Meeting Kira Imai

Published Sunday, 4 December 2011 by Sydney Sunny

Kira Imai is a Lolita artist, if you want to limit her to this. Most Lolitas know her, maybe not by name, because of her work for Lolita brands like Angelic Pretty! I fell in love with her artwork. It is similar to my artwork. I like to draw girls covered in lace, but in still simple. She keeps this balance of detail and simplicity.
I read an interview with Kira Imai in L’Emiprie des Dentelles #4 that I bought at BtSSB Paris. After reading it once, I had to read it again. She seems like a deep person.

“Lolitas do not always feel good about themselves…It is not something that I am right now, but I used to! Actually, I think it has something to do with adolescence. I think that lolitas are way too attached to material things, and  this is the main difference with otomes. Otome is more of a way of living because what is in your heart is more important then the things you’re wearing. Of course, I dress in a particular way and that’s otome, but I thing that it’s still something different. I think it reflects my heart and not a brand or particular style, so it has nothing to do with commercial universe. I would describe an otome as a frail, charming but not especially pretty doll- can you see the difference between charming and lovely?- It’s something really different in the end. I think that when you are Lolita, you hold the potential in your heart to accomplish yourself and to become an otome. I guess it’s a question of maturity. Of course, these are only my ideas! On the contrary, Lolita love to buy and to have the latest clothes from their favorite brand and even the little useless things, a lot of useless things! This the difference that I noticed between the Lolitas in Tokyo who are obsessed with their shopping, and the Lolitas from the provinces that are much farther away: it’s really a way of living and thinking for them. The Lolitas outside of Tokyo do everything with their heart while the Lolitas in Tokyo do everything with their wallet. … The most important thing is how far you’ve gone in your heart. I think the same as Francois and Fumiko: Lolita is  not a fashion because fashion quickly falls out of favor, but lolitas have been here for a long time and will remain here.” 
Kira Imai in L’Emiprie des Dentelles #4

This passage really touches me. I do not live near a big city with Lolita stores in the USA. When I came to live in Amiens, I found myself near BtSSB Paris and Angelic Pretty Paris! I was excited. But, I knew I could buy the most expensive dress in the stores, and I still would be no more Lolita then if I didn’t buy any thing from the stores! I did buy a skirt not because it was a popular print, but because I loved the cut and the fabric!  Later, I bought things online, and again I bought then things people past over. Wearing bows and and lace make me feel better. My heart sings. I am not follow the crowd in mainstream fashion or even in Lolita fashion. I pick what I like. My heart can fly.

Thus, to meet this artist was really special for me. No famous Japanese Lolita people ever come to Tennessee, USA. I was so excited that I could not help but smile as I waited to see her.

Kira holding my drawing to her and me holding her doll and my Totoro.

The night before I drew her a picture. She was so excited about it. She wanted a picture of me! She let me hold her doll too! You can see on my face how excited I am to meet her! I always can’t hold back my silly smile! After she signed everything, she took and my hand between her two warm hands and said, “Thank you for coming to see me on such a cold day. And thank you so very much for the drawing.” I replied, “The pleasure is mine, really!” ( all thanks to a translator) She and I were very flattered. I wish language did not separate us. There is so much I wan to say to her! So much, she has taught me in just a small passage from an interview!

Credit to my first Lolita friend who I ate lunch with in Starbucks!

The things I bought from her: Velour and Chiffon.  She also gave me a postcard and a sticker.

Velour and Chiffon, a free postcard and free sticker!

Kira Imai signed my books and postcard.

If you are curious about what I wore, I posted it here.

Thank you for looking!


3 comments on “Meeting Kira Imai

  • Hi, I’d love you know how you went about meeting Kira Imai. I only recently found out about her work on a trip to Japan and am completely in love with it. I have tried to find contact info on her page but there doesn’t seem to be much out there. Can you help?
    Thanks, Sammaneh (Australia)

    • HI!
      A French friend gave me a link. She has a website with a blog, but I don’t think it has been updated. I do not know if she has ever gone to Australia. If you are active in the the local lolita community, they might have answers. She does work for Angelic Pretty. I saw someone selling a poster does by her. I think you will need a shipping service to order from her site.
      This is a place where you can buy some of her things:
      As of contact? I have no idea. I think she is a very private person, a lot of people from Japan are.


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