June 18, 2020 – Osaka-based classic lolita fashion brand Innocent World announced the start of their annual summer sale. Items in the sale are marked with 20-60% discount. However, there was also a concerning announcement from the brand’s owner and designer Yumi Fujiwara posted on her Twitter. Read the translation below.
“[2020 Innocent World Summer Sales Notice]
Every year our customers enjoy our summer sales.
This year, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus we will be hosting our summer sale online. (Start: Thursday June 8th 12 P.M. JST)
After a 2 month break, we have resumed sales at our Osaka and Shinjuku stores, but our Shinjuku store in particular has seen a decrease in customers since it is located near Kabukicho.
Because of the current restrictions on international packages, we are also unable to send orders overseas, so our sales have taken a big hit.
If you look at the news, you see that even fast fashion brands that appeared to be thriving are now declaring bankruptcy and closing, our company is currently in a severe situation and I worry about what tomorrow holds for us.
Today, on the day we have overcome this corona crisis and operate both the Osaka and Shinjuku stores as before, my honest feelings are that I want to be able to hold out long enough to resume overseas orders to lolitas.
We have a lot of new releases coming out, I hope that you are able to order from our “new releases” and “sales” sections.
I hope everyone will continue to use their abilities to support Innocent World and our ability to make clothes. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continued support.
Innocent World Owner/Designer Fujiwara Yumi”
What could this mean?
Innocent World may be on the brink of shutting down. Their Shinjuku shop is located inside the Shinjuku Marui Annex. Foot traffic heavily decreased since the department store is approximately a 10 minute walk away from Tokyo’s red-light district Kabukicho. Since the Tokyo lockdown lifted on May 25, Kabukicho has become a hotbed for new coronavirus cases.
Innocent World has not been able to take overseas online orders since Japan’s suspension of mail to China in March, to the United States in April, and the various other countries. Innocent World still is not accepting orders, but there is a temporary solution for overseas fans if you would like to support them. It is possible to use a shopping or forwarding service to place orders and have items shipped through a third party courier. The sales page is available on their Japanese site, but can not be viewed through the English site.
Other brands that have faced crisis due to COVID-19
COVID-19 is impacting much of the retail world. Just about a month ago, we’ve already began to see other Japanese alternative brands already shut down [see: Harajuku Goth Shops Drug Honey and Noble Noire Close Amidst Pandemic]. Long-time Harajuku kawaii brand 6%dokidoki is also at risk of losing their flagship store and launched a crowdfunding campaign. Innocent World celebrated its 20th anniversary just last year in 2019. It would be a shame to see the iconic classic lolita brand shutter.