Today we chat with the bubbly designer behind Little Sunny Bite, a Tokyo-based clothing brand for women. Yoppy tells us about her latest collection, named Too Cool For School, which features two of her favourite references from when she was a child and a teen: Kermit the Frog from The Muppets Show, and photos from Larry Clark’s Kids. The brand’s quirky and joyful name acts as an invitation for girls to bite, meaning to try new things and to never shy away from colour. But now, she’s willing to open her own shop in Harajuku, one of the coolest areas in Japan’s capital.
What’s the origin story behind Little Sunny Bite?
I invented the name Little Sunny Bite: ‘little sunny’ is a little girl, and ‘bite’ references biting something. All babies bite toys – or anything that they find interesting, for that matter. I want girls to remember and keep that mindset when they grow up, meaning that you should wear whatever they want.
Also, meaning you should bite/try anything you are interested in. This is similar to what I said earlier, but if you try many things, you’ll end up finding your favourite music, models, actors or sports, for example. And everything is connected to fashion and your personal style.
Your collections don’t shy away from colour and exude a very playful feel throughout. If you had to describe your clothes in three words, which would they be?
Fun, life, confident.
For some of our readers who aren’t familiar with the concept of Kawaii and Kawaii culture in Japan, could you tell us a little bit about what is it all about?
We have several Kawaii cultures in Japan. I like Harajuku’s, but I prefer the vintage one. I think everyone believes that Kawaii only means to dress up in a doll-like style, but there are many different cultures. Actually, during the ‘80s and ‘90s, Harajuku’s Kawaii was super cool. Young people had very singular and unique styles, either wearing all black outfits, or lots of vintage, etc. Many yound designers debuted at that time, and brands were very cool.
This movement clearly inspires the brand, but the brand aimed only for Japanese girls. What kind of girl should be wearing Little Sunny Bite?
I have many foreign customers and sell in six countries now. Little Sunny Bite is, of course, for all girls who love fashion and colours. Clothes express your feelings, so wear colour!
Too Cool for School, your latest collection, features images of Kermit the Frog among other muppet characters, as well as stills from Larry Clark’s iconic Kids film. What were your motives behind choosing these polarized representations of youth in this collection?
When I chose the collection’s theme, I was reminded of Larry’s movie Kids. It was unforgettable and shocking in a good way when I was a teenager. His world was amazing and I really liked his pictures too. Fortunately, I got good news as was able to work with him. I was super happy! Usually, I pick a famous character in every collection, so I picked the Muppets right away because they were my childhood cartoons too.
Besides these references, who is currently inspiring you?
Not people, but old Japanese fashion magazines. As I mentioned, the ‘80s and ‘90s were amazing, so I look for old magazines at vintage bookstores here in Japan.
What is your favourite piece of this collection and why?
Of cause Larry’s collaboration pieces are all my favourites, but the best one is the Larry’s photo print sweater with a still where Chloë Sevigny was in the elevator about to go to confess she had HIV. This photo is my favourite. The scene was unforgettable, and I was lucky to be able to use it.
Where would you like to see Little Sunny Bite in the next five years?
This is difficult, but I’m looking for the right spot to open my shop in Harajuku. I could open my space soon and do some events and fashion shows in Japan, but I also want to work in the United Kingdom. I want to show my Little Sunny Bite world to more girls around the world.
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