My LIZ LISA Coordinate Olympics Journey
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of LIZ LISA, but my love for the Japanese fashion brand wasn’t the only reason that motivated me to throw my hat into the ring of the LIZ LISA Coordinate Olympics this summer.
My family cat, Tracy, passed away late last year at 17 years old. I have always felt very close to her because I lobbied hard for my dad to give his permission to bring her home and because I was the one who named her. It was a huge blow when she died even though she had lived a long life. I felt regretful that she did not get to witness me achieving my dreams.
I had entered the Coordinate Olympics in summer 2017, but I wasn’t chosen. After experiencing a personal loss, I realized life is short and I don’t want to live with regrets wondering what if. It’s a cliché but true. Even if I didn’t get picked again, I would still end up with a wardrobe full of pretty clothes from one of my favorite brands. It’s a win-win!
Participating in this Instagram competition gave me an unexpected gift—it taught me the importance of humility. I can always learn something from others. Studying Instagram posts of past winners to see what I can emulate and tweak to create my own style of photography showed me what my strengths and limitations were. What I learned not only helped me craft beautiful entries for the contest, but it also informed the future artistic direction I want to take for my blog.
A little background on the Coordinate Olympics: It is an Instagram campaign hosted by LIZ LISA twice every year, once in the summer and once in the winter. The most recent one is the fourth such event that the company has ever put on. Fans of the brand can post pictures of themselves in full LIZ LISA outfits (no other brands!) with the Coordinate Olympics hashtag to be considered. There is no limit on the number of submissions per user, but the outfits have to include at least one item from the latest season.
The contest ran from May 25, 2018, to July 8, 2018, and received 253 entries from around the world. The winners were announced on LIZ LISA’s official website on July 20, 2018. (Read the official announcement here.) I am incredibly honored to have been chosen for the Silver Award!
I submitted a total of 31 entries, which included nine outfits. Here is one photo of each outfit. To see all of my submissions, visit my Instagram page.
Attending the award ceremony for the Coordinate Olympics meant a lot to me not only because I got to meet the wonderful Emilie and Hikaru from LIZ LISA but also because the place at which they held the ceremony was where I first discovered the brand. When I visited Tokyo in 2016, I saw the beautiful displays of the LIZ LISA SHIBUYA109 store and immediately thought, “That’s so me!” Little did I expect to return to that location two years later to receive an award from the brand I admire.
The LIZ LISA aesthetic is such a big part of me, but it’s also a part I have always been reluctant to show those around me (I only told a few friends about my blog and Instagram). Perhaps because of the ire I draw from a coworker for wearing LIZ LISA, or because of a lack of self-confidence and overabundance of self-doubt, or because of my general shyness. Receiving this award and seeing my parents so proud of me at the ceremony have made me feel like I can own that LIZ LISA part of me and show it off to people I know. Ever since I came back from Tokyo, I have started telling people why I went and showed them my work on Instagram and my blog.
Now that the event has concluded, I am reminded of the lanterns scene in the movie “Tangled:”
Winning the Silver award and attending the award ceremony in Tokyo was everything I dreamed it would be and more. My new dream is perhaps an old one—to work on Everyday Kawaii and bring more meaningful content on Japanese fashion to you all. Thank you to those who have stuck with me, and please look forward to the next chapter of Everyday Kawaii!