BonBon V Launch
On Thursday 9th June, the pastel doors opened at The Photography Foundation in Shoreditch to a pool of magical boys and girls. My name is Ebony Louise Barrett and I am the founder and creative director of BonBon Magazine. I am still so floored as to the amount of kawaii souls I got to meet in one night. It was so humbling to see so many queer, BIPOC and neurodiverse cute culture enthusiasts here to support my independent business.
Doors opened at 6pm and there was already a herd of kawaii cuties outside the doors with tickets up on their phones. The night naturally grew with more Lolita’s, Fairy Kei and Decora gals slipping into the main room. To see how committed each attendee was to their look and aesthetic was super heart warming and simply reminded me of why I do what I do. In no time, the neatly stacked Hello Panda boxes (kindly sponsored) had vanished from the pick and mix stand and alcohol was running out rapidly. With the help of my amazing assistants Kali and Ami, peach Bellini and prosecco was filling up glasses after a quick run to Sainsburys. Guests would circulate the room, browsing each of the amazing vendors – from inclusive, kawaii pins and badges from @darlingaslan, to hand crafted, kawaii embellished purses and cards from @frangibella. We also had a beauty bar which was occupied by the incredibly talented Megan of Brixton Klaws, and the super sweet Ingrid with her Harajuku tooth gems from @moojems.
Throughout the night, attendees would pass by the BonBon stand to collect their pre-ordered goodie bags filled with incredible treats from our wonderful sponsors including Irregular Choice notebooks, Dreamy Bows stickers, Koi Footwear vouchers and nail discounts from Glow Tips to name a few. To see the smiles upon faces when the goodie bags were opened was a picture – I witnessed keyrings being immediately attached to phones and bags, bubbles being blown and passing through the space and Hello Panda boxes quickly filling up bin bags. Guests would pass through the photo booth where one of our lovely photographers would snap a pic of the girlies in their astounding outfits.
The amount of normies that would pass by the door to get a sneak peek into our world was fascinating – it felt like a completely separate world yet a safe space for our alternative spirits. At 8.15 tears flooded the room as I gave a speech thanking everyone for voluntarily supporting my baby business and stressing the importance of being authentically ourselves in a world that doesn’t necessarily understand us. A little later on, best dressed guest was announced and tension filled the room. The dress code was Hello Kitty pastel realness and I have to say, even those who attended to support, rather than true wearers of pastel J-fashion, still made efforts to add our Sanrio queen to their outfits. This took the form of Hello Kitty nose band-aids, hair clips added to blouses and My Melody tights to name a few.
Needless to say, the night felt like it could have continued forever and none of us would have minded. Sadly all good things must come to an end, but guests simply poured out onto neighbouring streets kiki-ing with their newfound fashionista friends and exchanging contacts to ensure they would never lose each other. As soon as the doors closed, I burst into tears trying to process how I hadn’t done this before and how excited I was to continue creating safe spaces for beautiful, kawaii souls that struggle to exist in a world that doesn’t understand them.
Submitted by Ebony Louise Barrett.
All images courtesy of Ebony Louise Barrett and BonBon Magazine