Before you start reading, I unfortunately missed the first 15 minutes of the Q&A
so I came in the middle of Fujiwara answering a question. The answers are a bit choppy due to Fujiwara giving long answers. She would talk a bit then pause to let the translator speak and then start again.
Unfortunately, I omitted 2 questions because my notes were completely unreadable. Sorry!
Fujiwara: I had very little start-up money. I was worried no one would be able to find my shop on the 5th floor of an apartment building. So it relied on word of mouth. It became a secret base for lolita.
Back then, other than eating and sleeping I was sewing, but I was happy.
Where did the name Innocent World come from?
The name is dedicated to beauty regardless of age.
Compared to when you doing everything by yourself, what is your day to day like now?
There's more things I have to take care of. Like, 18 years ago I wasn't dealing with wholesale, arranging deliveries, and having staff. Thankfully, I have staff to help me now. One of my concerns now is to figure out how to make it fun for them.
I don't have a ranking, but last year we released Fantasy Night Sky (cue audience ohhing) I saw lots of people take photos of themselves wearing it. That was the most memorable to me.
Before lolita what kind of clothing did you wear?
I graduated from fashion school and worked in normal apparel. (either my notes are completely wrong or something went wrong with the translator, but those are my notes ;;)
What makes you decide to rerelease a print like Lotta?
If we get a lot of requests or if time has past there's still a demand for it. There may be people that weren't into lolita when a print was released, but they still want it.
Favorite material to work with?
I have no real preference. I try to work with fabrics that are easy wash and iron.
Speaking of rereleases what's behind the decision to change the color or the structure of a dress when you rerelease a series?
No real reason. I'll see a color and think "oh that would look nice."
Have you ever gone back on a design? You look at it and think, "Oh this is no good."
Fujiwara asks to clarify. Do you mean in the drawing stage or when it has already went through the design process?
Hmm...5-10 seconds. (audience gasps) If I'm drawing a design for too long, it tends to not be successful. I have a reputation for changing things last minute. One time a design with rabbits was 90% ready to be sent to textiles. Within 3 hours the bunnies changed to completely different animals. My assistants are used to it.
Over the years how has the customer demographic changed?
Even back then there were males and people of different sizes who were into lolita. Now there's more of an international demographic. Instead of differences I try to focus on similarities we all have. People that are into lolita tend to have similar hobbies.
Why are you so inspired by teddy bears?
Because I love them. I focus on what I like and enjoy what I'm doing. Sometimes I tell my staff I'm going to work and they say oh you're just going to the doll/teddy bear shop, but to me that is work.
Did you ever want to be something other than a fashion designer?
I always wanted to become a designer. My mom works in the fashion industry. I've always known from a young age I wanted to work in fashion.
The union jack appears frequently in your designs. What do you like about the UK?
I really love the architecture in England. As I said before, I'll continue to make what makes me happy, then hopefully people will continue to support me.
Thanks for reading!