Fruits Magazine (written as FRUiTS) is a fashion magazine from Japan that covers Harajuku District fashions. The magazine features a wide array of photographs from throughout the Harajuku District of Tokyo highlighting many different fashion trends and has recently been compiled into the books Fruits and Fresh Fruits in 2001 and 2005 respectively.
Photographer Shoichi Aoki founded Fruits in 1997 as a documentation of the stylistic and eclectic street fashions in Tokyo. The magazine quickly became highly popular in Japan and in countries outside Japan intrigued by these fashions. Aoki has gone on to present exhibitions of his photographs in Australia and New Zealand as a result.
Thematically, the magazine is designed to show the optimism and individualism of the young people being photographed in Harajuku. The essence of fun and authenticity are trumpeted in many of the magazines photographs alongside the cataloging of broader social trends. The idea of the magazine is to counteract the fashion magazines that present packaged styles and designers while giving the freedom of expression back to the individual, the people wearing the clothing in the streets. Coverage of Fashion Styles
There is no particular fashion style that Fruits covers more than any other as the very nature of the magazine is to present as eclectic and mashed up perspective as possible. For the most part, were one to generalize, the style could be described as a modern combination of multiple types of clothing, accessories and technology into an irreverent expression of individuality. The outfits are never quite the same in how they display those features, though often outside perspectives will describe any outlandish, colorful clothing style as “Fruits Style” incorrectly. The vast majority of the images seen in Fruits magazine are similar in style but very different in approach and can represent a wide array of background influences.
In comparison to other styles, Fruits and the people it documents can best be related to the punk ideal of freedom. However, the approach is much more optimistic, without the message or political agenda of punk and nowhere near the extreme visuals of the older, more established style. A common misconception that many Western observers make is that the people in Fruits are similar in style to those who partake in Cosplay, dressing up in a favorite manga or anime character’s apparel. However, this is incorrect as those individuals are emulating rather than making personal statements in regards to their fashion.
The magazine is very simple, with few ads, and those ads that do exist only advertising Harajuku shops. Pictures take up the entire pages and a small white bar in the bottom describes the outfit, where it was purchased, the point of the outfit, and a short description of the person in the photo, including their age, interests, bio, and anything else they care to share about themselves. The very back of the magazine will carry a few short interviews with staff members and the occasional reader submitted images.