Rebecca from ”One Piece” is a character I never thought would be cosplayed, but I was proven wrong by Chibithot Cosplay!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Sachi, I am a fashion school graduate from Brooklyn, NY. By day I’m a freelance fashion stylist and personal shopper. Fun facts: I’m also a professional couch potato, I play exclusive Sony, and I’m really into cosmology and astronomy.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I was inspired to cosplay by my love for character design in anime and video games. The characters costumes are also so creatively intricate and detailed and I was always drawn to that. I think illustrators and concept/character designers don’t get enough credit. When I was in my pre teens I was very much into all types of Japanese fashion and from there I explored my passion for fashion. I fell in love with cosplaying when I realized that it paired my love for styling and creating outfits with my love for anime and video games. Bringing characters to life through clothing, I was hooked ever since.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I usually gravitate toward My favourite female characters. Usually the characters I cosplay are strong women and I like to feel that type of power when I dress like them. I have started to branch out and challenge myself with gender-bend cosplays and different characters I may not necessarily think of doing
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
So far my most challenging cosplay has been my Rebecca from One Piece. Because her character is drawn very unrealistically, her clothing and the way it fits is also pretty unrealistic. So I had trouble figuring out how to mimic how the clothes fit her on my body so that it looked natural and was also able for me to move while wearing it without any accidents haha. The most enjoyable so far I’d say would be my Elena cosplay. It was the first cosplay I handmade myself and I also came up with the costume concept of doing an armour for her myself so it was fun to see my vision come to life for the first time. It made me want to make more of my own cosplays
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
Well for one I’m a horrible procrastinator so I usually plan out everything I need and want to do way before I physically start anything. First I decide on a character, then I make a list of all the materials I will need to get to make each part as well as the wigs/contacts, etc. Then as things start coming in the mail I do little by little and depending on the cosplay I start what I can or start the first steps for everything and just build up from there
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
So far I’ve only been to NYCC, katsucon, and liberty city. Nothing will ever beat back in the days when NYCC was actually NY Anime Fest and I went for the first time. I think everyone into this culture will remember their first con because the amazement you feel is unmatched. Besides that I love Katsucon! It was smoother than NYCC because of the location and the cosplay was about 90% of people vs. NYCC where the fans are mixed and mostly just people coming to look.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
My last two cosplays have gotten really good reactions and I’ve only wore one to a con. But both my Rebecca and Yoruichi cosplays have gotten amazing reactions for different reasons: for my Yoruichi people have told me I looked just like her which is of course what every cosplayer wants to hear so I was excited that bleach fans appreciated it and people thought I nailed it. For My Rebecca i got a lot of messages from people saying that I inspired them to try cosplaying even though the character doesn’t necessarily look like them which is my favourite. As a poc cosplayer I think it’s important to see others cosplaying whoever they want because cosplay is for everyone!
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
I’ll never forget the first time I cosplayed at a con (NYCC 2014) and I was asked to get my photo taken. It felt great and till this day it’s one of my favourite parts about cosplaying and attending a con. Knowing that people appreciate your hard work and that something you made or put together brings someone else joy is an amazing feeling. As far as photographers I think we as cosplayers need them as much as they need us. As long as you’re polite I think approaching with a simple “hey can I grab a pic” is fine with me. I’d say to Just be mindful and make sure the cosplayer is ready and isn’t just relaxing or eating or anything like that.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
Cosplaying has had nothing but positive impacts on my life. I feel more confident being myself. As someone who was always shy, introverted and timid for the most part when I’m in cosplay I feel almost invincible. It’s almost as if it act alike a super hero mask I am able to become this other person and channel their energy. Knowing that you’re doing something you love and you’re happy is its own reward but when others see that and appreciate it and show love it’s just an extra amazing bonus that makes you feel really accomplished.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
For anyone trying to get into cosplay and may not be sure I say go for it! It’s for everyone and all levels are welcome. You can start small and eventually move on to bigger projects or you can do casual cosplay forever. There are SOOOOO many good cosplay tutorials on YouTube to help you start and get the basics. (Kinpatsu and kamui cosplay are two that make really great ones!) It’s all about celebrating your fandom and making yourself happy and once you do that I guarantee you’ll feel great!