New People Grand Opening
Over 30,000 people turned out in San Francisco to celebrate the grand opening of New People store and the J-Pop Summit festival. It was a day long celebration including 4 all-girl bands, a kawaii harajuki make-over contest, a fashion show featuring Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Black Peace Now and various discussion panels with the designers and pop culture icons galore, including Yoshitako Amano.
The 4 bands played in the Peace Plaza across the street of the new store location throughout the day. The bands came straight from Japan and were Red Bacteria Vacuum a 3 piece all-girl punk band from Osaka, Noodles a power-punk quartet from Yokohama, TsuShiMaMiRe, a power-pop band that mixes elements of punk, ska, jazz, funk and rock and Omodaka, a duo mixing traditional Japanese folk music with electronica. The Harajuku Make-Over contest was also held during the open air mini-concert and was hosted by 6% Dokidoki, a designer that practically invented the Harajuku style. The lucky winner of the make-over contest also received a round trip ticket to Harajuku courtesy of Japan Airlines.
In the middle of the celebration the fashion show was held. Personally this was the one event that I was looking forward to the most. The show featured the longest and most established sweet Lolita brand in Japan, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright along with their Gothic Lolita inspired line Alice and the Pirates and one of the most well known gothic brands in the world, Black Peace Now. The Fashion show ran about 2 hours and featured designs specifically catered to their new American audience without losing any of their Japanese style.
Baby the Stars Shine Bright opened up the runway with various pieces from their massive catalogue of Sweet Lolita ranging from white and pink baby doll dresses coupled with matching 3 inch heals and parasols to pieces resembling what Little Red Riding Hood would wear on her way to grandma’s house. I was particularly taken with the Little Red Riding Hood piece which was beautifully trimmed with white lace and matching red wedge heals. Following BTSSB was Alice and The Pirates, the gothic Lolita brand by the same designer.
If you have not had the chance to familiarize yourself with Black Peace Now, it is time to do so. This brand in my opinion beautifully captures what gothic fashion is all about. Just enough angst layered with sophistication and the classic style that gothic fashion has evolved into over the last 10 years or so. Showing outfits that push the edge just enough with short skirts with the ever classic hint of garter coupled with 4 inch platform boots to long flowing gowns with bustles and just the right mixture of black with purple highlights. The men’s outfits were rather striking as well, with long flowing coats and top hats and beautifully fitted pants with ruffled tops.
The summit festival is planned to happen each summer and they hope to expect an even greater turn out next year. This year the numbers proved to be much higher than their projections of a 10,000 person turn out, showing that such a store and festival has been wanted and waited on for much longer than the fine people behind the project could have imagined. Many congratulations are in order for all of those that spent so much of their time over the last 4 years to make the Grand Opening of New People and the first J-pop Summit Festival such a huge success. It really was an experience I will never forget and I duly intend on attending again next year. In the meantime I will be saving up my dollars so that next year I will be able to bring home a few pieces from my most favorite designer of the day, Black Peace Now. Now that they are being offered in America I have no excuse to own at least one of their beautiful pieces. If only I could afford to buy out the whole store, I would die a happy Ruby…
Be sure to check out their website at newpeopleworld.com for updates and more information of all their events that they have planned throughout the year. And mark your calendars for next year’s J-pop summit. It surely is a celebration not to be missed.