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 ^.^

My Kawaii Personal Style Fashion Contest

Deposit hearts for Jaded Island and Kuma in Kawaii International’s ‘My Kawaii Personal Style’ fashion contest! ♡ http://bit.ly/Jaded-Island ♡ http://bit.ly/boy-kuma ♡

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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A post shared by Kawaii.i (@kawaiiiofficial) on

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.

GO VOTE!

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?

GO VOTE!

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

Wrap-Up  

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?!

Maeykoh Menhera for ACDC RAG

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

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 💖✨

 

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


✨GIVE-A-WAY FAQ✨

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)

♡ GOOD NEWS! ♡

*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!

[MODEL CALL] J-Fashion Show @ Blerdcon

We are seeking INDIVIDUALS +
BRANDS – who want to share their kawaii looks & apparel. ALL Japanese street fashion styles welcome ~

 
We’re working really hard to bring a J-fashion track to Blerdcon with the help of friends
Sweet Bitz Apparel and Kawaii MUA Tee Tee
 

 

Kawaii Models + Brands Wanted!

We are seeking
♡ INDIVIDUALS – who want to share their personal kawaii look and
♡ BRANDS – who want to share their kawaii apparel
 
ALL Japanese street fashion styles welcome!
SIGN UP TO MODEL HERE >>> http://bit.ly/BlerdconModel
NOTE: YOU MUST BE ATTENDING BLERDCON TO PARTICIPATE

Welcome to The Kawaii Way Kick Off!

The Kawaii Way is both a fundraising campaign + educational space organized by DC Kawaii Style™ for kawaii culture enthusiasts.

“Everyone has the opportunity to make a better life, but not everyone knows how to. For those who happen to know, help those who don’t.”

Welcome to The Kawaii Way, by DC Kawaii Style™

Welcome to DC Kawaii Style‘s cute blog space – created to share our conversations and creative lifestyle of kawaii lovers that help shape the cult of cute’s philosophy. We call it The Kawaii Way!

We’re excited to unveil our long-awaited educational space in this digital world.

We focus quartly on topics such as

Here we’ll take extensive looks at cute culture history

and for the J-fashion lover in you, we will introduce and discuss styles & trends as well as explore how to define YOUR own kawaii.

We’ll also introduce other cute creatives in the stratosphere  – from bloggers to brands …

all while sharing our lofty dreams of more kawaii in DC.

The best part is that we’ll be able to learn TOGETHER!

With so much to share, we hope this platform becomes an excellent resource to learn about Kawaii – the cult of cute / how it builds bridges between cultures / and helps with metal health.

The Kick Off

To kick off this new space, we welcome you to share your own kawaii style!

We are excited to collaborate and partner with fellow cute culture lovers in our local communities and online spaces.

Before we leave you ~

we invite you to grab some debut FREEBIES!

It’s our little way to welcome you no matter how near or far, with open arms.

We hope you’ll come to express yourself and take an active part in sharing The Kawaii Way.

— DC Kawaii Style Family

♡♡♡ 

            DC Kawaii Style kawaii community sakura matsuri DC Kawaii Style kawaii community

♥♥♥

[About The Kawaii Way]: The Kawaii Way is both a fundraising campaign + educational space organized by DC Kawaii Style™ for kawaii culture enthusiasts.

It aims to gather resources that would help the organization materialize proposed organizational goals and events that promote and empower individuals through the kawaii way of life.

In line with our mission of promoting kawaii culture as a way of life, The Kawaii Way serves as a tool in making kawaii possible through fundraising projects and workshops.

Help us put the “fun” in fundraising to make kawaii happen, together!

More Kawaii in DC: Japan’s Cult of Cute Comes to the Nation’s Capital

Let’s take a journey to where it all begins ~

Hi yah! I’m Imani K Brown – community founder and active member, coming to take you on a journey of where it all begins for DC Kawaii Style™ and how we’ve made it to this journey of non-profit status.

Happy Wednesday and welcome to

We can’t wait to share more in kawaii with you – from street fashion to art and community. We’ll have you covered with more ways to interact with us even if you aren’t in DC ^.^

YOKOSO! (welcome ^.^)

Break out the tea & cookies and put on your cutest kigu. Time to curl up for a story of bringing more kawaii to Washington, DC.

{ 2014, A Start to Kawaii in DC }

With DC Metro Lolitas

DC Kawaii Style x DC Metro Lolita Kawaii Community

It’s hard to think DC Metro Lolitas – formed with the help of fellow lolita Cassie, the support of Charm City lolita community & the work of a few close friends – is already five years old and it is still growing beyond belief. *bless my frills*

Metro Lolitas was formed in 2013 and partnered with Geek Girl Brunch, DC Chapter to bring together DC’s first ever Harajuku Fashion Walk ^.^

Since lolita communities can be cut throat and leave negative effects on people who just want enjoy exploring the fashion, the inspiration for growing Metro is based on the sentiment that we all have to start somewhere.

Right?!

From that, friends and I had dreams of an overall kawaii community (not just specific to Lolita) where people could talk J-fashion, share kawaii events, and make friends with similar interests all around the city. As a kawaii girl from the hood, I also wanted to find ways to touch the Black community with J-fashion and kawaii culture. (hi Afro Kawaii, we’ll talk more about that soon!)

So we got to work!

With Outreach Workshop Opportunities Happen

kawaii in da hood

In 2014, I was given the opportunity to teach an arts and crafts class, specifically to at-risk youth, at Randall Community Center.

And decided to use the opportunity to see how youth felt about learning kawaii culture through art, crafts and D.I.Y.

To my surprise, it was a MAJOR success!

kawaii in da hood

DC artist, Alicia Cosnahan (also known as Decoy) visited and brought some of her girls for a joint session (or a few hehe) and anime artist Niko visited to help the girls design their own fabric and talk kawaii.

Kawaii in da Hood Was Born

DC Kawaii Style x Kawaii in da Hood

Later came the idea, #KAWAIIindaHood (Kawaii In Da Hood), where we focus on teaching D.I.Y. to inner city youth. The goal of this is to give inner city (what most label at-risk youth) a chance to create and understand that they can transcend their circumstances, through cute culture-related hobbies.

Once labeled at-risk, I want to be able to use my life (upbringing, circumstances, gifts, and my trade) as an example to help youth who are negatively labeled understand that they are greater than their labels, circumstances and stereotypes.

kawaii domo

With our first organizational opportunity at E.L. Haynes for their Wellness Day, I found a cute DOMO-kun DIY perfect as a start. In my head, the NHK mascot was the perfect bridge. There’s more on the D.I.Y. day here.

Also, I was so pleased to know that all students voted our class the best for Wellness Day 2014. *so honored you guise*

Can you believe so many kawaii creative ideas have come along since creating a lolita community?!

Welp. 🤷🏾‍♀️ Please keep reading <3

{ 2015, Serious Steps to A Kawaii DC }

Starts with Kawaii Tattoos + Kawaii Art for Community Efforts

This would be the year I started taking my kawaii aesthetic seriously.

Not only was I exploring Japanese street fashion but also my mental health and tattoo therapy. And doing way more kawaii tattoos.

kawaii tattoos imani k brown

I became transparent of my hobbies, kawaii culture, and how I define MY kawaii.  And the more I was open, the more my dreams to build a kawaii space + grow a community took hold.

Also I knew this journey will take money, so I budgeted a portion of my income from tattoo and started selling my own art to fund the community until we can do better, collectively.

♡・♡・♡

Imani’s dreams be like:

I want to explore kawaii fashion and art, art therapy, and how all these things make me feel. Can they make me better? Are there others out there like me?

What about a kawaii art gallery. I would also like a private tattoo studio.

And I REALLY want to support my kawaii friends and their creative dreams.

Ohhhh what if we had a space. Like a clubhouse?

How do we even promote kawaii in DC? >.<

♡・♡・♡

But as the good saying goes, ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.

So we did! ^.^

The Birth of DC Kawaii Style™

dc kawaii style

Thinking on all of these feels and talking to DC Metro comm members we thought maybe a public community and platform would be fun. Plus #KAWAIIindaHood is seasonal. So, here it is – we created DC KawaiiStyle™.

※A community that seeks to introduce & promote the philosophy of kawaii (cute) culture as a fun, happy, & positive lifestyle alternative.

  • Our First Convention

imani k brown

After meets & events like Big Bus TourInternational Lolita Day Brunch x Fashion WalkMagical Girl Brunch, we thought to keep the ball rolling as best we could.

Having always wanted to do conventions, we applied to Waku Waku +NYC – the first J-pop culture convention for the East Coast. And for us, it was a great time to start learning convention circuits and intertwining those goals.

Everything was great and now to make sure the community is alive and well in DC (of all places haha)

  • Our Inaugural Tea Party

kawaii tea party

Ain’t no tea party like a DC Kawaii Style Tea Party ~

People from communities all over came to kick it, kawaii style!

Our sweet treats and hemp tea were the best things poppin! Everyone’s co-ords were on fleck and there were a lot of smiles.

It felt like a sunny day in Harajuku, I swear!

The day’s feelings definitely made me want to push harder to make this feeling happen always, in DC.

  • Continuing Creative Community  Outreach

Outreach never fell by the wayside because we were communing <3

There were plenty more opportunities in tow, which included  more wellness at E.L. Haynes and Be Beautiful Foundation.

  • International Sister Communitities and Support

I didn’t know DC Kawaii Style had a cheer squad and gained a TON of support from friends local and abroad, thanks to my good friend and kawaii sis Rainbowholic.

We officially became affiliated with Kawaii Philippines.

And thinking so much of our efforts, they included a listing of us in their Kawaii PH book, Beyond the Cutest Dreams. (file this under a million things I would have NEVER imagined)

DC KawaiiStyle: KAWAII Affiliations copy

{ 2019, Sharing the Kawaii Way }

DC Kawaii Style has had tremendous success in growing with recent milestones like becoming an award winning community.

And we’re all very excited to share The Kawaii Way with you!

GET INVOLVED 

Download the DC Kawaii Style Press Kit

to learn more about the community, accomplishments, our embedded niche communities and all that we as an organization has to offer.

Maybe there are cool ways we can share in the kawaii way, TOGETHER!