Anime NYC 2021: Q&A with Cosplay Entertainer Azulette, by Erin DeGregorio

While covering the return of Anime NYC 2021 at the Jacob K. Javitz Center, the Red Hook Star-Revue also spoke with Mexican-born cosplayer animator and self-taught costume designer Azulette, who currently calls New York City her “home.” . She discovered her passion for cosplay during high school when her first Cardcaptor Sakura costume was given to her by her classmates. Since then, she has made over 300 costumes in the comic book, video game, anime/manga, and fan art genres, and has appeared at national and international conventions as a panelist, judge, performer, and presenter.

Azulette served as a special guest at the Official Anime NYC Afterparty held on November 19, the first night of the three-day convention. Azulette dressed up as Chun Li (from Capcom’s “Street Fighter” video game series), Ada Wong (from Capcom’s “Resident Evil” franchise), and Princess Daisy (from “Mario” franchise) during this year’s Anime NYC. anus.

ED: The last 20 months have been tough on many different levels, but one silver lining could be said to be that new fans were introduced to the world of cosplay, whether they were scrolling through TikTok to see cosplays/character transformations or cosplaying on their own. for the first time. How have you seen the cosplay community grow in that regard and what has it been like to see that during the pandemic?

A: I noticed how many people started cosplaying for TikTok; It is very inspiring. During the lockdown, I lost the urge to cosplay. I personally started questioning a lot of things in my life, and one of them was whether I should keep doing it. But when I saw people doing fun things on TikTok, it helped me approach cosplay in a different way, and it’s been super fun!

ED: What do you like so much about cosplay?

A: Cosplaying with my friends, finding the perfect place for a photo shoot, creating memories and the satisfaction of seeing a project finally done. When I finish a costume, I put it on the mannequin and look at it for hours, like “I’m finally done with you, my girl!”

ED: Tell me a bit about the process of creating your cosplay costume: how do you choose the next character to cosplay? And do you have a place to go for materials/accessories or reuse materials that you have already used/used?

A: Every time I see a movie, I’m always looking at how the costumes could have been made. But when I choose one, it’s because it catches my eye. First I have to fall in love with the personality of the character. I imagine wearing it, I visualize it, and if in my sleep it feels good, a couple of minutes later I’m looking for photos, wigs, fabrics, etc. makes me feel alive and inspired. For fabrics, I love visiting Mexico City’s fashion district and Mood Fabrics. [in New York City’s Garment District]. Every time I get there it’s like an adrenaline rush!

ED: How has cosplay evolved/changed the most from your point of view?

A: I think right now it’s easier to get wigs, full cosplays, accessories, etc. than before Also, I notice that a lot of celebrities are getting involved in the world of cosplay, which I think is great, because it can attract more people to conventions, which means more investors and more fun for us as fans!

ED: What is the biggest misconception about cosplay and how do you debunk it?

A: There is an idea that “real cosplayers” have to make their own costumes. I believe that if you make it or buy it, it doesn’t mean anything. Cosplay is all about having fun.