Japanese Street Style Magazine FRUiTS to Shutter After 20 Years Citing Lack of Cool Kids

After 20 years of capturing the street style of Japanese teens in and around Harajuku, Japanese magazine FRUiTS says it has published its last issue. The reason? Lack of material.

In an interview with Fashionsnap, founder, editor and chief photographer Shoichi Aoki said that the main reason his monthly magazine was shuttering after 20 years and 233 issues was that “there were no more fashionable kids to photograph.” Aoki says that over the years he had noticed the trend of declining cool kids that met his magazine’s standards, and that the trend particularly intensified last year.

Aoki’s publishing company will continue to publish their last remaining title STREET, but their other title TUNE is currently on hiatus. This trend is in sync with anecdotal evidence we’ve heard and seen about the rise of Uniqlo and how kids are no longer spending money on fashion.

FRUiTS was often championed as real street photography, as opposed to photographs of undercover models trying to pass themselves off as innocent bystanders. FRUiTS will be missed.

6 Comments

  1. Interesting..
    But TUNE actually disappeared from shelves in Tokyo WAY before FRUiTS did, and anyone living in Tokyo involved in the scene knows FRUiTS didn’t just die because of “lack of cool kids.”
    FRUiTS became a popularity contest, often taking pics of the same kids 3/4 times per issue. Especially from about 2014-2016.

    There are tons of people that would seem incredibly stylish/edgy/loud on the streets of Tokyo, especially on the back streets of Harajuku and moreso in other areas.
    What actually happened to FRUiTS was sales rapidly declining after the rise of “Instagram kids”, and honestly even before, when most Street snap culture went online.. Aoki is to be respected, but the sole reason is not simply “lack of cool kids.”
    You have a metro area of over 30
    Million people l, where majority walk. There’s so much fashion on the streets it’s unbelievable .

    Yes, the youth (even Bunka students) buy more fast fashion than ever before, but there is still an incredibly strong street fashion culture in Tokyo. I know for a fact one of the photographers that took pictures of several of the same “it kids” didn’t do the magazine justice in my opinion.
    (“It kids”, although everyone outside of FRUiTS new there were other underground creatives doing things outside of Harajuku, also with VERY strong, unique visual aesthetics ), but he chose not to photograph them.

    And honestly, a lot of old school Harajuku creative people were turned off by Harajuku becoming a bit snooty, mixed with fast fashion, and let’s also not forget how much of that part of Tokyo has been bought out by Asobi Systems…

    There are still experimental kids, but when it becomes an “it kid” contest, it kills the originally “freestyle” scene.

    In my opinion, FRUiTS can thank their own photographers for killing their scene.

    They got super selective, and as soon as that last photographer left, Aoki took over again, and although his history is extremely admirable, he was a little too far removed from the scene after returning-Whether it be unwarare of why the repetitive “it kids” were photographed constantly, or the fact that underground fashion peoooe studying at schools like CoCo No Gakkou were making amazing things very under the radar. (And not online so much.)

    Sad day, but if there is any doom and gloom in Tokyo, it’s the fact that SO much of the fashion culture there is status related now. Students are much pickier about brand association as well.
    This “fashion as personal expression movement” was very late 90’s japan, not as much now…

  2. Thats a very thoughtful, in depth and insightful comments. Thank you for sharing.

  3. @Alan Yamamoto

    GREAT comment! Totally agree.

  4. This is a great comment and I agree on that. Harajuku fashion is more spreading out of the Harajuku area physically as well as conceptually. It may be that fashion is no longer mainly personal expression and so people are not interested in being photographed? Or is it still part of personal expression but the targeted audience is changing from the anonymous mass to more intimate alike community? Adding to that the publishing business is more shifting to digital publications as well. Anyways, I appreciate your insightful remarks, Alan.

  5. I’m very surprise by the English standard of a Japanese.
    wow….. I always thought that Japanese got some sort of pronunciation problems.

  6. I am leaving a comment simply because Eve here cracks me up.
    I’m also very surpriseD AT the lack of English standard of a non-Japanese.
    Wow… I always thought that non-Japanese should not have some sort of understanding problems.
    Racist much, hun?
    Congratulations, you just trolled yourself.

    @Alan Yamamoto – thanks for sharing this with us. So thoughtful and very insightful indeed.

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