Behind-the-Scenes Look at a “Popteen” Cover Shoot (Video)


Popteen is one of the leading magazines for young women who are into the vibrant style of Japan’s gyaru subculture. We visited the studio where the cover for the New Year’s issue was being shot for a behind-the scenes look at Kumikkī, Mizukiti, and Pikarin—the trio of kimono-clad amateur models featured on the cover.

From left to right, Mizukiti from Saitama Prefecture (born in 1992), 19-year-old Kumikkī from Tokyo (1991), and 17-year-old Pikarin from Chiba Prefecture (1994).

For the New Year’s issue of the youth-fashion magazine Popteen, three amateur models were selected from among its readers to be featured on the cover. The three captivating young women— Kumikkī (Funayama Kumiko), Mizukiti (Nishikawa Mizuki), and Pikarin (Shiina Hikaru)—bring together an eclectic combination of traditional and modern elements for the cover shoot. Each dressed in a kimono, the threesome are also bedecked in false eyelashes, color contact lenses, funky nails, fur-accented sashes, and furry hair accessories. At the hands of the Popteen fashion coordinators, the kimono undergoes a transformation from a graceful and modest garment into a spirited and trendsetting statement.

Popteen has managed to thrive despite the general downturn in the publishing industry, thanks in large part to the uniqueness of its models. On the day we visited the cover shoot, the studio was enlivened by the three models’ smiles and enthusiasm, which made it amply clear why they are such a hit.

With thanks for cooperation to: Kadokawa Haruki Corporation’s Popteen editorial division (
Video production and editing: Kido Shōgo

New Year gyaru clothing fashion magazine youth culture kimono