First of all I wanted to commend the community as a moderator. I felt that you all handled the discusssion with Tokyopop here pretty well for the most part. Nearly all the comments were well-reasoned and intelligent and the snarkiness was kept to a minimum. I think that if Tokyopop really did send an intern over to quiz the community on what was going on, it was a bad decision on their part since interns are trainees and therefore not suited to handle PR situtations where they have to keep everyone calm in addition and they usually don't have the suitable background to address their target audience.
I have mixed feelings on the "surge" of attention to Lolita fashion. A few months ago I stated that Lolita was becoming popular, and this is what I meant by it. Companies, magazines, and conventions are all taking notice of Lolita fashion. What started out as a grass-roots movement of small fashion shows and panels at cons along with localized communities is now becoming a nation-wide interest.
The advantages of this are obvious. Japanese brands now see that they have another market in the West to help boost their sales and publications like the Gothic Lolita Bible have a good chance of being translated for English-speakers.
The disadvantages that I see are as follows:
1) I feel that the more popular it becomes the more diluted the history of the fashion becomes. A lot of people still think Mana started it, and although he's an important figure, he's just one aspect of something which has roots that go back farther than the days of J-rock. And I also worry that a lot of people who did work to make Lolita fashion more popular/understood in the West will go unrecognized. Those convention tea parties and fashion shows didn't just magically happen overnight.
2) Commercialization. I know that it's inevitable but that doesn't mean I have to like it. We have discussed how Tokyopop and other companies seem to be jumping on a market without knowing what's going on first.
There are some other things I'd like to see, but most of all, I'd like to give Tokyopop and other companies a chance to see a community response, non-snarky, intelligent, and full of useful information. So that if they do turn out a bad product and get boycotted, they can't say they weren't warned!
As a community member, what do you hope for from larger companies entering the Lolita market? And what would you like to see from Japanese brands/companies entering the non-Japanese market?