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Fashion blogger is influenced by Japanese culture

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Amongst the cold gust of the San Pedro breeze, there’s a pearl-colored hair model in her baggy cherry red vintage knit sweater. She can be spotted miles away in a sea of people as easy as finding Waldo. As she fiercely gazes into the camera that would stun even medusa, she shifts her body into position.

Click.

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Alexis Boldt, 23, English major, has a frame as elegant as cranes. She shifts again, pivoting her feet. Tourists stop by and ignore the Korean Friendship Bell behind her. Their eyes fixate on Alexis. She is the main attraction now.

Click. Click.

“Look at me,” says Angel Valdez, Alexis’s boyfriend. She responds by focusing her eyes directly on the camera as she re-positions her body and oozes with confidence.

Alexis, an El Camino student, is a fashion blogger who resides in San Pedro. She aspires to expand her influences in Japanese street fashion in order to blossom a fruitful career in fashion. She credits her style and inspiration to a mixture of western hip-hop culture and Tokyo’s neon colored underground club scene.

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In a little town called Alexis, Illinois, 13-year-old Alexis did not watch many cartoons on Saturdays, except for “Toonami”, an adult orientated animation block showcasing action anime at midnight. The show was an unorthodox subculture that resonated within nerd culture in the mid-2000’s. This sparked Alexis’s romantic relationship with Japanese culture.

Alexis recalls some of her favorite anime shows like “K-on” which portrayed an ensemble of girls in high school trying to save a music club from being disbanded.

“Seeing the characters made me feel like it was OK to have fun, be weird and not care what people think,” Alexis says.

Around the age 17, Alexis started wearing thigh highs, vibrant colored wigs and circle skirts that resembled the “kawaii style” made popular in Japan. She soon felt that there was not enough room for variations and experimentation in the “kawaii style”, and that has encouraged her to try other Japanese influenced styles. She says she now looks at fashion in a different manner.

Teen magazines in the U.S. are not as radical as Alexis would hope for, thus queuing Japanese magazines like “Mina” and “Zipper” that showcase a wide array of street fashion like beanies, baggy jeans and high-top sneakers on females.

When she turned 22, she started searching for outfits from local thrift stores in Del Amo, California that resembled the street fashion in the magazines.

“I just like how you can put a piece that wouldn’t go together and pair it with something and still make it look good,” Alexis says as she explains her thought process when choosing certain fabrics like tartan and floral prints. Searching for that perfect unique piece in piles of clothes at a thrift store is like looking for a needle in haystack.

Once Alexis had a grasp for orchestrating outfits, she made a blog called “Kenyaku Fruit” which means thrifty fruit. The title was influenced by her conscious food diet, lifestyle and second-hand clothing selections.

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“I just thought it was cool at the time and people online have called me ‘fruit’ because of my hair prior,” says Alexis, also known as fruit dandy on her social media accounts. The name was inspired by one of her favorite anime shows, “Space Dandy.”

When Alexis is in public or working at 24-Hour Fitness, strangers often stare at her and proceed with comments about her appearance that range from,”you look pretty without makeup and wigs,” to “I love your eyebrows.”

Alexis is half African-American and half Caucasian and she doesn’t feel like she is trying to mask anything about herself through her outfits nor does she care how others perceive her because of her style.

Alexis continues to do her “thang” as she networks with people in the industry through her blog posts and hopes to travel to Japan in three years.

“It’s fun and I’m not trying (to) stick to a certain race, gender or appearance, just doing my thang,” Alexis says.

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Fashion blogger is influenced by Japanese culture