Alana Barker
Image Source: Cathy Higgins

Mission Kawaii for Young Designer in Japanese Fashion Deal

A young Derby fashion designer has landed a deal in which she will be the only UK supplier of cutting edge Japanese label Liz Lisa.

Alana Barker, 25, will sell the popular brand on her new website Mission Kawaii, which will also sell her own Japanese inspired designs.

Kawaii is Japanese for cute and the brand is described as colourful new street fashion, featuring original prints and playful designs focused on retro pop culture.

Alana, who says she ‘wants to spread the cute’, showcased her 22-piece collection at Liverpool Fashion Week on October 2 in front of an audience that included fashion journalists. Her designs include 90s technology themes such as arcade games and cassette tapes.

Alana said: “I have wanted to run my own fashion business since being a teenager so the dream was always there. Whilst studying fashion at university I applied to do a business management course and received a £1,500 Bursary from the “Be the boss programme” which I used to set up the website and buy my first stock order. I have got my own brand and will be stocking two designer brands from Japan – Liz Lisa and Listen Flavor.”

Alana was put in touch with the president of the company through a friend who was a big fan of Liz Lisa clothes and worked in the company’s communications department. A meeting was set up and she spent a week in Tokyo where she got to see the sample studio. It was agreed that Alana would exclusively stock and distribute the products in the UK.

Alana, who currently runs her business from home in Findern but has applied for studio space, said: “I adore Japanese street fashion. When I decided I wanted to start my own business I knew I wanted to base it around that. It’s vibrant, distinctive and all about individuality. People never look the same.

“I want to spread the cute, that’s why I chose the name. I just want to make everything cute and colourful.”

More information can be found at www.missionkawaii.co.uk

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