In January, Portland State University held their annual Japan Night - this year, Kimura U was the guest of honor!
Kimura U is the designer of kawaii brand KOKOkim, model for many brands such as Angelic Pretty and magazines such as Kera, and was appointed kawaii ambassador for Japan in 2009! In the world of kawaii fashion, she's a big influence.
They held auditions for models for the fashion show at Japan Night, and I was fortunate enough to have been chosen!
On Friday, we had model fittings, then (most of) the models, Kimura U, and her managers all went to dinner together. It was a great opportunity to get to know Kimura-san in a more intimate setting.
She was very insistent on eating meat lol.
This beer was sooo good!! It was a raspberry lambic - usually I hate beer, but I loved this!
We got home pretty late, but had to be at the campus really early - even Kimura-san had trouble waking up in time!
We spent a while helping set up the merchandise to sell, then we had to start getting ready for the fashion show.
This was my outfit!
I'm wearing the special "Happy Renewal Bear" sweatshirt, illustrated by Kimura-san herself for the opening of KOKOkim's shop on Takeshita Doori. It was really comfy! Originally I was supposed to wear something else, but then the shorts fit me the best of all the models.
Backstage with Kimura-san right before the show - she's wearing the "Fall in Chocolate" onepiece in pink.
The show went really well, but the lighting was pretty bad...unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any good photos of the show. ;_;
I was really nervous, as usual, but I think I pulled off KOKOkim's cute and energetic vibe ok!!
All the models after the show, doing Kimura-san's signature "U" pose.
As models, we got first dibs on merchandise, which was really nice since there was only one of some of the items!
I didn't buy a lot, but I did get the cake long-sleeve cutsew in ivory and the heart hairclips in pink x brown. I later bought my friend's Fall in Chocolate onepiece in brown, too!
The models were all given a copy of the winter catalogue, along with signed boxes of conversation hearts.
The booth did really well, and Kimura-san had a lot of fun in Portland, so we're working on getting her back to the area in the future, maybe for Newcon next January!
It was also a really great experience for me - I was able to add another show to my resume and make some important connections in the Japanese fashion world. And as nerve wracking as it always is, I also got the practice my Japanese, which is starting to get rusty. I also was able to get closer to the models I already knew, and make a new friend with the model I didn't.
Thanks so much, PSU and Kimura U!!