I'm a Japanese guy that works at a costume shop in Tokyo.
Were really interested in the cosplay scene in America and I have several questions.
1.Where do you guys get those costumes/wigs?
2.Are there any demands or differences in costumes/wigs from Japan?
3.Whats the HOTTEST manga/anime cosplay right now in the US
Thanks for watching, looking forward to your replies!
1. Arda Wigs, conventions, ebay out of desperation, Epic Cosplay, Aliexpress. Costumes handmade and commissioned mostly it seems. Otherwise, Aliexpress...ebay..second hand.
2. Not sure how to answer this. Maybe better quality? I've felt fibers from Japanese companies and they're niiiice. I see a lot of front lace wigs lately.
3. Hottest...I'd say Idol stuff, sports anime, One Punch Man, Magical Girl stuff. Retro animes are a bit hit. I'm seeing mostly video game cosplays though.
1. I stick to Arda Wigs or Epic Cosplay Wigs for quality
2. The big thing is quality. Non-shiny Satin, non-shiny wigs, and high quality materials and fabric is the key. You get what you pay for.
3. Love Live, Magical Girl animes (Sailor Moon and Puella Magi Madoka Magica) and Overwatch cosplays are big right now
1. Arda Wigs, Epic Cosplay, sometimes Ebay or Amazon
2. When I was in Japan, the selection of cosplay makeup was amazing. I wish we had that availability here. Instead, I have to order everything online.
3. Overwatch, Fire Emblem Fates, and Love Live are really big right now. I see less Final Fantasy than I used to.
I think it was kinda obvious that it was marketing research?
Anyway, a lot of costumes are handmade, especially the more complicated ones. Costumes that are purchased, especially mass-produced ones, have a stigma and are generally frowned upon. A lot of people will say it doesn't matter as long as you don't compete, but it does. In our heart of hearts, we know you're not a real cosplayer unless you make your own shit.
1. Wigs: Arda wigs, Epic Cosplay wigs, Match wigs, Ebay/ Taobao, L-email wigs. Costumes are usually homemade but a lot of Love Live ones are from Taobao
2. Wigs from Japan are harder to get and usually considered higher quality
3. Love Live, Overwatch, Fire Emblem Fates are really popular right now. Also Boku no Hero Academia.
>1.Where do you guys get those costumes/wigs?
Most to all costumes are either hand made, or commissioned from other cosplayers. We don't have access to Japanese cosplay goods or stores, so everything here has to be mostly hand crafted.
Wigs I don't know.
>2.Are there any demands or differences in costumes/wigs from Japan?
Cosplay accessories would be nice. Like armor pieces, ect.
>3.Whats the HOTTEST manga/anime cosplay right now in the US
1. For costumes, I make my own. Only very simple stuff because I'm not skilled, but I'm interested in niche webcomics so there's no where to buy them.
For wigs, I buy from local wig shops in the theater district. I'm fortunate in that I live in LA so there's great drag stores and costume stores open all year.
2. I'd say wigs are rated higher if they're from Japan vs China, as China's reputation is garbage when it comes to producing anything. If I saw a Chinese wig and a Japanese wig for the same price, I'd pick Japan out of fear the Chinese one will be terrible quality with an inflated price.
3. I actually have no idea as to what's the most popular because I burrow into the internet for relatively unknown things. I'd say JoJo and Madoka Magica but I'm really no expert. Steven Universe isn't anime, but is very popular to cosplay as.
I'd legitimately pledge fealty to anyone who made an accurate and high quality Girl Genius cosplay, but I doubt it would be worth anyone's money to put one of those into production.
You want a large (no pun intended) and untapped market in the US that would dump money on cosplay costumes from ~gloriousnippon~ I would tap into the plus size weaboo market.
They are completely ignored and whether or not you think fat cosplayers are gross doesnt mean you cant make money off them. Hire some cute plus sized models, make costumes, make is fairly easy to purchase/ship and you could probably break into a good niche market.
Does your shop have a website? I'd love to see what you guys carry!
1) Costumes are all self-made or piece-bought and altered. Wigs are from purple-plum, Arda, or in desperation case.. Ebay.
2) I wish we had more things here like armor pieces, non-shiny wigs, better shapewear, make-up/prosthetic pieces, character specific shoes... Things for plus-size is a huge bonus.
3) Hottest? Anime: One Punch Man, One Piece, Sailor Moon, Boku no Hero Academia, Love Live, JOJO
Games: Overwatch, Assassin's Creed, Dragon Age, Final Fantasy. Street Fighter and KoF aren't SUPER popular, but they're always safe and classic bets.
1. I make my own costumes and buy wigs from Arda, sometimes Epic Cosplay or wig-supplier (I have a large head and need wigs with larger caps and more fibres).
2. Honestly, having a well-translated English version of a lot of Japanese websites would make the process a whole lot less intimidating - it's the main reason I don't often purchase from non-English websites.
3. Overwatch and Love Live are both pretty popular right now and have a wide cast of characters. One Punch Man and Miraculous Ladybug are also popular, but seem to have a fewer selection of characters (so while there are a lot of OPM and ML cosplays, conventions aren't totally overrun with a volume of characters from those series).
This person's been doing Girl Genius with a group recently, though I'm not familiar with the webcomic so I can't attest to the accuracy.
Thanks for the link anon! I already follow this group but I appreciate you posting it. The costumes are all spot on except for Agatha's wig (which, you know, I can see where they were going it just got a bit fucked up).
I heartily recommend checking the comic out, but I understand if it's not your cup of tea/holyjesusit'ssofuckinglong.
Looks like decent pricing. The wig color variations are -really- nice. I like that you guys carry style/cut your own wig bases. At the same time. it's not something for beginners..but it does give more freedom for those who need "that color" but can never find "that style." Our problem over here would be dealing with the shipping services and such. If you guys have a chance to expand/partner with someone overseas, that would be very, very nice for us in the US/Canada regions.