Hello all, no time no blog! As you have probably noticed, we've been up to a lot in the last few months - here's a recap of what's been going on!
First of all, of course we have an upcoming event! Our Ursa Major² event will take place this Memorial Day weekend, May 28th-31st. It'll have all the bells and whistles that you've come to expect from out virtual events - panels, shopping, games, a tea party, and a charity drawing! Check out the main webpage here!
As some of you may know, Ursa Major was the first virtual event we hosted (at the time, it was through The Black Ribbon's website because we had no inkling that it would even be repeated more than once, or that we would become a full-blown organization). It was thrown together in two weeks after we received the official confirmation that our local anime convention would not be happening, and some of us who on the J-fashion staff for the convention agreed to host some J-fashion content to fill the void. The entire event consisted of 7 panels, 10 brands, and one large Zoom tea party. It's interesting to see how, a year later, we can see how far we've come and how much we've achieved. Speaking of anime conventions...
Virtual FanimeCon 2021
Fanime, our local anime convention, has gone virtual for 2021! It will be happening in conjunction with Ursa Major², and some of our staff and previous panelists have prepared some informational J-fashion content for it! Tickets to virtual Fanime are $10, or free if you either had a ticket from 2020, or you buy a ticket for 2022 (click here for registration). We will also be showing a Fanime-exclusive Designer Fashion Show, which will consist of up-close shots and details from the newest collections from some of our favorite indie designers! This video will not be released publicly, so if you're interested in seeing it, go check out the J-fashion track over at the Fanime website!
In April, we launched Bibliotheca, a J-fashion blogging circle. As blogs have been having a resurgence, we've noticed how difficult it is to find new J-fashion blogs and keep up with their updates - this project acts as a directory for J-fashion blogs, so you can easily find new things to read! You can also sign up for a monthly newsletter to be sent directly to your inbox, which summarizes what all of our affiliated bloggers have been writing about in the last month.
We're also still accepting J-fashion bloggers to feature on this page! If you have a J-fashion blog and want to join a community of bloggers, please send us an application. We have optional monthly blog prompts to write about, and a dedicated channel on our Discord server to blogging!
Bak Bak J-Fashion Talk Show
If you have someone you want us to interview, shoot us a DM or email. We absolutely love hearing about all these creators' different design processes and lives and we hope you do too!
As we approach the end of shelter-in-place for many of those who live in the US, the question of whether we will continue running virtual events has been ever-present. Though much of the world is looking to return to "normal", it may not be the "normal" that some people want to go back to. The feedback we've received from those who have attended these events is that virtual J-fashion meetups and activities are more accessible for those who are newer to J-fashion, disabled, have anxiety, live somewhere where there isn't a large J-fashion scene, or any number of reasons that may prevent someone from attending in-person events.
Going into the future, we're planning on hosting in-person events when it is safe to do so, but we want to continue to make things accessible for attendees. This may mean having a hybrid model for events so our friends online can still participate, and most likely we will cut down on the number of purely virtual events (because, let's be real, 6 large-scale virtual events in a year was a lot). We really do love the community that has been created here in the last year, and I think it'd be sad to let what we've created go to waste because, as I mentioned earlier, what was normal previously also was not the most inclusive. However, the truth of the matter is, we're not sure when and how these things will happen - as with everything we do, we're throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. So please, bear with us! And as always, your feedback and suggestions are greatly appreciated - if you have thoughts on how you'd like to see this continue going forwards, please drop us a line!