Are you a fan of anything and everything kawaii (かわいい)?
Does your heart skip a beat when you see this?
Do you aspire to master the art of embodying kawaii in your everyday life?
If you’ve answered yes to the above questions while nodding fervently, then you just might know Sebastian Masuda.
He is the man behind 6%DOKIDOKI, a cult favourite in the fashion-forward streets of Harajuku. Initially started as a space to showcase his unique art works, the shop quickly gained a following and fans began wearing his art pieces as fashion items.
The shocking pink store opened in 1995 and has since prided itself in being the forerunner of the “Sensational Kawaii” movement, which has spread globally over the past two decades. With big names like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga embracing intensely cute items in their outfits, the kawaii boom is not to be ignored; it is fast becoming a way of life rather than just simple fashion choices.
Sebastian made his art director debut in 2011 for Japanese pop icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (KPP), who shot to stardom. Since passing the baton of the “kawaii revolution” to KPP, Sebastian is focusing his energy on creating new art pieces.
His latest conceptual project is named Time After Time. Starting in 2015, Sebastian began placing large time capsules around the world, where people could leave messages for themselves. He plans to stack them up to create a peace monument in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The capsules will then be reopened in 2035, and messages redistributed to everyone.
His future goals include collaborating with designers from various cultural backgrounds to create kawaii items that reflect each country’s unique culture and fashion styles.
Last but not least, Sebastian has a special message for Singapore:
Being kawaii isn’t easy, but always remember to be brave, express your own ideas and embrace the kawaii spirit!
Fans of Sebastian Masuda should not miss Kawaii International, an NHK WORLD TV show on which he serves as art director. The programme showcases Tokyo’s vibrant pop culture, exploring everything from street fashion to art and design in his eclectic style. Airs monthly on Starhub Chn812 and Singtel TV Chn157.