Lolita fashion: A trans-global subculture

Zi Young Kang, Tracy Cassidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While there are some who would argue that the origin of Lolita fashion can be traced back to fiction (namely, the 1955 novel, Lolita, which was adapted to film in 1962 and again in 1997) and has relevance to sexual attractiveness with reference to the young, this popular style developed more recently into a subcultural identity in Japan as a distinctive style in its own right. This article regards Lolita as an independent street fashion and subculture and explores this particular culture that Lolitas (those who wear this distinct fashion style) have created. Although a small-scale subculture, Lolitas demonstrate an obvious way of thinking and behaving which reinforces their identity of which fashion plays a significant role. The fashion style suggests escapism through fantasy as it can be interpreted as a visual resistance against conventional culture and is therefore of interest to a range of disciplines including fashion, culture and behaviour theorists. The article explores this subculture in the UK context to provide a better understanding of British Lolitas and evaluates the marketplace to offer a retail-marketing perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-384
Number of pages14
JournalFashion, Style & Popular Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


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