The Kigurumi - You may not have heard of it, but you most likely saw it. The word means something like "wear a cloth toy". Originally created as a line of costumes in Japan, the Kigurumi has today become one of the world's largest fashion clothing collections.
Its current form was formed in the late 1900s by a Japanese company called SAZAC. He became an icon of the Japanese street style almost immediately after his birth. However, it did not become popular in the Western world until around 2011.
What is the Kigurumi and why is he so special? In a word, a Kigurumi is cute. It is very close to cosplay. In fact, it is even said that he is a branch of cosplay. But there are striking differences. With this pajamas, a key element of the suit is to be kawaii and adorable. Another feature is that these suits tend to cover their heads completely or partially.
The original idea of this outfit was cosplay for mangas. The anime shows a strong focus on trying to make the characters and general feeling cute. You can say for sure that it works very well. Of course, there were fans who wanted to live this fantastic life and that's how the Kigurumi became famous.
In fact, the most famous Kigurumi type is the Animegao-Kigurumi, where people draw on animes to choose who they want to dress up in. We'll focus on this particular guy. So wherever you see Kigurumi in this article, be assured that we are talking about Animegao Kigurumi, unless otherwise indicated.
People make a distinction between the anime character Kigurumi and the anime animal Kigurumi. In the first case, people disguise themselves as anime characters.
It is a matter of wearing the character's head so that it looks as much as possible like a cartoon. In the latter case, people wear animal suits (especially pandas, as they are very cute).
These are costumes from top to bottom. But with these suits, it is not necessary to wear the whole head—a hoodie is enough.
The story of the Kigurumi is very fantastic. It can be divided into several parts. This story is full of tension, drama and persistence—as is in anime. So, tie your belt, because we're gonna let you know!
THE BEFORE FOR KABUKI
The opinions are shared as to the date of creation of Kigurumi. Some say the concept dates back to the 1600s, when precursors of Kigurumi-like clothing of that time were found.
These clothes were supposed to be worn for the "Kabuki", the oldest living theatre concept in Japan. The performers performed some sort of danced drama while wearing some clothes. Some of these clothes had similarities to those of Kigurumi.
There is also other evidence of the existence of the old suit. Japan is known for its historic puppet theatre called Banraku. In this theatre, puppeteers mastered puppets up to 1.20 m high.
Puppeteers were in the audience's field of view, so they were part of the room and had to wear full suits. These costumes featured dragon heads and other fantastic animals. In a sense, these were Kigurumi costumes.
THE VERY DOWN
However, the true commercial aspect was confirmed in the late 1900s. Like all the great successes you could hear of, the Kigurumi began in a very subtle way.
There wasn't even a real store for those suits. The inventors instead had to sell them at different brand stores. The first store that began making the Kigurumi masks was the Dolphin Factory.
Another store that agreed to do so soon after is Build Up Studio Sigma. Both were based in Japan.
It took years before he received even a little attention. The first true costume that can be traced to the origin was worn during a performance in 1993.
HOW THE KIGURUMI RESPANDED
Some years he was totally unknown to the population. But patience paid off and in 1998 he began to attract attention in different parts of the world.
The first to adopt this new fashion concept were Latin America and Mexico, where the first Kigu group called Kigurumex was born. In 1999, Kigurumi reached Britain, Russia, the United States and Australia.
Slowly but surely, the animal suit began to gain ground as a clothing brand. He began attracting ambassadors for the worldwide broadcast of fashion, such as Hikarinaka, who introduced fashion to Russia in 2006.
THE KIGURUMI TODAY
The trend spread like a powder trail and people were very enthusiastic. This Japanese invention evolved from a complete novelty during fan conventions to a cosplay contest.
Today it has become the norm. Most women wear these suits because they tend to be kawaii. But there are also a number of men who represent male anime characters.
The world took it back as any other trend. You can see on YouTube tutorials how to dress up as your favorite anime character.
People form communities and follow hashtags for Animegao Kigurumi. There are even brands that are dedicated only to selling Kigurumi and nothing else.
Not only Animegao Kigurumi, but also the simple Kigurumi is very popular today. Disney characters who welcome you to Disneyland's doors are in Kigurumi, but they don't know that and don't call it that.
There are even people who have made Kigurumi their profession. They only dress up in anime suits and make a living with it.
The Kigurumi has traveled a long way from what it once was until today. His story shows how he became very popular in the twenty-first century.
Do you have an anime character you really like? Try the Kigurumi Panda and you'll really understand the whole move!