When a man needs to be a princess...for a day

Formal dress for hire company in Japan discovers a new need & business opportunity, the desire of men to be photographed in women's clothing, such as wedding dresses.

Marry Mariee's offer is not your regular before-after looks. - www.marrymariee.co.jp


Firm helps men feel like princesses


Kyodo News News agency

Supplied photos taken in January 2014 show a man in women's attire posing for photos at Marry Mariee. (Kyodo photos)

TOKYO - A formal dress hire company in the city of Fukui has tapped into a need it did not know existed -- the desire of men to be photographed in women's clothing, such as wedding dresses.

Marry Mariee began offering the photo shoots for men last year after it advertised a plan to photograph women in gorgeous dresses.

To its surprise, the company in the central Japan region of Chubu along the Sea of Japan coast received a large number of inquiries from men, many from outside Fukui Prefecture.

"We concluded that men want to feel like princesses, too," said Hitomi Iseki, a 42-year-old manager of Marry Mariee.

The company has some 100 wedding and other formal dresses that can be altered to fit men. It has tied up with a nearby barber shop where men have their faces shaved and hair shampooed before having makeup applied at Marry Mariee.

The preparations take around two hours, after which the photo shoot begins.

The service costs 39,800 yen on weekdays and 59,800 yen on weekends and holidays, excluding tax.

The service was news to others in the industry. "I've never heard of such a service," said Kaneyoshi Noda, 74, an executive at the Tokyo-based Bridal Institutional Association grouping some 530 dress hire companies, hotels and other businesses related to formal dresses.

In the interests of gender equality, Marry Mariee also offers sessions for women who want to be photographed in men's clothes.

"We want to provide opportunities for people to enjoy showing their real selves, whether they are men or women," Iseki said.


About the author

Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer