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Cat Fashion

Love for Cats through Cute Fashion Designs

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Above left: Cat shoes (Photo courtesy of raystore)
Below left: Bracelet featuring a cat's face © felissimo
Right: Skirt designed as a large cat face (Photo courtesy of raystore)

Cat-themed fashion has become popular among young Japanese women in their teens and twenties. Cats are very popular pets in Japan because animal lovers adore how they move and their independent nature. Cat fashion has become popular because cat lovers want to express their love for cute cats through their clothing and accessories. The most obvious examples are cat-themed clothes and shoes. You also see young women doing their hair and even their makeup in the style of a cat.

Cat Designs from Head to Toe

One of the quirks of cats is their independence. They act at will as though they don't know their owner when their name is called. But as soon as they are hungry, they will come over and allow themselves to be coddled. So cats are typically standoffish but can purr on occasion.

Japanese anime often feature what are known as tsundere characters — girls who are usually standoffish and unsociable but then become lovestruck and fawning in front of boys they like. These tsundere girls are popular with younger audiences. There is a commonality between the popularity of these tsundere characters and the love of cats as expressed through cat fashion.

Cat-themed fashion items include clothes, shoes, Alice headbands, jewelry and other accessories. Popular items include blouses made from cat-print materials, T-shirts printed with big cat faces, and skirts and pants designed as large cat faces using buttons and embroidery. You can also find hats and headbands with cat ears.

Lots of girls have fun matching cat-face shoes with cute socks or cat-print tights. Also popular are slipper socks with cat paw-prints on the soles of the feet.

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Headband with cat-like ears at CA4LA showroom Slipper socks featuring cat paw-prints
© felissimo
Snuggly headband with cat ears
© felissimo

Cat-styled Hair & Makeup

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Above left: Sweeping eyeliner designed to look like cat’s eyes
Below left: Artificial nails designed with cat themes (Photo courtesy of Sugisawa Nail Factory)
Right: Girls with hair styled as cat ears can be seen in Tokyo

As well as cat-themed clothing, you also see many cat-loving women doing their hair and makeup in the style of a cat. "Cat hair" involves styling one’s hair to look like pointy cat ears. You simply bunch up hair on either side of the top of the head and fix it with hairpins. This is a simple way to express a cute cat style.

With cat-styled makeup, the eyes are the main focus. The most common style seen in Japan involves eyeliner winging up and out from the outer corner of the eye. This instantly gives an attractive cat-eyes look. In order to meet demand for this type of cat makeup, a major cosmetics company launched in September 2012 a "cat eyeliner" product featuring an ultrafine eyeliner pen to create solid lines. The product was a hot item in the fashion world.

There is always nail art for cat-lovers to express themselves. Nail salons will paint cat designs of your choice and also sell cat-themed artificial nails including nails with cat faces or paw-prints.


Fund to Support Cat Welfare

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Cat-themed website popular with women
© felissimo

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In an effort to prevent cat fashion from ending up a passing fad, one company expects the popularity of cats to help support animal welfare.

A major mail-order company in Japan has set up a website that combines topics for cat lovers and fashion. The website is targeted at people who feel that "above all, I love cats," or "looking at cute cats every day makes me happy," or "I'd love to have a pet cat some day." The website provides a forum for those interested in cats, particularly female cat lovers. Website visitors can buy cat-themed clothing, accessories, books and other sundry items, and can also post pictures of their own pet cats.

The company has also established a fund to support animal welfare and find homes for stray cats and other animals. The company is inviting wider participation in this fund and donates a percentage of revenues from the sale of original cat products to the fund. In this way, the company is building stronger ties with cat lovers.

"Cute" is a key word in Japanese fashion. Cat-loving women are into cute cat fashion and enjoy cute cat products in everyday life.

(February 2013)

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