Little colorful creatures have been claiming
their spots on a wide variety of brand name merchandise. From
bags and toys to clothing and accessories, the Tokidoki design
is truly making an impact in the fashion world.
Tokidoki (meaning “sometimes” in Japanese) is the
Japan-inspired lifestyle brand created by Italian artist Simone
Legno and his business partners Pooneh Mohajer and Ivan Arnold.
Consisting of colorful and playful characters, the design strives
to reflect Legno’s vivid personality and imagination. His
sunshiny world is filled with a contrast of good and evil, illustrated
through his smiley flowers and rainbows along with evil-grinning
Tokidoki is a happy world. It is a cute, playful, pure yet provocative
world that I image, live in, and dream of,” said designer
Legno, 29, of Italy in an interview with design and fashion reviewer
His designs also reflect his fascination with Japanese culture
and art forms. He recalls drawing Asian characters when he was
In Italy in the ‘80s, there were a lot of TV shows imported
from Japan. I had an instinctual attraction to Asia and Japan,
and every time I saw something from Japan, like cherry blossoms,
I would get goosebumps. It was a very emotional involvement,” said
He added, “The first time I had money, I went to Japan.
It was my first dream to go there. I went 12 times because I
like very much the iconography.”
He admires the duality in Japanese art and culture, from the
traditional elegance of wood prints to “super crazy, colorful,
noisy things,” like videogame parlors.
This is apparent on many of the Tokidoki products being sold
in brand name stores like LeSportsac, Coach, and Prototype.
And perhaps what attracts his many fans to his design is the
fact that Tokidoki’s unique and playful vibe targets a
wide range of audience from children to adults.
The Tokidoki design is very popular because many age groups can
enjoy it, said Diana Caballero, 21, a nursing student from Waipahu. “Since
it’s affiliated with a trusted brand name, older people
will want to wear it. And since it’s cute and colorful,
it’s also appropriate for 3-year-olds.”
Caballero who has been supporting the design for almost a year
explains how she immediately wanted to buy a product after seeing “everyone
around her wearing it.”
I would see people carrying not just Tokidoki bags but t-shirts,
jewelry, and even iPods,” added Caballero.
Others say they like the design because it’s “colorfulness” happens
to bring convenience as well as a different attitude.
You can match anything with Tokidoki because there’s so
many colors,” said Kristine Cabudol, 22, another nursing
student. “The colors make it more fun and expressive compared
to other brand name products that are usually simple solid colors.”
Cabudol who has the design on nearly everything she owns, from
t-shirts to earrings, shared how the Tokidoki products make her
feel more “cultural and unique.”
What’s cool about Tokidoki is that you can tell the merchandise
all have a hint of the Japanese culture,” added Cabudol. “But
its colors and diverse designs make it a universal trend for
everyone to wear.”
Regarding whether or not the Tokidoki trend will stick around,
Janice Mizuno, manager of the retail store Animation Addict in
Ala Moana, explained how the chances of it fading away are unlikely.
With a new variety of incoming products including laptops, watches,
and skateboards, the design will continue to spread.
I can’t predict the future, but I’m pretty sure the
trend will be in style for a while,” said Mizuno. “As
long as the marketers keep them looking fresh and new, you’ll
be seeing a lot of Tokidoki.”