Tokidoki: Japanese Imports, Born in LA

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LeSportsac went there.  Now, even Karl Lagerfeld has gotten his share.  We’re speaking, of course, about Tokidoki, which has just opened a shop on Melrose Ave near Tarina Tarantino and Johnny Cupcakes.  Filled with accessories, collectibles, T-shirts, bags, and shoes all with a Japanese anime or manga style, Tokidoki was conceived in Los Angeles and is designed by an Italian.

Discovered originally by LA-based Ivan Arnold, artist Simona Legno’s artwork has become the basis of all Tokidoki merchandise – it’s fantastically colorful, whimsical, and can bring out the kid in just about anyone.  There are wild watches, skateboards, footwear, and even iPhone skins with unusual characters of all shapes and sizes. Legno has, since the line started, enjoyed major accolades and collaborations like working with LeSportsac on an accessories line in 2005.

What’s more is his current and upcoming collaboration with the one, the only: Karl Lagerfeld.  On offer now in the LA shop is Tokidoki’s mini Karl Lagerfeld doll (a tiny figurine that’s decked out in all silver and black with the signature sunglasses), but come spring 2010, Lagerfeld will design a line of T-shirts and tank tops for the boutique.

Whether or not you are a fan of Hello Kitty shouldn’t influence your opinions of Tokidoki – this is much more interesting and complex.  If in no other way than that it’s an Italian artist, influenced and working in LA on distinctly Japanese cartoon-ish items.  Talk about an import we can get behind.

Tokidoki is located at 7965 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood. (213) 417-1450.

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