or the it girls like the three heads who push Neogal.

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Advertising clubs where there will be club snaps, but it’s really just native advertising and clubs paying.

The Western feeling is the enormity of ad space but done more sneakily Japanese style with native advertising pushing music or other consumables.

 

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Two of six pages in the magazine that compromise just talking about clothing, hair or make-up.

A final review on #N

The magazine did feel a bit like instagram and used several model’s shots of instagram even. Maybe it reflects the more digital age. But instagram gives moments or pips of information, but doesn’t drive you to go back to your feed and look again at old photos. Instead it’s all about the new. #N left me feeling the same way, a magazine that’s easy to flip through but nothing that makes you open it again.

And thus far it’s only been an information and semi critique of #N and that’s all fine and good. But there’s just one little thing that I can’t ignore and #N highlights more for me about Neogal.

 

 

…and here’s where the calling out starts…

 

Neogal can be problematic and #N magazine only highlights that more

Neogal starters have always said they’re influenced by overseas, particularly Los Angeles in their style, or vintage. Alisa and Natsumi especially feel Neogal is LA looks with the Oakland booty Tokyo foundation. And LA street style has been rooted in Black and Hispanic heritage, because Los Angeles street fashion is on the streets those streets have color. A lot of what Neogal likes has been in the Hispanic and Black communities for a while. Evris is a bit different (more Americana /Vintage) and Harajuku mixing is not as influenced but Fig and Viper and #N are definitely looking to LA.

And to say that Neogal is the only one poaching from these communities would be a lie, but it feels like they get a pass and it’s not a pass they should get. Especially not with the evidence below.

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Inside #N magazine. Alisa Ueno appropriating and fakin’

She posted this on instagram and has since deleted. My favorite comment was: “She’s not about that life”

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#N and Neogal brands and trend creators are just using that style and making cash. And worse using that style without any representation from the Black or Hispanic communities. Alisa Ueno goes to LA to shoot her catalogs. She’s been in Los Angeles and all over. She sees the population, the multiethnic population. She’s not ignorant, she’s just playing dumb. Her current catalogs including “Good Girl or Nah” aka popular Black slang featuring all white models.

Edit: While I’m on the subject her Desi appropriation isn’t cool either. Bindis and desi-style nose rings aplenty.

Shima Hair salon a NeoGal salon and being appropriating x 1,000.

Shima Hair salon is a big hair salon chain in Tokyo and closely associated with Neogal. Working on the heads of all 3 #N head girls regularly and putting out some of the hair trends used by Neogals. They are the Neogal hair salon and they are featured in #N magazine.

They do a big hair show each year and for 2014 they decided to choose “Unity” as their theme. It is a huge event held at a concert hall and sold out for 2014.

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thug? really…. Check your racism. (Still on instagram)

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All Japanese models in black hair styles. Alisa Ueno also posted this with #thug.

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Do-rags, dreads, braids and baby hair.

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On Shima official blogs I did not see any photos of this part of the hair show. There were only two parts, and this was the bigger part. Even though it featured big names like Alisa Ueno, Wei Sun, and Ellie Rose. That’s some serious model cash to pay out and not feature. Also on Shima youtube they’ve shown every hair show on their official youtube but no 2014. My guess, someone called out their bullshit.

Sadly #N magazine uses two icons for their Hair shoots in the same way.

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Shima why are you making my fave problematic?

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Other popular hair salon ISM gets in on the action.

A side note on BGyaru:

BGyaru has been spoken about different ways overseas when people see it. It literally means black gyaru. And some gals that love it will say they want to be black. Which would cause so many side eyes overseas the earth’s axis could shift. However B-Gyaru has been positive about black (American) culture. BGyaru lovers want to do hip hop dance. BGyaru I’ve met are knowledgable about old school hip hop and consider some of the icons as gods. They mostly praise a 90s aesthetic and strive to keep it alive. The love of hip hop especially has grown a very strong Japanese hip hop movement and on the dance side while breaking has lost its fun with American youth, Japanese youth are still into it. The reggae love is also strong in Japan and reggae artists have done collaborations with Japanese artists.

I know of one Black American girl who worked for Shibuya 109’s BGyaru brand Baby Shoop. They even helped her secure a Visa to stay and work. So while I would in some respects consider BGyaru to be problematic, there’s many examples where it’s celebratory. But no matter the positivity Ellie brought up a good point of “my race is not a trend”. Appropriation vs appreciation. Your call.

Again this it just one white American girl’s opinion, please feel free to insert your own.

My skin color is white and it’s one of the reasons I’ve put off this post for a while. I’m speaking from a place of privilege and my race does a lot of shitty things. But it is worse to ignore when appropriation and poaching is occurring instead of speaking out.

EDIT: I would love to hear the opinions/critiques and personal thoughts of Black and Hispanic girls about this. Although it’s a subject I’m bringing up I’d rather push the voices of those appropriated to speak on this subject into the forefront.  :loveword:

EDIT 2: Please read comments below. Lots of different opinions and lovely comments across the globe about these feelings.

 

I really hope parts of Neogal and N magazine clean up their mess, because it could be a good magazine.

 

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Dramatic much Mitsu? I haven’t touched the Doll lately because I was redecorating and then I got the flu. I still have the flu so this may be just me Robo-tripping through a post, but the combo of cold meds and reorganizing has gotten me nostalgic.

I’m actually redoing my whole bedroom and in the process I’ve been making a 3rd closet and cleaning out clothing. I may post the finished product but it’s a new bedframe, silver foiling, marbeling, decoing DIY nightmare away from being done.

Gyaru has ruined my clothes…

But in getting new storage in has made me clean out and rethink so much clothing. Since I started buying gal clothing in 2007 it’s like looking at a ton of eras and waves of trends that went through gyaru fashion. My minor flirtation with haade. That rock craze in 2009, or Glad News everything. The tie-dye hippie phase Momoko Ogihara and Murua went through, and I followed along. My full on Lip Service love affair when it was agejo/onee. Only do I look back now and wonder how many cotton/poly blend low-cut tunics did I need?

And of course W ❤ C. I’ve felt my fullest in gyaru with W ❤ C. I never took to DIA or rather it never took to my shape. And admittedly I don’t care for how I looked now in that era, I feel like I really was happy with how I was. For as much W ❤ C as I’ve owned some has been sold but a lot I still wear around my house. W ❤ C has turned into my comfiest house wear.

Thanks to gyaru I will also forever love leopard print. I’ll defend Liz Lisa’s use of 200 florals in an essay if needed. And I could also probably draw MA*RS perfume print from memory. And I will forever love accessorizing.

I find it a bit sad to give away, recycle or sell clothing. I bought too much. I over-consumed and was wasteful. But part of me felt it was part of gal. The newest trend, the newest accessory, always on point from month to month, it was required. Or at least that’s the pressure, especially living with the newest magazines and seeing someone on the street be more trend.

But that’s okay because…

I hope now I’m buying better and less. Accepting the trends I like but allowing them to be more classics in my wardrobe than as dated as I used to be.

But it’s hard because gyaru has ruined me. I still love the trends. I crave the newest releases like they’re made out of chocolate.

 

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Gyaru has ruined my hair…

I will always love the color of hair that doesn’t suit me. All those ash blondes haunt my reddish hair. If you’ve achieved ash blonde I think you’re beautiful. I also think natural black hair is gorgeous.

Or worse that temporary non lasting hair that was and never will be. There was a shade I achieved back in 2013 for 4 months. I will never get there again. I do not know what wizardry my stylist did at Factory Harajuku. I don’t think she even knew because it was her first time working on a foreigner and worse a natural blonde. I love the pictures of it but I will never get back there.

It’s taken years to accept my hair again without any extras: extensions or wigs.

Oh man the extensions feel. That feeling when you get out of the extensions salon and they just curled and gave you long hair. Your ego is just Godzilla. I don’t think anything else can fix that fresh out of the HAIRRRR feel.

Protip: Schedule any hair appointment in Japan (or anywhere else) early in the morning so you can take 100% advantage of the HAIRRRRRRRR day.

Evelyn from the Internets sums up that hair power well. Even if your extensions are a hot mess, you have HAIRRRRR!

But that’s  okay because... I can have a good hair day and straight-curls and treatments make me do appreciate my actual hair, but… I do miss the full weave power. Gyaru has shown me the options, the possibilities of that stuff on top of my head.

 
 

Gyaru has ruined my nails…

Sure I’ve always loved nail polish and even acrylics before I went to Japan. But nail art evolution was definitely pushed by gyaru. While flat art may the vogue now, 3-d and deco were gyaru signatures. Getting basic nails for me is impossible now. There’s no such thing as just polish. Or just one color.

It’s also ruined my nails physically. See that photo above? Those spectacular nails are missing one where the bandaid is. Your pal Mitsu may have gotten quite drunk and rocked out to psychedelic trance and hit a beautiful long talon on some Ora Ora boy’s chicken tough skin and wrenched it off. Ouch, but it healed.

Gyaru has ruined my feet…

I walked in heels for too long. I think I still have tendon problems. I’ve lost toenails (long story short wore new high heels and got lost). My feet situation is now okay, but really. Heels I do not feel you as much as I used to.

But that’s okay because damn gyaru shoes are cute. I have turned to mostly leather shoes because you can repair them more easily, but some are just so cute I can’t stop.

 

Gyaru has ruined my face…

I never thought my eyes were small, they were just eyes. Or my nose much of anything but a nose. Sure my face was round and I thought cheekbones were gifts that were never placed under my tree. But it was just a face. Gyaru make-up made me completely forget pretty much all make-up I knew and relearn and try so many things.

I still feel like a slob without lashes, and you can’t stop me from contouring my nose (lightly, slightly, hidden, but still some shading).

But that’s okay because I learned so much. I like what I can do. I gained an education. Even if I still may not like features or things about myself, it’s taught my to highlight what I do.

 

So gyaru has ruined me, but I still love so many parts of it. Parts that are gone, parts that still exist, models, people, places… and myself.

Or I’m trying on that last one.

Gyaru has also been an outlet, a place to jump off to many other fashions I like or want to combine with it. So you’ve ruined me, and I’m thankful for it.

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