(SOLD): AOKI, Shoichi. Fruits.
(Tokyo): Street Magazine, 1997-2017. A complete run of 237 issues of the fantastic Fruits magazine. FRUiTS was the definitive publication that championed Harajuku’s colourfully dressed youth and provided a reliable and authentic record of emerging street trends and genuinely interesting dressers, in contrast to the contrived street style circus of fashion week peacocks. Recognised by its legions of readers as the magazine that introduced them to the saccharine, brave and frenetic world of Japanese fashion, it soon developed a cult following. The issues generally consist of single full-page photographs accompanied by a brief profile of the photographed person, which included their age, social position, and a description of what brands they were wearing (if applicable), as well as their self-described “point of fashion” (style inspiration). The magazine helped generate Western interest in Japanese fashion and in particular the Harajuku scene. Historically regarded as an underground hotbed of street style that most foreign magazines would die to document, the area’s magnetism has been numbed by overexposure and gentrification, The Camden-esque transformation of Harajuku into a souvenir-saturated tourist trap means that instead of the trendsetting locals Gwen Stefani sang about in the early 00s, you’re more likely to see white people dressed in tired lolita getups haunting the streets. A selection of photographs from its earlier issues were showcased in the books Fruits (2001) and Fresh Fruits (2005), both published by Phaidon Press. An exhibition of Aoki’s photographs for the magazine, developed by the Powerhouse Museum, has toured museums in Australia and New Zealand. Shoichi Aoki announced in February 2017 that FRUiTS magazine would cease publication because “there are no more cool kids to photograph.” All issues are in fine condition. Complete sets are rare, and provide an invaluable window into history’s most fascinating street style boom.