Report: Rei Shito’s Street Fashion Tips

Rei Shito is one of Japan’s most popular street fashion photographers. Her website STYLE from TOKYO has gained worldwide attention. She takes street snaps of the fashion elite all over the world (Paris, New York, London) but is best known for her photos of everyday Tokyo street fashion. Before starting her own blog, Rei worked at STREET/FRUiTS/TUNE, street fashion magazines in Japan, as a photographer and doing PR for several years.

On March 30, Rei Shito came to Fukuoka’s Riverain Theater (Hakata) for a special seminar entitled “Rei Shito’s Street Fashion Tips”, as part of Fashion Week Fukuoka 2013. FN’s Ellery Herbert and Momoyo Arii attended the event and summarized their experience below….

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The Riverain Theater contained a diverse cross-section of Fukuoka’s young fashion crowd on March 30 – all decked out in their best outfits and ready to meet one of Japan’s most popular street fashion photographers and bloggers, Rei Shito. The range of colors and patterns that made up the crowd was, in itself, a lesson in style. Midway through the seminar, Rei even stopped to point out that four audience members were wearing the same “NY” cap, currently a popular trend on the streets of Japan.

Although tiny in stature, Rei entered the room with a real presence. She wore a casual, Parisian blue and white striped top with a textured baroque-print skirt in royal blue. Frilled neon yellow socks peeked out of her chunky, silver boots, which featured tabi-style toe detailing. Rei’s left ear was adorned with an elaborate, gem encrusted two-piece clip on ear cuff, and her left arm was dominated by a massive, chunky metal watch that resembled battle armor rather than a timepiece. Hair tied in a casual ponytail, Rei’s style was at once cute and tough.

Greeting the audience in a warm and humble manner, Rei began the seminar by giving a quick but detailed lesson in high fashion. She explained the difference between “Contemporary”, “Advanced Contemporary”, and “Luxury” fashion brands, before stressing that the focus should not be on brand names and logos, but high quality design and clever coordination. Rei recommended mixing luxury brands with casual wear – a style she often admires on the streets. She also talked about how some Japanese-made street brands (such as Koler, vivism, White Mountaineering) have been attracting worldwide attention recently, due to their high-quality manufacturing and design. She shared tips on bringing clothes from the runway to “off-runway” everyday wear, and shared the names of some of her favorite fashion brands from Japan and abroad. She stressed that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.

Next, Rei’s focus shifted to more specific fashion tips. On a large projector-screen, she clicked through street style snaps recently taken at fashion week in Paris. Brimming with enthusiasm, Rei chatted about her favorite fashion items of the moment. Here are some pointers we picked up…

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Rei Shito’s fashion tips:
Tip 1: Shoes
• Pointed shoes are very popular this season. You’ll find that many brands have pointy shoes available in a signature color, so you’ll have lots to choose from, however white is a safe and stylish option.
• Gold or silver shoes are also a great addition to an outfit. Gold is an easy color to coordinate with brown or beige clothes, and silver shoes go well with with grey clothes.
• Colorful sneakers (in particular Nike sneakers) have also been in vogue lately. They look edgy when worn with classy or luxury clothing items.


Photo: Rei Shito (Style from Tokyo)

Tip 2: Pants
• Wide pants are becoming very fashionable, and look great paired with pointed shoes.
• Unfashionable denim (baggy with rips, or high waisted and tight) mixed with mode style creates an unexpectedly stylish look.


Photo: Rei Shito (Style from Tokyo)

Tip 3: Jumpers
• Wear a sports jacket, casual or outdoors jackets with wide pants or a short skirt. College-style letter jackets are an easy item to start with.


Photo: Rei Shito (Style from Tokyo)

Tip 4: Colors
• Bordeaux (a deep, rich red tone) looks great in very feminine dresses and styles.
• A black and white color combo suits a more “mannish” style of outfit.


Photo: Rei Shito (Style from Tokyo)

Tip 5: One tone dressing
• Coordinate your whole outfit in one tone. Try head-to-toe green, white, yellow, or any color you like!


Photo: Rei Shito (Style from Tokyo)

Tip 6: Short crop tops
• Short crop tops look great with long coats. If you’re shy and want to cover your navel, wear it with a high waisted skirt or pants.


Photo: Rei Shito (Style from Tokyo)

Tip 7: Scarves
• Scarves are an underutilized accessory (it can be hard to wear one without looking like a flight attendant) but they can add a lot to an outfit when worn well. Try it around your neck, or over your head like an old fashioned movie star!


Photo: Rei Shito (Style from Tokyo)

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Rei ended with the phrase “Enjoy fashion, Love your life” – a simple and rather lovely sentiment.

Following the seminar, a question-and-answers session ran overtime, with lots of audience members keen to ask. When asked “What is special about fashion in Japan?” Rei replied that she feels Japanese people are great at coordination and expressing their individuality. When asked “How do you find the local fashion in Fukuoka?” Rei noted that although she had just arrived, and had little chance to explore, she found that Fukuoka was quite committed to fashion, and she’d noticed quite a chic style of dressing.


Ellery meets Rei Shito


Signed copy of “Style from Tokyo”

Outside the theater, Rei signed copies of her book “Style from Tokyo”, and happily posed for photographs with guests. Kyushu’s NO!! magazine also attended, taking snaps outside Hakata Riverain to be published in their next issue (released 4/20).

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Fukuoka Fashion Week 2013
Fukuoka City’s fashion industry is in the spotlight from March 2 ~ April 7. During Fashion Week Fukuoka 2013, you can expect sales from all of your favourite shops in Tenjin and Hakata, along with a great lineup of fashion events and seminars. The concept behind the event is to attract stylish visitors from both Kyushu and abroad, creating a buzz around Fukuoka’s fashion. There are plenty of events, a stamp rally and bargains to delight in across March. Check Fukuoka Now’s highlights reel here: http://fukuoka-now.com/2013/03/fashion-week-fukuoka-2013-guide/

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