All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Come together all over the world from the 'hoods of Japan, Harajuku Girls! What?!

So I found out through my old program director that another grad (this one in fashion) needed some help with a new boutique she, her partners, and their foreign investors were going to open. My previous retail project earlier this year fell flat (and didn't even bother to pay my invoice), so naturally I was wary and didn't respond right away.

But another request came, so I thought I'd drop this fellow alum an e-mail. Turns out she and her partners were gonig to import Japanese Lolita-style clothing as well as punk-rock inspired Harajuku wear from Japan. When I went to Japan a couple of years ago I loved seeing these extreme styles of clothing being worn regularly by young women--not necessarily just for special occasions. Over a later phone conversation I wondered how these new boutqiue owners would make their imported clothing appeal to mainstream American audiences (especially those who shop around Union Square in downtown SF.)

Here's the look, straight outta Japan:

On the phone they described how they wanted the boutique to look more high-fashion, but that they also needed to stick to the Lolita side's brand. The punk side could apparently have a little more creativity. They were really into checkerboard floors. My first thought was to have the two sides of the store be almost mirror images of each other, hard vs. soft. I thought that vintage/antique pieces could look good on either side: painted white or pastel, they'd definitely look like a Shabby Chic "Lolita"; if spray-painted and distressed, the same (or similar) pieces could definitely look edgier. The trick was to not look like a mash-up of Hello Kitty and Hot Topic. Except maybe in the middle of the shop. That could've been cool...;-)

With less than 24 hours' notice, I was asked to submit a quick sketch. Here's what I came up with:

I wish I could have at least colored it in, or done something digital. But in the end, with a full-time dayjob in design, there's only so much I can do at night after I've made dinner for the family and tried to regain some of my sanity and catch up on correspondence and blog once in a while. (Yes, "dinner for the family" usually means me, my partner, and our cat...but still.)

Never heard back from them, kind of like another project I did where I submitted a series of concepts. (I guess I learned my lesson about spending too much time and energy on pitches with that one.) But I don't know--did I do something wrong, something so bad as to not even receive an acknowledgment of my submission?

I'm still learning the ropes, I guess...

Love, angel, music, baby--hurry up and come and save me!


Jim said...

Not responding is just plain rude. But don't let it get ya down! That's pretty cool work for less than a day's notice.

Jason said...

Thanks! In the end, they did get back to me (after I followed up) and they said it was down to me and one other person! Well, at least I know who got the job, and I know she'll do a great job (hint: she's one of the colleagues listed in the sidebar!)