Japan, and more specifically Tokyo, has been a place of much inspiration for anyone with a keen interest in street-centric fashion. From the scene’s iconic brand founders and designers such as NIGO, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Jun Takahashi to name but a few, to the world renown Harajuku district, the Land of the Rising Sun has is still regarded as the mecca for cult street-style sensibilities. Well, until we discovered that FRUiTS founder Shoichi Aoki (who also created STREET and TUNE mag) has decided to discontinue printing his street style bible after a solid 20-year run.
Throwing us into a spiral of confused and depression, the news of the publication’s fold comes with a statement claiming that “There are no more fashionable kids to photograph.” A shock to hear for any FRUiTS, or even the general Harajuku fashion fan. The magazine was first introduced in 1997, and quickly became the go-to reference for experimental street fashion through its profiled portrait-style material, consequently documenting the youth subcultures and “style tribes” of the time. While presenting what was already on the streets, the mag also serves to influence new adoptions and adaptations in style.
But with fashion as a whole progressing to the point of it not being as distinct in its myriad styles and each being true to itself as it once was, Aoki’s realization and decision may be not as surprising as we initially thought. That being said, hope is not all lost, as while the printed editions will no longer be gracing our shelves, FRUiTS will still live on as a digital presence. “There is potential to create a different, equally special thing online, Aoki states to Dazed Digital, adding that he plans to donate his archives to fashion institutes around the world to use, which would be an immense plus to the current landscape of tomorrow’s influencers, especially since Aoki “might be the only person who has an archive of 80s London and Paris along with 90s Harajuku, so it’s my duty to make it public.” Check out a few highlights from FRUiTS throughout.