S-inc., the parent company for the range of h.naoto-related clothing brands, recently launched a U.S.A. event blog - and it looks like great news for American fans of the deconstructed-punk brand (plus us Canadian fans who get to attend some US cons, yay!).
From what I can figure out, S-inc. has partnered with Jhouse-Rock, who've been bringing J-rock and Visual Kei performers to US conventions for about six years now. They seem to be hitting mostly anime-heavy shows, which makes sense, and hitting a lot of them - not just the big events like Otakon, but also smaller shows in places like Nashville, TN, Raleigh, NC and Rosemont, IL. For some shows, they're bringing in Japanese guests, like Gashicon, the graphic designer behind the HANGRY&ANGRY characters; others seem to be focused on locally-driven fashion shows and a sales booth.
Hopefully this is a way for h.naoto to test the waters in terms of opening up more access for North American customers, either through international web sales or maybe even a physical store base. Not that my bank account is pleased about that idea! I'm utterly in love with the GRAMM line these days, and only the prospect of painful shopping service fees is keeping me from succumbing to the shopping temptation.
The blog has a list of upcoming events through early June, although I know there's a confirmation on a late July appearance at Otakon as well, which isn't listed yet. Naoto Hirooka will be in attendance at this event and yes, I'm already planning an appropriate outfit :)
The application process for the Otakon fashion show is now online; deadline to submit is May 11, 2010, and you must have your Otakon badge registered in order to submit.