The realia 2012 gaijin collection is inspired by my time in Okinawa, Japan. In Japanese, gaijin literally means “outsider” and in recent years this once insulting term has become more widely accepted as referring to any non-Japanese person. For me, Okinawa was the place where I “came of age”, the place where I learned how to navigate and explore a foreign land and the place where I learned what it truly meant to be a minority. As a “gaijin” living in a country where no matter what I did to alter my look, me passing as native was an impossibility. I had no choice but to stand out! Here in lies the kernel of inspiration for this collection. Whereas there and then I didn’t have a choice about standing out, fashion is all about standing out and embracing your own personal style. The colors and images in this collection were ever present in the landscapes, sunsets and seascapes of Okinawa. These vivid & azure colors can complement any outfit and are sure to get you noticed!