The Blerdcon Experience with DC Kawaii Style

Alternative fashion at Blerdcon was welcomed and inspiring both to the community and those looking to explore it. Check out the event recap of all things DC Kawaii Style at Blerdcon 2019

DC Kawaii Style really popped off this year at Blerdcon. From hosting the con’s first ever JFashion show to comm members taking the stage with panels of expertise!

If you didn’t get the chance to experience it, this recap is perfect for your visual needs.

At this point,  we’d like to throw our name in the hat as the community to continue to bring Jfashion and kawaii lifestyle to Blerdcon –

We can attest! Having alternative fashion there was welcomed and inspiring to both the active community and those looking to explore.

Community Panels

We had so many members come out and share their knowledge this year. With a total of 6 community member run panels it goes to show we have a lot to talk about inside and outside of Jfashion.

Here is a list of the panels run by our community members.

Killer Show + Shinobi Cosplay doing a thing ^.^

Do It for The Culture: Intro to Afro Kawaii

How to Survive as a Plus Sized Lolita

Why Am I Crash Bandicoot Orange?? Troubleshooting Make-up for J-Fashion While Black

So Goth We Were Born Black [18+]

Black Femmes & Creative Writing

Ask a Black Female Tattoo Artist

FIRST Jfashion Show EVER at Blerdcon 2019

Saturday Evening, we conquered the stage and the kawaii way reached the next level!

A full house of Blerdcon attendees got to experience the delightful fashion from the brands: Kawaii Carnival, A Gato Designs, Un-Re Designs, and Noble Ghost

As well as individual personal kawaii styles including dolly kei, hime gothic lolita, gyaru-o, amekaji, pastel goth, kawaii kink, aomoji and yami kawaii. All of this on one stage, can you imagine?

It was fun and love how collective the Jfashion team (Sweet Bitz, ipukekawaii, Weloveteetee) worked to keep everything together and giving direction as needed.

And our dynamic MC, Cola is a kawaii treat in person and truly an icon.

pastel + goth love

Later was a Q&A for models and brands. And our community wass outstanding in providing authentic spaces to interact with Jfashion styles firsthand.

Uplifting on many levels, nothing is more beautiful than seeing the culture of kawaii spread like this. Therefore even for everyone’s first, we’re happy to say the fashion show was a success.

Casual Meet at Blerdcon

After a full weekend, we had such an excellent turnout for a casual meet in the lobby. The goths were being goths living their best Adams Family life. While pastel cuties sparkled.

This intimate space was a good casual meet bringing kawaii lovers together for the chance to make new friends, see old ones, and decompress from a wild weekend.

Blerdcon 2019 was a kawaii success and we can’t wait to see what adventures happen next year!

Til next post!

Keep it kawaii ^.^

The History of Hanami, The Flower Viewing Event of Friendship

We hope you’re ready for more kawaii life lessons. Today’s lesson is for the Japan lovers and all about Hanami – the importance of this time in history and what it means for our lil’ kawaii family, DC Kawaii Style.

One of the most beautiful times of year is one of friendship and new beginnings – Cherry Blossom season! A time between March and April that says Spring is HERE ^.^ And what’s better than a traditional hanami, or flower viewing.

Of course, the best place to experience them is in Japan. BUT with a rich history of acquisition, the next best place is right here in the nation’s capital – Washington, DC.  


Sakura, known in English as Cherry Blossoms, is both the noun and verb for the flowering blossoms.

And, today we’re talking Hanami the history and how we do it, DC kawaii style.

What is Hanami?

the kawaii way, dc kawaii style, hanami, harajuku dc, dc Harajuku, dmv harajuku

Hanami is the social viewing of Sakura ~

the experience of admiring cherry blossoms with friends, family, coworkers, or even a mix of all.

In America, the equivalent is just a picnic mostly. But this is like a picnic with a specific purpose of appreciating new beginnings.


Hanami has been noted to be a custom that started in the Nara Period of Japan (710-794), gaining attention and popularity in the Heian Period (794-1185).

Crazy things is that this was once limited to the elite, only. But now … it’s as modern day experience for everyone in Japan and globally.

Which means that you can too!

How to Hanami

Hanami has usually been accompanied with food and Sake~

If you’re a foodie, you’ll find that specially made dishes like dango – a Japanese dumpling made from rice flour (Mochiko) and bento – a specially made packed lunch are special this time of year. (pssst … you’ll get to know about bento a little bit later)

And you’ll be delighted to know there’s also dance and music.

Along with poetry shared to praise the beauty of the flowers.

If you’re in the city, you might want to try “Yozakura” meaning night sakura.

For this style of flower viewing, traditionally, hanami goers view the cherry blossoms under the light of paper lanterns.

But if you’re not in Japan you’ll have to get creative for a night viewing of cherry blossoms! Maybe by candlelight ~

Either way, whether near or far, a hanami experience is at your fingertips.

D.C. Kawaii Style Hanami

Just in case you need a more relatable experience, here’s a look at D.C. Kawaii Style community’s Hanami ~

The day started with a Harajuku Fashion Walk that ended at the National Monument.

the kawaii way, dc kawaii style, hanami, harajuku dc, dc Harajuku, dmv harajuku

There we always find a group spot to plop down, spreading blankets and laying out the food spreads.

Dressed in various Jfashion styles in the middle of a crowded D.C. landmark, we often stick out. But who cares! ^.^

Over some baked and bought goodies and Sake, we share smiles and conversation that help strengthen our bonds as a community.

Always a magical time for us, we hope you can experience one day too.

So, if you ever want an excuse to sit and eat with friends trust! Hanami is one of the best times to get it in ~


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the kawaii way, dc kawaii style, hanami, harajuku dc, dc Harajuku, dmv harajuku

My Kawaii Personal Style Fashion Contest

Deposit hearts for Jaded Island and Kuma in Kawaii International’s ‘My Kawaii Personal Style’ fashion contest! ♡ ♡ ♡

Hi everyone!
Our kawaii family, Jaded Island and Kuma entered
Kawaii International’s ‘My Kawaii Personal Style’ fashion contest!

And you know what this means ~

We want to show our support!

So do us a solid between now to July 10 and stop by to deposit some hearts on their looks ^.^

Kawaii International Fashion Contest

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The goal of Kawaii International is to examine and share the past, present, and future of the Kawaii aesthetic with the world. Beginning as a small subculture in Japan, Kawaii has become a significant and influential part of Japanese culture and a global phenomenon. Kawaii culture knows no boundaries of race, religion, age, or gender. It embraces individuality and values diversity. We’re looking for someone who understands, loves, and lives the message of Kawaii culture: the next Kawaii Leader.


We made it SUPER easy for you to deposit some hearts daily for Jade & Kuma.

Just click their image!

And we left some nuggets in case you’re new to JFashion and wondering about their personal kawaii styles. ^.^


Jade’s Kawaii Kei

Shaping her own style, Jade serves in a ‘foxy’ story teller kei riddled with pink energy ~

She’s a walking and ever-changing OC (original character) bringing her fiction & fantasy words to life.

Kuma‘s Gyaru (Gal) Swag

Kuma kills it in Gyaru. But is definitely one of the area’s leader in manba and yomamba styles.

And loves to educate people on the history of the fashion and it’s importance along the way.


Still here?


And don’t forget to bookmark the page so you can show some love DAILY until July 10 for who we consider two of the DC’s area’s local kawaii leaders <3

Thank you, always for your support!

DC Kawaii Style Does Quirkcon, A Conference for Weirdos & Free Spirits

We brought the kawaii Harajuku scene to Quirkcon! If you missed out, take a peek at our event recap. And we’ll see yah there in 2020!

Greetings Kawaii Family!

Guess who went traveling all the way down to Durham North Carolina. That’s right it was DC Kawaii Style did QUIRKcon!

DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way

A handful of us spent 6-8 hours traveling from the DC Area down to Bull City. And we brought the kawaii Harajuku scene with us!

If you missed out, take a peek at our event recap.

DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way

Panel + Event Highlights

Black in Japan Panel

Hosted by Cocoa Chronicles, with ipukekawaii

This conversation was an honest look on what life in Japan is like for black people. 

From cultural differences to how to manage your hair and skin care in a foreign country. 

There was a wealth of knowledge and taught us that  not only can we go to Japan ..

But all things in context, we can THRIVE!


Nerd Bonding:

With Black Minds Matter Project

photo compliments of Atari Gems

This panel was hosted by Atari Gems & featured friends Black Girls Anime, Charlie Rocket Cosplay, Cocoa Chronicles, and ipukekawaii ~

The curated space was a conversation to acknowledge the importance of nerd bonding within the black community.

We talked a bit about first experiences to nerd culture-

including being ‘inducted’ by family and how it’s led us to lifestyles like … kawaii ^.^

So much was shared on how these bonds change our world experience!


Intro to Kawaii: Kawaii Empowerment

Featuring DC Kawaii Style Community Members

DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way

We brought some kawaii empowerment inspired by our tea talk from late March.

Members of our community shared their experience of communication through expressive fashion, daily lifestyle, and community as a support group.


Fun Times Across State Lines

DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way
We had a blast enjoying the ambiance of Quirkcon and meeting so many cool creatives, blerds, and more!

There was family dinner, plenty of photo shoots and of course time to just be kawaii in a new place.

DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way

DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way

Best part ~

Meeting some people that we want to introduce you all to!

Momo PixelsMiles JaiDrew DisasterDevDoeeHippy PotterKiera PleaseBlack Girls AnimeCocoa ChroniclesKurenai Kiba


DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way

The con was full of exciting panels and better inspiring people.

And we had the magic of meeting with creatives and cosplayers from all over!

The Quirktastic team really put together an event that brought together folks with different quirks together.

From cosplay to trap music, we had a blast ~

With some of our favorite moments spent in the Unicorn Lounge trying out the local flavors of North Carolina …

and playing UNO, the kawaii way!

DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way DC Kawaii Style, DC Harajuku, DMV Harajuku, Quirkcon, The Kawaii Way 

Our experience was colorful. Quirkcon was full of people with good spirit, but we hope to see a stronger representation of Harajuku and Jfashion styles at the next con.

So delighted at the good times and memories sprung out of this con, we’re already counting down Quirkcon 2020!  

Until then, mark your calendars for Harajuku Weekend at Blerdcon 2019


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Event Report: Museum of Science Fiction’s Escape Velocity 2019

Join the conversation by requesting our panels at your local convention

Three cheers for our first event report here at The Kawaii Way ~

We recently had the opportunity of presenting our Afro Kawaii panel at the DC area’s local sci-fi convention, Escape Velocity.

Check it out ~

DC Kawaii Style Presents Afro Kawaii at Escape Velocity

We were very pleased to receive a request to present at Escape Velocity. [About the Convention] Escape Velocity is a futuristic world’s fair to promote STEAM education within the context of science fiction using the fun of comic cons and fascination of science and engineering festivals. Read for more

Arriving a bit early, we watched them change the panel to welcome our Afro Kawaii conversation, community panelists, and participants.

The day’s conversations centered more around the exchange of afro/ Asian cultural elements we see in anime and gaming. And the influence they have on each other when creating content for the masses.

Before leaving we we were able to take a family photo – our panel tradition. And would like to share it with you.

Have you joined our Afro, Yume or Yami Kawaii conversations yet?!

Harajuku Fashion Walks, History + Showcase of Japanese Street Fashion in DC

Let’s take a journey to where it all begins, the best showcase of Japanese street fashion. Here’s the History of Harajuku Walks

If you have ever wondered why all these people start walking around dressed so vibrantly, cute, and freely, this is the post to learn about one of the most important events with J-fashion communities ~

Stop your day right now, and let’s have our first Kawaii Way lesson in Jfashion history.

Imani poses at Moshi Moshi Nippon clock by artist and sensational kawaii fashion icon, Sebastian Masuda

The History of Harajuku Fashion Walks

The first thing you need to know about Harajuku walks is its origin!

Jfashion, the common name for “Japanese Street Fashion” sprung out of youth in Japan and is what refers to a collective of different styles and trends that can be found during Harajuku walks.

These walks occur in the Harajuku district in Tokyo.

And the street, Omotesando (O-mo-teh-san-do) is the blossoming origin of these popular walks ~

When the athletes came to Japan in 1964, the street was overwhelmed with people trying to see the athletes who stayed in a hotel at the time. Later the street renewed its popularity when the LaForet Fashion Mall opened up in 1978.

The street further inspired fame when in the 1980s folks in the band scene and visual kei encouraged the space as a spot to hang out and meet up.

Going to a Walk

If you are blessed and highly favored, you might have the chance to join a Harajuku walk in Tokyo, they usually happen once a month. If not, then come out and start participating in Harajuku walks with local communities like DC Kawaii Style. Harajuku fashion has inspired fashion everywhere in the world. So much so, that often during these Harajuku walks in Tokyo, you’ll find a healthy mix of foreign Jfashion enthusiasts and lifestylers participating. Harajuku walks are the perfect space show off your outfits and socialize with like-minded people.

What to Know When You Join a Harajuku Walk:

Your Harajuku style is produced from you ~

Your mind is the driving force for this vibrant style, and it can be limitless.

The purpose of Harajuku Walks is to provide a space for freedom of expression. That space is for anyone who feels they are an artist, independent spirit, or just loves fashion trends. This style is retaliating against social norms for jobs, clothing, and attitude.

Some of the popular jfashion styles (which is not to be confused for cosplay) you’ll see during a Harajuku walk are:
• Visual Kei
• Gyaru
• Kogal/Ko-gyaru
• Ganguro
• Goth Lolita
• Sweet Lolita
• Decora
• Cyber-Punk
• Mori-Girl

There are so many styles, and often new ones are created on that historical street. And welcomes your personal style.

Fashionably it is an honor to walk down that historical street, but if you want to start closer to home that’s okay too!

If you have experience with Harajuku walks that you want to share, leave a comment on this post! We will be sharing more on the style, culture, and even J-fashion tips on The Kawaii Way.

While indulging in J-Fashion and kawaii lifetsyle, knowing the history of the movement is an empowering piece. Because the more you know, the more confident you become.

And confidence is the best feel for infectious Kawaii Empowerment.

Dig Deeper

Want some good reading on Harajuku Fashion Walks?!

Be sure to check out these reads  ~

Mookychick | “History of Harajuku Fashion

Japan Info | “Harajuku Fashion Walk: a Must-See for Fashion Lovers

Check out our past Harajuku Fashion Walk photo galleries.

photo from Moshi Moshi Nippon

D.C. Kawaii Style Harajuku Fashion Walks

We got you covered with a more accessible experience ~

D.C. Kawaii Style celebrates Harajuku by gathering for our largest event – Harajuku (in DC) Fashion Walk DC –  twice per year.

Ambiance and aesthetic are driving forces for kawaii culture – from coords to events. #AestheticsMATTER !!!



p style=”text-align: center;”>So our walks seek to create a nostalgic aesthetic.

AND a way to commune IRL, meeting new friends, trading tips & tricks for your coord game and taking all the coord snaps, together ~


Inspired and ever so grateful to the original Harajuku Fashion Walk, welcome to the tradition that is DC Kawaii Style’s 🌸HARAJUKU (in DC) FASHION WALK🌸

Grab your best coord, a picnic basket of goodies, some games and let’s enjoy the day together !✨

All events are easily accessible at DC KAWAII STYLE. COM

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Make a kind donation to our community’s mission + programming growth! We got GOALS mama! <3

Maeykoh Menhera for ACDC RAG

This kawaii friends announcement is in support of @maeykohmenhera’s #acdcragdesigncontest entry


p style=”text-align: center;”>Hi everyone!

Maeykoh (comm member & Menhera artist) entered the ACDC Rag T-shirt contest!

We’re HUGE on talking mental health within the community and supporting each other’s journeys. An added bonus is that one of our fav styles collectively is yami kawaii. But you can’t indulge without looking at and talking Menhera.
That’s a topic for another post soon ~

BUT for now you can support this conversation by voting for our community Menhera artist’s competition design for Harajuku style brand, ACDC RAG.

Please stop by and show some love 💖✨

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#repost @maeykohmenhera ・・・ Here is my entry for the #acdcragdesigncontest This design is based on my own thoughts on medication and dark thoughts. The back of the shirt reads “I want to die” while the front says “medicine.” Sometimes the pills work and sometimes they just push the thoughts to the back of the mind and hide them. . . . I had a lot of fun making this design and I hope you all like it as much as I do. . . . #acdcragdesigncontest @acdcragdesigncontest #menhera #menherafashion #menheradesign #tshirtdesign #shirtdesign #harajukustyle

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A Kawaii Friends Give-a-Way

This kawaii friends give-a-way is in support of Art Pastel Kelsey’s Poke J-Fashion Trainers Kickstarter

Three cheers for our first ✨EXCLUSIVE Kawaii Friends Give-a-Way✨

We’re SO EXCITED to share this give-a-way collaboration between
Quirk ConArt Pastel Kelsey x DC Kawaii Style

This kawaii way fun is in support of Art Pastel Kelsey‘s awesome J-Fashion campaign ~

About the Project: This project is to fund my Series of Pokemon themed Lolita fashion Enamel Pins. This project has been in the works since early 2019 and I am pleased to announce it to the world. I love pokemon, it is one of my most beloved game series and I have been in the Lolita fashion community since 2014. Pokemon and Lolita are two interests that hold a special place in my heart so naturally they were going to combine in some way. This project is the result of my love and creativity and I hope you will enjoy my artwork.

ENTER RAFFLE HEREa Rafflecopter giveaway

☝️Share on Instagram with a caption telling us your favorite Poke J-Fashion trainer.
Don’t forget to follow/ tag @quirkcon + @artpastelkelsey + @dckawaiistyle


Who are the Friends?! 

 Quirk ConArt Pastel Kelsey x DC Kawaii Style

What Do I Get?! ♡

2 FREE tickets to Quirkcon 2019 + Afro Kawaii Zine (features art by Art Pastel Kelsey)

♡  How Do I Enter?! ♡

1. Make a Poke-Lover pledge $1 or $5

2. Share the photo + caption (in blog post) via Instagram

3. Follow + tag the post to @quirkcon + @artpastelkelsey + @dckawaiistyle

✨ENTER HERE✨ >>> Rafflecopter giveaway

When Will I Know?! ♡

winner will be chosen by Art Pastel Kelsey
and will be announced on our Instagram, 5/17 (FriYAY)



p style=”text-align: center;”>*EVERYONE who pledges as a Poke-Lover will receive a thank you image by the artist
** $5 partons will receive surprise exclusive items + artwork

Sharing Afro Style, The Kawaii Way at DC Web Fest

THANK YOU DC Web Fest + kawaii family for such an amazing honor ~

DC Kawaii Style was nominated for Blogs and Scripts for

DC WEB Fest, a DMV indie festival.

On April 12th community members Camille (Noirhus), Jade (Jadedisland), and community founder Imani K. Brown was in attendance  to celebrate and network with other local artists and content creators.

Afro Kawaii Wins

DC Web Fest annual festival was founded by Otessa Ghadar in 2013 and now in its 7th year.

Our submission to the festival was the collaborative work, AFRO KAWAII: What Is IT?! Zine

featuring the submissions from our community artists. However, this zine is just one highlight of our attendance at DC Web Fest.

Little did we as know ~

Saturday evening DC Kawaii Style won the silver award!

It was quite an adventure featuring pink energy, black excellence, and most importantly the culture of DC Kawaii Style.

From networking to digital marketing classes, this opportunity presented itself as a path that connects our kawaii community with more of the D.C area.

Here are some words from our founder, Imani:

“The Awakening”

 “‘when one of wins we all win’ is the UGK philosophy and so it is in DC Kawaii Style Congrats to the community & contributing artists of our first zine, Afro Kawaii 💖💫This weekend we won an award from DC Web Fest for bridging and bringing culture to dc – thing is kawaii style isn’t new to DC but when DC was on it’s own wavelength with rainbow fashion and harsh aesthetics (late 80’s – mid 2000’s) no one took it serious unless you were a native. And if not hip you wouldn’t know all the contributions DC has lowkey made to the industry. That part will soon change.  But we didn’t bring culture. It’s always been here and you just had to know where to look. As we ooh’d aw’d & celebrated, I asked that we take the photo at the Awakening. Because unknown to many, this statue is a huge part of DC history. (if you old enough you climbed on this creep at Haines Point) And DC Kawaii Style is on it’s way to being engrained in the very fabric of DC CultureDC Kawaii Style ain’t about me.  And it’s deeper than fashion. It’s a community thang 💖💫Here’s to an awakening of DC culture, kawaii style”

DC Kawaii Style @ Google Headquarters

More Big Wins

We recently launched the Kawaii Way Blog and currently running open model calls for our first J-fashion show at Blerdcon.

There’s also DC reporter Cordillia James’ Kawaii report   from Harajuku Fashion Walk #4 + hanami.

These have been big wins in 2019 spring season.

Alongside our success at DC Web Fest this just means our kawaii community is making its way to the hearts of our local area.

The opportunity at DC Web Fest reminded us of the importance of Kawaii empowerment and encouraged our mission to flourish further.

We invite you to get involved with the community (from wherever you are) as we continue into another season, The Kawaii Way!

Congrats DC Kawaii StyleWE Did This!

A Word from Imani K Brown

DC Kawaii Style™ is a growing community with members from varying backgrounds that engage respectfully with others while learning and exploring Japanese Culture.

Kawaii Empowerment from the Founder of DC Kawaii Style:

DC Kawaii Style™ is a growing community with members from varying backgrounds who engage respectfully with others while learning and exploring Japanese Culture.

The community brings Kawaii to the immediate DC area but connects people from around the globe with the culture of cute. This community encourages finding ways to bring your heritage and background and mixing it with Kawaii. I am an artist who explores my heritage while understanding the cultures of others.


The importance of accepting oneself has grown into an empowering career and way of life. I strongly encourage that others in the communities I interact with and those I don’t to engage with other cultures respectfully and in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone. My experience as a black Tattoo Artist and entrepreneur have seen so much growth. Each piece of my past comes into play as I build not only my Community, DC Kawaii Style™, but my career. The choices of my past, for my brand and the way I engaged with my heritage still exist in some spaces that might alarm those who have only seen the person that I am now.


I don’t dismiss my past. Instead, I ask, that you engage with it to understand the importance of Afro Kawaii in art, community, and style. From there you will see how I have used Afro Kawaii and tattoo therapy to build both  the Community and my own self-esteem. I share publicly today. Rest assured that my past is but a piece of the colorful impact I have had in my lifetime and a stepping stone into the vision I have for DC Kawaii Style™.


I will address any issues with open arms and a guide informing people about DC Kawaii Style™ so that the communities outside of this one can learn more about heritage, culture, and empowerment through kawaii.

– Imani K Brown / ipukekawaii