Japanese Cat Costumes: The New Cat’s Meow
Posted on March 10, 2010
One can only wonder how cats feel when their owners (if that could ever be anyway) dress them up in kimonos, Napoleon hats, tiaras and black lace! Those pet costumes created and sold by Tokyo’s Takako Iwasa are quite hysterical, but really folks, what is going on here anyway?
Hello Kitty has pervaded our senses ad nauseum, but take a look at this idea, which takes the word cute way beyond the single proverbial notch that chef Emeril always tells us about.
In Japan the word for cute (kawaii) is screamed rather than spoken by Iwasa-san as she is known to her website visitors in Japan. Launched in 2,000, her site features outrageous costumes for cats. She built up a customer base through word of meow online and by 2001, she was selling costumes at the Parisian Printemps department store in the tony Ginza commercial center in Tokyo.
“Costumes for dogs have been popular for 20 years. But we didn’t have costumes for cats because we believed cats groom themselves and don’t like to wear clothes. But, then I met my cat, Prin, and suddenly thought, ‘I want to dress her up!’ ”
This desire to clothe her pure white Scottish Fold cat (named for their folded ears, which make them look a little like owls) was sated originally by some outfits she found in a teddy bear shop, but Prin soon outgrew the outfits, and seemed destined to return to a naked and very boring life.
The costumes offered in her catalogue are undeniably eye catching and adorable. Whether Prin is wearing the curly brown locks of Robespierre, Puss N’ Boots attire, a lemon peel on her head or a Tartan tam o’ shanter, these outfits are unique and very amusing. (We can’t know how Prin and her feline ilk really feel about all this without a meow translator.)
“Without costumes, Prin is just an ordinary cat. But if she wears costumes, she becomes an alien from another planet,” says Iwasa-san.
According to Iwasa-san, even though profit is not her motive, her online store currently boasts about 100,000 hits in a day and the average outfit costs 3,800 yen ($40).
“I don’t make big money with the business. It is just enough to eat and enjoy my life with Prin. With the business, my dream to be a cat tailor has been realized.”
What do YOU think about this?