Everyone knows “Angelic Pretty”, but there are a lot of other Japanese brands that are older or less well known. Some of these are just Lolita adjacent, so they are less well known because of that. Some are indie, some are closed. Anything that newbies ask about is included, even if it’s not really super obscure. This is permanently a work in progress.

an*ten*na

Sold in flasco, other shops. An*Ten*Na was a shoe brand that made lolita and alt fashion shoes. The taobao shop An*Tai*Na makes replicas of An*Ten*Na (and other brands) shoes and is named after this brand.

Angel Box

indie brand, designer is ツヤカ (Tsuyaka).

” ロリータファッションを紹介・販売しています。傾向としては、白・ピンク・赤系統のかわいい系で作製しています。まだまだ未熟ですが、よろしくお願いします。 “

Antique BeasT

Indie brand, opens for orders periodically and then takes MTO orders. Well known for bat headdress.

Arachnophobia

In early GLBs pre 2004?

Baby Secret Love

TBA – Related to Parfait magazine

Beauty:Beast

Betty’s Blue

Appears in Fruits and other 90s magazines

Bisque Doll / ビスクドール

Early 2000s indie brand

Carina e Arlequin

Indie brand / select shop. First shop opening in 2003 was “presented by Pretty and Atelier Pierrot”. Osaka shop opening on Atelier Pierrot site says they are the sister store to Atelier Pierrot.

Laforet Harajuku Shop: 2003.09.05 – Jan 24th 2005
Utsunomiya Shop: Dec 18th, 2004 – (Became AP Utsunomiya?)
Osaka Shop: April 29th (2005?) August 24, 2005

Cornet

Cornet was a small brand which had a lolita line called Shotgun Wedding. In January 2010, the shop manager/designer, Tom, announced that Shotgun Wedding would close as soon as the final pieces sold. The webshop closed that month. The brand is known for old-school styled pieces with bold white detailing. Items were typically factory produced in small numbers, and were well regarded for being durrable and having a lower price point than some of the larger brands. It was a popular brand for new lolita in Japan. Prior to Cornet/Shotgun Wedding, the designer, Tom, ran the brand GARAUS.

Coquette Doll

Indie brand. Their website lists a founding date of 2001 and remained online for several years past the last update in 2004.

Cute Cute World

Select shop

First of May

indie brand, currently sold on the Physical Drop site from time to time. Designer is named Shion.

Flasco

Select shop, sold a number of brands like Ange・ATELIER BOZ・Angelic Pretty ・ an*ten*na・Innocentworld・Na+H ・ OH LA LA・GALLOWS HUMOR 6676 ・ ZAZOU PLANET・SUPPURATE SYSTEM ・ SCHWARTZ SCHMETTERLING・Juliette et Justine ・ Seraphim・Heart E・Victorian Maiden ・ VISIBLE・BLACK more DARK・MARBLE・Mt.Mas ・ METAMORPHOSE・Larmes de Angel・Le-fluy

Garaus 

Became Cornet.

Heart E

Closed

hatimitusyrup / Honey Syrup / 蜂蜜シロップ

Indie brand started in 2003

Heavy Syrup

Sold at Pretty

Kazuko Ogawa 

Closed in 2006
Was worn by Mana-sama

Loin D

Marble

Featured on and off in the GLB, shared a shop with Visible.

Mari Sonoda

Marguerite Reine

田園詩 / Rural Poem / Denenshi

Also may get translated to rural poetry / pastoral poetry

Parfait Magazine

magazine by the designers of Baby Secret Love. Short run in the early 2000s, I’ve never seen it for sale secondhand online.

Physical Drop

Brand started by Kato-san, co-founder of Metamorphose

Pink House

TBA

Pretty

Select shop that sold multiple brands. Continued to sell multiple brands into the early 2000s. Eventually switched over to just selling their own brand, Angelic Pretty.

Shotgun Wedding

Lolita line of the brand Cornet, see Cornet

SUPPURATE SYSTEM

Was carried in select shop Flasco

Sweetie 

Street Organ

Haven’t the foggiest, but she mentions it in this page about Rural Poem

Spica

Small design studio that made bags and hats for Putumayo. Still takes (MTO) orders for pieces. They also seem to sell Blythe stuff.

Visible

Started by a fashion student who split a shop with another student started Marble

Looking for an old, obscure brand? Try checking this old directory site.