It’s been seven years since the Japanese clothing boutique “Baby, The Stars Shine Bright,” referred to as “Baby” by its fans, opened its store in Paris. Address: 72 avenue Ledru-Rollin, 75012 Paris.

The boutique has made a name and is frequented by Lolita fashion lovers from around Europe. Similar to the store in Japan, the one in Paris hosts regular tea ceremonies as a means to promote communication among customers. The most recent one was held on Mar 1 during Paris Fashion Week at Laduree located along the Champs-Elysees.

The ceremonies are held twice a year, and each time the venue is updated. This time, Laduree was selected for the second time as it was a hit last year. Participants are required to pay for tea and cakes, but in return, Baby covers the cost of renting out the space and purchasing special gifts for the participants.

At the ceremony, a contest is held to select the Best Dresser and more. Winners receive dresses and other gorgeous gifts selected by Baby. This is part of the reason that participants clad in Lolita fashion come out to the event with such enthusiasm. The event is fun, but at the same time there is a distinctive feeling of tension among the girls who present themselves as the most beautifully dressed Lolita. At times, models specializing in Lolita fashion such as Misako Aoki and Midori Fukasawa make appearances to inspire the guests. Tickets to participate in the event tend to sell out in under an hour due to its popularity.

This time, members of the Kaga-Loli Project, fusing Kaga Yuzen kimono textiles and Lolita fashion, appeared for the event. A student attending Kanazawa University, who designed the character “Yo-chama” of the project, talked about the charms of Kaga Yuzen and Kanazawa city. She was seen wearing the costume which won the design contest. The project was initiated this year and is part of a 3-year plan by Ishikawa prefecture to create new business. There are also plans to exhibit at the Japan Expo, centered on Japanese anime and cosplay.

There were several other Lolita fashion brands from Japan that came to Paris at the same time as Baby. However, Baby is the only one that remains. Even in tough economic conditions, the store continues to attract new customers and maintain business. It’s likely that the store will continue to be a big Lolita brand in Europe.