Chie’s Talk Show at Atelier Pierrot’s Evening of Secrets

Atelier Pierrot held their annual brand party on November 23, 2023. The party occurred at the St. George’s Bar inside the Hilton Tokyo hotel.

Evening of Secrets promotional image featuring dapper cats.

During the party, Chie, a long time staff member of Atelier Pierrot, gave a small talk about her time working at Atelier Pierrot. After the event the brand uploaded the transcript of her talk show which I’ve translated below. This speech highlights some of Atelier Pierrot’s history and the history of lolita shops inside the LaForet building.

Chie’s Talk Show Transcript

I am Chie from Atelier Pierrot’s Harajuku store.

I began working for Atelier Pierrot in 1993. It has been 30 years since then.

Atelier Pierrot shopfront inside LaForet Harajuku.
Atelier Pierrot’s shop inside LaForet Harajuku, 2023 (via LaForet)

I would like to talk about Atelier Pierrot’s history. 

Atelier Pierrot began in September of 1969, 54 years ago, as a wholesaler for casual clothing brands.

In September of 1975, 48 years ago, the shop opened in Harajuku Plaza (Central Apartment), current day Tokyu Plaza. 

From there, on October 28, 1978 Laforet opened its doors, and Pierrot has been located there ever since. At that time, (Angelic) Pretty also opened there as a select shop. 

In April 1993, under the guidance of the previous director Keiko Ohashi, Pierrot transformed into a select shop. 

With a focus on black clothing, clothing moved away from casual wear to more of the mode designs that were popular at the time. At the same time, Pierrot rebranded to Atelier Pierrot. 

30 years ago when I began working for Atelier Pierrot, we were not selling original clothing, but black clothing that could be worn for a mode fashion look. A lot of the customers were band fans of LUNA SEA, L’Arc~en~Ciel, and the like (now visual kei). These fans were a lot of our customers. The term “gothic lolita” was not being used, and there were no lolita fashion shops in LaForet other than Pierrot and Pretty. 

Around the time I joined the company, we were moving away from selling mode kei items. Director Ohashi was looking through a magazine that was introducing indie brands and discovered Marble and Visible and began selling their clothing. 

That was the beginning of current day Atelier Pierrot. At the time, Marble was making colorful clothing items in red and pink. Director Ohashi recommended they produce items in black. Those items sold out as soon as they hit the shelves. 

Another example is the headdresses you are all wearing now. When I joined the company 30 years ago, of course we weren’t selling them and I had never even seen anyone wearing a headdress. 

White lace headdress by Marble.
All-over Lace Volume Frill Headdress by Marble

When we first received the shipment from Marble, Ohashi and I together tried to figure out what this long lace piece was. We discussed “Where do you wear it?”

“Your neck?”


“Could it be, it’s for your head?!”

It was for your head! It left a massive impact on us in 1998!

At that time, Atelier Boz was making stage costumes and we recommended that they make jackets and skirts that fit with more gothic tastes and preferences. 

At the time, we were also selling Peace Now and their casual items with check patterns and mini skirts were quite popular and attracting a lot of attention. 

Putumayo and Algonquins also opened in LaForet. 

After that, Metamorphose, h.Naoto, Peace Now, and Alice and the Pirates opened in the basement of LaForet and the basement floor became the gothic lolita floor. 

In 1998 Kera magazine debuted, and in 2001 the Gothic & Lolita Bible was launched, with gothic and lolita fashion gaining popularity.

It was around this time that Ohashi began creating Atelier Pierrot’s original items, headdresses and skirts with lace around the hems. 

Around that time the current director and CEO, Yuko Ashizawa, joined the company and the company began producing more popular original designs with plenty of lace and frills. During that time, we began producing Atelier Pierrot’s iconic corset one piece dress. 

In 2013, Ashizawa took over as the current director and CEO and since then clothing production has increased in earnest, bringing us to where we are now. 

In this era of Atelier Pierrot, we continue to strive to make the gothic lolita items you all love. 

Since 2009, we have done events overseas in America, the United Kingdom, France, and Finland, hosting fashion shows to help continue to spread gothic lolita fashion overseas. 

As for stores:

In 2008 the Osaka store opened.

In 2015 we had a pop up shop in Fukuoka.

In 2018 we opened the shop in the Shinjuku Marui Annex. 

In 2022 we had a pop up shop in Yokohama.

In 2023 we opened the store in Yokohama. 

Through our many collaboration items, various tea parties and in-store events, Atelier Pierrot is continuing to spread and promote gothic lolita fashion!  

What an insightful look back at Atelier Pierrot’s history! It’s great to collect firsthand accounts of lolita fashion history.

Source: Atelier Pierrot

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