Hey everyone! We hope you enjoyed our recent fashion show timeline blog post! Now we are back to some more interviews with cool people. We will also be announcing our new contest on June 1st, so we hope you look forward to enjoying a fun activity, as well as having a chance to win some cool stuff! In the meantime, here at GHOST GiRL Headquarters, we are working hard to bring to you new and exciting blog articles, sneak peaks, and projects/contests!
This next digi-view is an in-depth one, with the person behind the organization bringing conventions and events outstanding music and fashion content!
Rubab - Owner and founder of FAKE STAR USA
I met Rubab for the first time VERY BRIEFLY at Anime Expo 2015, thanks to our wonderful make up artist mutual friend Phoebe! (Please check out Phoebes work here). I got a better chance of actually getting to know Rubab on my trip to Japan in 2018 and even had the pleasure of working together with her on the NUEZZZ x GHOST GiRL GOODS fashion show at Tekko 2019.
(The super fun NUEZZZ x GHOST GiRL GOODS fashion show with wonderful models at Tekko 2019)
FAKE STAR USA was officially formed in the US in 2016, but began doing events officially in 2017. Before FAKE STAR, Rubab had been working with fashion brands and producing shows personally for many years. FAKE STAR officially brought their first brand with ATELIER PIERROT at A-Kon in 2017. For that show, minpha, the bassist of Pentagon Japan, participated as a guest model. Before that, Rubab was working with brands like BABY, the Stars Shine Bright, galaxxxy, h.NAOTO, and more.
(A look at some of the fashion guests/brands that FAKE STAR works with)
I asked Rubab when when she became interested in J Fashion and what is her personal favourite style, either to wear or to admire: "On my first visit to Japan, I immediately began shopping at all the popular KERA brands at the fashion hotspot in Nagoya. I began purchasing the old school street brands, like Black Peace Now and Hellcat Punks, and on a weekend trip to Tokyo I visited Harajuku and shops like Closet Child for the first time.
A few years later, I began a part time job at the h.NAOTO US store and began wearing h.NAOTO and their sister brands as well as assisting with fashion shows. I left that job shortly after to move to New York to study fashion show production seriously, and since then I've been able to work on fashion week runways and apply that expertise to the Japanese street fashion scene in the US.
It's crazy to think how much the fashion scene has changed now and that a lot of these brands aren't around anymore or aren't popular, but a decade is a relatively long time in the short history of Harajuku fashion."
(LISTEN FLAVOR Fashion Show at Kawaii Kon 2018)
"I get to wear a lot of different brands since FAKE STAR represents so many different designers. My favorite brands to wear now however are brands produced by my favorite music artists, or Japanese band merchandise from the different tours I've attended or worked. (I probably have almost a dozen MIYAVI shirts at this point!)
I'm particularly fond of the singer Kiyoharu's merchandise because of the high quality materials, typography-focused print designs, and loose-fitting original body cuts. I also really like to wear black so that's why I find myself picking these clothes to wear most of the time, haha.
I'm very lucky to get to wear pieces from my Lolita
fashion clients as well for tea parties and other events I produce, but my everyday style for work is more casual, oversized shirts, and lots of black. When I'm on tour for work, I need to wear durable and comfortable clothing but still look put together."
I also asked Rubab what is an important aspect of fashion to her:
"Quality. This is why I hand pick the brands that we represent. We want to represent the current trends in the market, but also sell a quality product to our customer base. I'm not a fan of spending a lot of money on something that will fall apart after washing it a few times."
(The right side photo is of two FAKE STAR convention staff members at the booth, featuring LISTEN FLAVOR products)
Fashion shows are not easy to coordinate, but some people don't realize that. I myself have put on several fashion shows over the past few years. Rubab has put on many more, working directly with several Japanese brands, to help ensure they get the best experience. I asked Rubab what is one of the most important aspects of a fashion show:
"On behalf of our clients, the sales are the most important aspect. If your favorite brands don't return to your region, it's typically because the sales were poor. And this is usually a result of a poor fashion show production and execution on behalf of the producer or events team. Just because a show is big doesn't always mean it is a benefit for the designer.
Another important aspect is the brand itself. A strong producer can make up for a designer's lack of expertise in show production to some extent, but it's also very hard to sell a brand that is no longer innovative or attracting audiences. It’s important to make a show that attracts audiences or there’s no point in doing one. It's really boring to attend a show that does the same thing year after year, isn't it?"
(LISTEN FLAVOR Fashion Show models, with Kurebayashi, LISTEN FLAVOR designer, and TeddyLoid on the left!)
I asked Rubab what is one of her favourite events to work at/coordinate fashion content for. She of course has a long list because it's hard just choosing one! Each event is special in its own way for various reasons.
"Last year, we helped grow Kumoricon's fashion show attendance to a bigger crowd than the nation's largest anime convention, which is astounding considering they haven't even had fashion content for that long and are a relatively small show. They helped us successfully execute our vision of a 5-brand eclectic lineup with guest models, including Minori. Tekko is also one of THE fashion destinations with a hugely supportive and innovative
fashion team, and their audience grows immensely every year. AWA's fashion show is also particularly memorable because of the high-quality production, including letting us bring renowned Shibuya club DJ Wildparty to spin live during our client HYPER CORE's fashion show. Fashion is a main event at the already massive AWA. I especially love working with the local models in each city who return every year to help us bring our vision to life, such as Kawaii Kon in Honolulu. The local community is very supportive and friendly to our guests each year, so they always go home with happy memories of Hawaii.
I always look forward to seeing all the familiar faces in our community at each and every event we work with. We do a lot of shows in Texas so even going to Texas feels like going home. Every year we also get new faces who model for us, so I enjoy coaching them and being part of their experience in working with their favorite designers. I'm really grateful to be a small part in helping young models start their careers by working with us, and seeing so many of them grow over the years into such inspiring and successful people makes me really happy to contribute to this community."
Lastly, I asked what is something FAKE STAR fans/potential fans can look forward to in terms of future projects?
"I've always enjoyed mixing music and fashion because they just go together. It's not an original concept in our scene, since Yoshiki has also done this with his own brand many times, but it hasn't been executed outside of Japan much. I've had music artists model for me on multiple runways, such as Shinya from DIR EN GREY, MARiA from GARNiDELiA, Shibuya Azuki from i☆Ris, STARMARIE, etc. Of course, I've also had the honor of having Mana-sama on our runway for Moi-même-Moitié. But I'd like to push this element with more live music in my fashion shows. In the past I've had CHISA (ACME, ex-DIV) sing on the runway, and DJs live mixing on stage. It's an exciting challenge I'd like to tackle more as soon as we are able to go back to live events.
"We had to push back a lot of our projects unfortunately, but we just launched our web shop, the FAKE STAR Shop. I'll be sourcing new apparel from our clients in Harajuku while I'm here in Japan so please send us your requests, suggestions, and feedback! In the meantime, you'll be seeing more of us when events get started up and it'll be interesting to see how much fashion will change in that time. I'll be following the new trends so you can expect us to come back at you with the freshest runways and amazing talent."
Just recently, they made a Stay Home PSA video and I got to be a part of it!
Thanks for answering Rubab! And thank you all for reading. Be sure to check out the FAKE STAR social networks and website, and check out our other blog posts on KAWAII INTERVIEWS, events I've attended, and more!