6% DOKIDOKI: Sebastian Masuda and “real punk” within its own unique style
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
6%DOKIDOKI is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda and through the fashion of this company you can not only feel Harajuku and the vibrant nature of Tokyo fashion but the color schemes and nature of kawaii culture also comes alive. This applies to the raw energy, creativity and stunning fashion clothes and accessories which are produced by 6%DOKIDOKI.
In the United Kingdom the punk era was vibrant and new fashion styles popped up alongside the music. Famous groups like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Damned, and countless others started a period of raw energy but each group had its own style and sound.
The fashion of 6%DOKIDOKI is unique because decora and kawaii roots are firmly interwoven within this company but Sebastian Masuda is a designer of many talents and the company keeps on creating new styles and designs. Therefore, 6%DOKIDOKI is a fashion company which fuses the energy of “the real streets of Harajuku” and in return the fashion conscious youth also fuse their energy within the company.
6%DOKIDOKI clearly have their own unique brand and if you view their website at http://www.dokidoki6.com/ then you can see that creativity and innovation is part and parcel of this fashion company.
Sebastian Masuda states on the website of 6%DOKIDOKI that “I think it is pretty natural and also punk for us who live in Harajuku, Tokyo, in the twentry-first century, to make an appeal to the world strongly that we need Peace, Happiness and Cuteness.
Sebastian Masuda also comments that “We love vivid colors and strange toys or funny accessories and stuff.”
These comments allude to the culture of Harajuku which is a very trendy environment and a place of safety. Harajuku is about fashion, freedom, passion and raw energy and the vivid colors and accessories point in the direction of peace, happiness and cuteness.
This is in stark contrast to the punk scene because in the United Kingdom you had unemployment, decay, drugs, and other negatives within the inner city of most major cities. Therefore, while punk from the top under Malcolm Maclaren had a veneer of upper-class and middle class control mechanisms the reality of “real punk” belonged to individuals who were inspired by political movements.
“Real punk” is like “real fashion” at 6%DOKIDOKI but for completely different reasons which are linked to the environment of both energies. The terminology of “real punk” means the anti-authoritarian and political movement of groups which “espoused anarchism” or sang lyrics based on critical thinking and challenging the status quo.
Sex Pistols under Malcolm Maclaren was about money and “fakeness” but in the subculture of the United Kingdom other punk groups emerged and they meant everything to a minority of the youth in this period because of the political nature of the lyrics.
6%DOKIDOKI also responds to the environment of Harajuku and clearly Sebastian Masuda is worried about aspects of fast retail fashion companies because this type of fashion is a far cry from the “real Harajuku.” Also, Sebastian Masuda was in the forefront of the Mighty Harajuku Project after the devastating March 11 earthquake which unleashed the potent tsunami and created the radiation crisis in Fukushima.
Of course 6%DOKIDOKI is about fashion and intriguing accessories and this company is loved in many parts of the world because of its mixture of uniqueness, stunning colors, creativity, raw energy, individualistic designs, and vivid colors which are striking visually.
However, if you read the words of Sebastian Masuda in an article published by LA Weekly and written by Liz Ohanesian. Then it becomes apparent that the energy of 6%DOKIDOKI is fused within the creativity of design, the environment of Harajuku and a raw passion for fashion which is not just about what the eye can see.
In the above mentioned article it states “Masuda, though, added layers of cultural context that we would undoubtedly miss by simply flipping through the pages of magazines like Fruits. Fashion is fun, but it can also say something significant.”
I would say that “real punk” belonged to the heart of its time and while the music scene bit the dust and remains a dream within older individuals who refuse to let go of their youth. The “real punk” of the heart remains within many individuals even if the mutations are diverse and belong to many different thought patterns.
The fashion scene in Harajuku is not linked to any powerful music scene unlike the fashion era of punk which relied on music. However, the linkage with 6%DOKIDOKI with “real punk” is “the heart” and this is witnessed by the wonderfully creative Sebastian Masuda.
6%DOKIDOKI create fabulous fashion designs and stunning color schemes and the same applies to accessories. This creativity is maintained because “the heart” is strong and like Sebastian Masuda stated in the article in the LA Weekly; “Fashion is fun, but it can also say something significant.”
If you are a visitor to Tokyo or you are using the medium of the internet then a visit in person or via the internet will open up your eyes to a vibrant fashion company in the heart of Harajuku.
http://www.dokidoki6.com/ (6%DOKIDOKI website)
http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/ (Sebastian Masuda – also, please read about the Mighty Harajuku Project)
http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-world-tour-harajuku-kawaii-experience/ (Many images of 6%DOKIDOKI)