Lulu Hashimoto is the very first doll fashion model to set foot on this planet, just landing her debut on Jul. 11 of this year. Being a “doll-er,” a term that defines a person who dresses up like a doll, she is able to alter her hairstyle, her eyes, and even her height. To give you a better idea, let’s say they’re softer than a mannequin, but slightly more apathetic than a regular human being.
Despite it only being a little over a month since Lulu made her striking debut, she’s already been making waves in the subculture scene with 20,000 retweets on her debut video on Twitter and an additional 5,000 followers on the day following her debut.
Read on for a rare and exciting interview done by KUCHIKASEYA MOIRA, who we interviewed the other day, with Lulu Hashimoto and her producer, millna.
―Lulu Hashimoto is a “doll” model and not a human being, which means she doesn’t speak. With that said, we’ll have her producer, millna, do the talking today. Nice to meet you, millna.
Hi, I’m millna. Thanks for having me. This is my doll fashion model, Lulu Hashimoto.
Photo: KUCHIKASEYA MOIRA
―Please give us a brief introduction to Lulu Hashimoto.
She’s a Harajuku-based model, also the first ever “doll” fashion model.
きのう誕生したドール着ぐるみ初のファッションモデル・橋本ルルちゃん、撮影速報です。本日は真っ白なスウェットドレス。球体関節人形風ですが動きます！ pic.twitter.com/BimGxyoaCd — 橋本ルル（doll着ぐるみ） (@LULUiDOLL) July 12, 2016
Photo: KUCHIKASEYA MOIRA
―What sort of events has Lulu-chan been involved in?
Since she just landed her debut on Jul. 11, there hasn’t been much on her timeline yet, but her event “luluroom” was hosted twice at Laforet Harajuku.
―That must be when she visited the limited-time pop-up store, ”hakuchum tokyo” in July this year. I’m assuming that was the first time the public witnessed Lulu-chan, how was everybody’s reaction?
She was getting a lot more love than we’d expected, so we were actually caught by surprise. Girls who walked by would go “kawaii (cute)” and little kids from foreign families would run up to her. There was a lot of people cue-ing up when we hosted the event for the second time.
I’ve been a doll artist for eight years now, and I’ve been familiar with how the society viewed “dolls,” so I had my worries when I started producing Lulu-chan. However, I gradually saw how the view towards “dolls” had shifted into something more positive over the years. Perhaps it was the Blythe dolls that helped boost their impression.
It felt great to see people enjoy what I produced and call it “kawaii,” regardless of age or wherever they were from in the world.
― It was all strategically planned that you held your first event in Harajuku, am I correct?
― I’ve read how the make-up and hairstyle incorporate trends seen in Harajuku-kei fashion.
It’s more of a mix of what I personally like and what’s in right now. Red eye shadow has been a thing recently as well as bringing back past ages and giving it a modern twist, so I drew thick eyebrows on her with a winged eyeliner, added the red eye shadow, just the way I wanted to. I added a bit of gradation on her lips to make it look traditionally Japanese overall.
We may change the makeup and the hairstyle depending on the photo shoot, but we’ll see. The customization that’s done for the doll is purely my preference. It was all about bringing a picture to life.
― Why did you choose to lean towards Harajuku-kei? The fashion is very much visible when you walk around Harajuku and it seems progressive, but it definitely strays away from mainstream fashion.
It’s a unique and individual culture. It was once a ground that I was largely fascinated with. The thing I love the most about “Harajuku” is that it defeats standard ideals such as how to be normal and ignores ideas like things you can’t overdo or how to attract boys. I think the focus is more on creating what you yourself think is kawaii. Tokyo’s a city that allows you to be free in a myriad of ways. It’s nice to know that there’s a place that accepts fashion styles that would be questioned in the office with the attitude of “what’s wrong with being kawaii?”
I believe Harajuku is a place that transcends norms or standards; it’s undeniable that it’s the ultimate place for those who want to lead a kawaii life. That was the spirit I wanted to instill in Lulu-chan, so I knew she had to be based off of Harajuku.
― In terms of pursuing the “kawaii life.”
>>next page How did Lulu-chan’s debut come about?