A collaboration team of “shu uemura” and contemporary artist Takashi Murakami made public on August 29th their 2013 Christmas Collection at Shibuya Hikarie. Top cosplayers from 9 countries including Japan were among the 350 guests to attend the event.
・Special Guest Takashi Murakami Accompanied by New Anime Piece
Murakami appeared onstage after the makeup show carrying a hugging pillow decorated with print motifs of the collection. He commented, "This opportunity to collaborate with a worldwide cosmetics brand was a chance for me to express and deliver deeper elements of Japanese culture which I hadn't been able to till now. I believe that if we clear the gaps between differing genres (i.e. beauty and otaku culture), revolutionary discoveries may be made."
Adding to the buzz factor was the partial unveiling of an animation piece created especially for this collaboration. The music used in the animation was provided by kz, better known as producer of subcultural music group "livetune." Yusuke Hiroshima a.k.a mebae oversaw character design and direction, while Ken Maeda of “Precure” anime choreographing fame created the dance sequences for the animated characters.
・A Promotion Cocktail of Makeup, Cosplay and Live Performance
The collection was placed on display at the entrance of the venue along with the “Six Heart Princess (6HP)” mascots from which the collaboration was spawned. Guests then moved further into the hall where cosplayers greeted them on the center stage.
shu uemura international artistic director Kakuyasu Uchiide and makeup artists from Taiwan and Malaysia held a makeup demonstration on five of the cosplayers using items from the collection, such as long peacock feather-like false eyelashes.
The event was topped off by a live performance presented by original anime characters, kz (DJ), and kids dance group “TEMPURA KIDZ” known for their presence as back dancers to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
Attractions at the event included a champagne bar, a print club booth themed on Murakami animation and a photo booth producing superimposed pictures of guests on original visual motifs. Also available was a makeup service provided by makeup artists.
・Beauty and Art: The Fusion Strategy Goes Further
A spokesperson for shu uemura talked of the brand’s further aims for promotion through unique strategies: "shu uemura has recognition for the elevation of the field of beauty to art, and Mr. Murakami’s purposes are centered on expression of subculture through art. We are planning on CG animation marketing tactics that take full advantage of this unique artist and brand collaboration, and believe that none other than shu uemura can take such an approach through beauty.”