Cosplay Highlight: Kurenaikiba Cosplay
Kurenaikiba has been in the Cosplay game since 2010. The native New Yorker has her own ideas and creates her own costumes from scratch. She learned from her mother how to sew, and is now an expert seamtresss. Now living in Baltimore, she travels the east coast con circuit. Her anime costumes vary from anime, to games, to television shows. You may see her in some of her favorite Cosplays such as Garnet from Steven Universe, or Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas. Anime Complexium had the chance to interview Kurenaikiba about her Cosplay experience, and future con plans.
Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
The first time I found out that there was a term for what I did. My first cosplay technically was Scary Spice from the Spice Girls, but back then we just made our costumes for Halloween and that was it. I didn’t even know that conventions existed; much less have them annually here in America. It was a complete surprise and an extremely early 18th birthday present for me. Once we pulled up in the parking lot, my Mom pushed me out of the car, right in front of an Inuyasha costumed cosplayer. I was hooked ever since. I learned about what cosplay is and how fans took their costumes to a whole new level. Unfortunately, I had to take a break from cosplay. It took me some time for me to get back into cosplaying until 2010 when I debuted my anime girl Yoruichi Shihouin cosplay costume at Otakon. I’ve been consistent since then.
What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?
I love to draw. I’m going for my graphic and visual design degree with a focus on illustration. Between full time school and work, I stick a new cosplay in my schedule here and there.
Which character is your favorite to cosplay?
That changes from time to time. Sometimes it’s Garnet. Sometimes it’s Jack Skellington. All of my cosplays derive from what I love and characters that inspire me. The cosplays I have are from shows that have brought joy into my life.
What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
Jack Skellington was the biggest challenge for me. That is the only one I have made completely from scratch. Not only was it Jack, but my boyfriend’s cosplay was completely done by me as well (minus our wigs, shoes, and his jacket which I’m currently working on). The three piece skirt suit alone was over twenty-five pattern pieces, not including doubles. It took a long time to make, but that feeling when I put on a finished cosplay is so rewarding to me. All of the details were perfect. The fabric hung beautifully. When I saw myself with makeup done and wig on, all I could hear in my mind was the scores from the movie I would sing along to over and over again on VHS, so many years ago.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplay?
Choose a character you’re passionate about, because there are times when you become frustrated with it to the point where your love and honor for said character will drive you through to accomplish your goals. It’s a difficult process because you are donning a persona and becoming a character. This takes a lot of time, patience, and preparation. You can do it, but make sure you love the character.
Do you get to travel the country to different conventions? Or are your local to one area? And where can fans expect to see you next?I’ve travelled a lot personally, but the farthest I’ve gone specifically for a con is Ohio for Matsuri Con. Last year I made it to 8 different cons, mostly along the east coast. I do plan on stretching further and adding more cons to my list. I’ve been invited to a couple on the west coast by some cosplay friends, so now I have to make an appearance there! Next convention for me is Baltimore Comic Con where I’ll be working with Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. I should have some new cosplays to debut that weekend as well.
She is all over social media! For more information, pictures, and updates on Kurenaikiba Cosplay, be sure to like her Facebook page, and follow her on Tumblr, Instagram and her website kurenaikiba.bigcartel.com!