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Candy Colored Hairstyles

Viva Cute Candy is a tiny hair salon, but it still manages to impact Harajuku fashion

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In Tokyo’s youth district of Shimokitazawa, Japanese hairstylist Iku runs Viva Cute Candy, a small salon that is hidden away on the third floor of a nondescript building. Don’t be deceived by its location and size, Viva Cute Candy has left its mark on Harajuku street fashion.

Iku took the salon over from the previous owner, where he was an employee, about four years ago. “It was originally a salon for natural styles,” the colorful Iku explains. But that quickly changed. “I like loud styles,” he says, “So kind of naturally the number of customers that like loud styles increased.” During the past four years the salon has steadily become the go to place for colorful hair.

Iku pays a lot of attention to each customer. He sits with them, asks them questions, shows them photos, explains the intricacies of coloring and treats them to drinks and sweet snacks. Most stay for three to four hours.

Many of his ideas for color schemes come right out of the shop. There are Troll dolls; Yum Yums, the colorful plush dolls from the 80s; Popples and lots of other colorful items. Iku and his assistant use all of them for reference. “And I use national flags to come up with color schemes,” he adds.

A number of people that we have shot for JAPANESE STREETS consider Viva Cute Candy their favorite beauty salon. Kurebayashi comes here, as do Junnyan and several others.

Iku says that while loud styles are fading away a little in Japan, he has actually become more and more focused on them. “They kind of survive here,” he explains.

Customers are very happy about his obsession with colors: “At other salons they can’t really do striking loud styles, such as primary colors, but here they can,” says a young woman who visits for the first time. “That’s why I came.”

Although Viva Cute Candy is a bit removed from all the action in Harajuku, Iku plans to remedy that. He aims to open a salon in Harajuku in about two years’ time. “It’s my longstanding dream,” he says.

Some Viva Cute Candy Customers

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A Day at Viva Cute Candy

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Iku takes snap shots of all his customers and uploads them to his site

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Viva Cute Candy may be well-known for shouting colors, the salon is just as good at more subdued styles

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VIVA☆CUTECANDY(ビバ・キュート・キャンディー)
Address: Se Building 3rd Floor, 2-10-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155-0031
Phone: 03-3466-3492

Nearest Station: Shimokitazawa Station (Odakyu Odawara and Keio Inokashira lines)

Open: Mon~Fri: 11:00~21:00; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 10:00~20:00
Closed: Tuesday

Language: At the moment, nobody at Viva Cute Candy speaks English, so if you don’t speak Japanese have your reservation made by somebody who does. I also suggest taking a Japanese speaking friend with you to communicate your wishes, because Iku really listens to you.

四年前から、あのー、前のオーナーからお店を引き継ぎまして、
元々ナチュラル系のお店だったんですけど、
まあ、徐々に派手系も取り入れるようになって、
まあ、派手系を取り入れるようになったのも
あのー、僕の方がちょっと派手なのが好きで、
まあ、自然とそういう感じになっていって
お客様も派手な方が集まって
どんどん派手な感じになっていった感じですね。

アイデアは、もう、まあ、お客様と相談して
お客様から来るのがメインなんですけど
こういうお店に飾ってある、あのー、
ヤムヤムズとポップルズとかを参考にしたりとか
あと国旗とかも参考にして配色とかを考えたりしてます。

ストリートファッションで有名な方も結構来られますね。
まあ、ファッションアイコンと言うか
くればやしちゃんとかそういう方を中心に
そのファンの子たちが結構来られるので。

世間のトレンドも変わったと思うんですけど、
お店自体がどんどんやっぱ派手な感じになっていきましたね。

世の中的にもしかしたら派手って言うのが
ちょっとこう無くなっている中で、生き残っている感じ。

ここまで派手に特化した店ってのは、少ないと思います。

「他の店だと原色とかそういう派手な奇抜な色ができないんですけど、
ここはできるんで来ました。」

これからと言うか、もう長年の夢だったんですけど、
まあ、あの、原宿にお店を出すのが、今のところ一番の夢ですね。
一応、二年くらい後に予定しています。

Kjeld Duits About the Author

Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.

Recent articles by Kjeld Duits:

Comment (日本語もOK)

I hope Iku will succeed :) This world definitely NEEDS more color!

Go Iku!

^^

(: Monik :)
Jun 5, 2013 (1392 days ago)

Hair art!

Juha
Jun 5, 2013 (1392 days ago)

Yes, definitely an artist we want to succeed!

Kjeld Duits (author)
Jun 5, 2013 (1392 days ago)

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