Designer, DJ, and model Senanan’s latest fashion brand wants to make kawaii for everyone

By: Anime Feminist May 10, 20240 Comments
headshot of Senanan in black and white attire

32-year-old Senanan has already had an incredible career. She moved to Tokyo in 2012 and established her first brand, QissQill, one year later. She became a popular subject of photographers on the fashionable streets of Harajuku, often wearing her own brands, and modeled for several magazines including alt-fashion icon FRUiTS. Her next clothing venture was XRN (aka XRNFORBADGAL), which is described as a sister brand to the rock-inspired KRY.

Senanan took her subversive sensibilities to the world of music; she did solo work as a DJ and also collaborated with the group SUDDENDEATH, who had been planning a comeback prior to the 2020 lockdowns. She joked about the deliberately shocking and “radical” content of her solo music (one of her singles is “$ CUNT DULL,” a wordplay on “scandal”) in one interview in 2019, and talked about the songs she was working on “Rabu hoteru ni iku koto mo sukunakunatta (We’re going to love hotels less and less)” and “Kyougen aidoru to mougen otaku-kun (Dramatic idol and abusive otaku).”

In the wake of the initial wave of Coronavirus and the birth of her child in 2019, Senanan shifted gears and began working on a new project: anonenone, a brand meant to create kawaii items that could be enjoyed by anyone, “regardless of style, age, and gender.” She was invited to Otakon in 2023 as both a guest and a featured presenter for a fashion show alongside her frequent collaborator Colomo, designer of DimMoire. We were able to speak to her briefly that weekend; as is standard for Otakon, all questions were approved in advance.

Speaking through a translator, Senanan was open and emphatic. She talked candidly about how her approach to business had changed since having her child. “Before, I always worked freelance, and it was like a hobby. When I was single, I was basically working every day and sometimes [with] no sleep. Basically, other than playing once in a while or sleeping, I was always working. But actually, after giving birth my schedule is much more organized. My husband helps me out and also my family really supports me.”

That change in schedule also changed the way she worked with others, for the better. “After giving birth, I really feel this sense of responsibility. Before, when I was working alone, I was very sort of self-centered. I didn’t really care about schedules or format, because as long as I was happy it was okay. But now, since I have this new sense of responsibility, I was sort of forced to become more serious. So my job opportunities actually expanded.” After a moment, she added, “The way I looked before as sort of a young girl is gone now, but life as a mother is pretty nice too.”

We also spoke about the meaning of a “kawaii for everyone”-style brand. Last summer, gothic lolita brand and fellow indie Atelier Pierrot had recently announced that they were adding plus-size clothing to their line; the news is both exciting and a notable consideration for indie brands, since larger clothes require extra material figured into budgeting, and because small lines rely heavily on preorders while international customers often take an “I’ll get it later” approach.

We asked Senanan if anonenone would feature plus-size clothing or had considered using gender-nonconforming or male models. “I wanna really try to make that happen,” she said. “Hopefully you saw the jersey I’m wearing right now is plus size. I’ve designed clothing that are made for Americans and they range from small all the way to 2XL. I really don’t want people to give up on wearing what they like. I’ve had a try-on event, and we’ve had male and female people try on clothes.”

At this point in the conversation, Senanan quickly took out her phone and began scrolling, excitedly pointing out a recent shoot she’d done with a male model as well as other images of unisex items she’d designed. She also noted that she had plans to photograph plus-sized models over the course of the summer—at least some of which can now be seen on her Instagram and YouTube accounts. Like many others, we’re excited to see where her journey takes her next.

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