La Carmina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
La Carmina
La Carmina
Born Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Other names Carmen Yuen
Occupation Author, journalist, writer, blogger, TV host

La Carmina is a Canadian blogger, author, journalist, and TV host. She specializes in Goth and Harajuku fashion and Japanese pop culture. She has been described by Qantas as "one of the best-known names in the blogging world, having authored three books and hosting travel segments for international television networks."[1] She also appeared in one of the segments on the Tokyo episode of Bizarre Foods on Travel Channel.[2]

Early years[edit]

La Carmina was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Her parents are from Hong Kong.[3] She attended Columbia University and graduated in three years.[4][5] She was accepted into Yale Law School at age 20[3] and graduated with a JD.[6][7]


Fashion and travel blogging[edit]

In September 2007, she began her La Carmina blog about alternative and Gothic fashion, travel and subcultures in Japan and worldwide. [8][9][10][11][7][12] She is a professional blogger, and has cited sales of direct ads, Google AdSense, affiliate programs, sponsorships, RSS, search functions, and her YouTube videos as among her sources of income.[13] Her blog has been quoted in Boing Boing[14] and Women's Wear Daily.[15]

La Carmina is a journalist for CNNGo, where she contributes articles about Asian pop culture.[16][17] She is a travel journalist for Business Insider,[18][19] and also writes for AOL/Huffington Post Travel,[20][21] as well as The Sunday Times and Hong Kong Express Magazine.[22] [23]

She was selected as one of the world's top fashion bloggers to attend Luisa Via Roma's Firenze4Ever 2011 and 2012 events in Italy.[24][25][26][27]

La Carmina describes her sense of fashion as "Morticia Addams meets Hello Kitty," drawing from a mix of alternative styles.[28]

She has given speeches at IFB Conference at New York Fashion Week,[29][30] Social Media Week in Hong Kong,[9][31] PRSA Travel & Tourism Conference,[32][33] and PechaKucha Tokyo.[34]

In 2016, she was invited to the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul as one of the top travel influencers.[35]

She won Auxiliary Magazine's Best Blog of 2016 award.[36][37]


La Carmina appeared in one of several segments on the Tokyo episode of Bizarre Foods, in which she and her friends dined with host Andrew Zimmern in a theme restaurant. According to Zimmern, the footage showcased the "exotic alternative lifestyles" of Tokyo and was originally intended for an episode of Bizarre World, but was later edited for inclusion in a Bizarre Foods episode instead, a process which refocused the segment onto the restaurant itself rather than the diners.[2]

La Carmina's work as a travel and pop culture TV host on international networks includes Norway TV,[38] CNNGo TV[39] and a Canal+ France documentary about Japanese subcultures alongside Antoine de Caunes.[40][41] Among her other hosting work includes shows for Food Network and Discovery Channel.[42] She filmed with Discovery TV's Oddities, and did press trips to Maui, Berlin, Leipzig, and Prague to make travel videos.[12][43] She has also hosted travel videos for the Mexico Tourism Board[44][45] In 2011, she hosted, scripted, arranged, and field produced the show Coolhunting Weird Wisconsin for Huffington Post Travel TV. In the first episode, she gave a tour of Dodgeville theme hotel The Don Q Inn.[46][47][7]

Japanese broadcaster NHK filmed a 20-minute documentary about her work in blogging and cooking.[48][49] She was also the subject of an episode of NHK Kawaii TV.[42][50]

She has been interviewed about Japanese and American theme cafes by ABC Nightline.[51]

She has a travel video series published by Business Insider. Locations include Maldives, Israel, Bangkok, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, and more.[23]

Alongside Henry Winkler and William Shatner, she appeared on an episode of NBC's Better Late Than Never.[52][37]

La Carmina and the Pirates[edit]

La Carmina has a coolhunting, TV production, and promotion company that provides film fixing services to broadcasters worldwide.[53] She was interviewed and featured in the Spanish book Coolhunting Digital.[54]

La Carmina and the Pirates did the legwork for National Geographic Channel's Taboo episode documenting the body modification known as the bagel head – which she also hosted.[55][56][57] She also hosted, translated, and arranged a show in Tokyo for National Geographic and Fuel TV.[21][58] She appeared on CBS' The Doctors to speak about extreme body mods.[59]


In 2009, Perigee (a division of Penguin Books) published La Carmina's Cute Yummy Time, a cookbook based on Japanese "charaben" ("character bento"), a style of bento in which food is decorated to resemble animals, cartoon characters, and other such figures.[60] She took all the photos and drew illustrations for the book.[61] La Carmina's promotional tour included book signings in US cities[62][63] and an appearance on The Today Show.[3][64] The Guardian named Cute Yummy Time as one of the oddest book titles of the year,[65] and the Washington Post recommended it in Gift Guide.[66] Sarah DiGregorio of The Village Voice's "Fork in the Road" food blog wrote of Cute Yummy Time that "this kind of cute food (or kawaii food) seems less about eating and more about, well, looking cute and feminine while cutting food into elaborate shapes and not eating".[67]

Mark Batty Publisher released Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo in 2009, a hardcover book with full color photos.[68][69] In a review, The Vancouver Sun wrote, "Think of it less as a guidebook and more as a ghost train ride where whimsical, madcap and absurd images of some 30 theme restaurants materialize at every turn [...] Her tales flow effortlessly, with erudite explanations of what she sees in Tokyo's many subcultures [...] Brace yourself for a kitsch fix."[70][7]

La Carmina with her Scottish Fold cat, Basil Farrow

Personal life[edit]

Part of La Carmina's branding includes incorporating her Scottish Fold cat, Basil Farrow, into her promotion and media appearances.[71]



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Zimmern, Andrew. "Tokyo: It's All About the Food « Bizarre Foods". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "From Law to La Carmina". Audrey Magazine. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ "La Carmina (LaCarmina)". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Carmen Yuen '05 | Columbia College Today". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ Walker, Andrea (January 7, 2009). "The Book Bench: Dept. of Unusual Things". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ "La Carmina". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Our Gothic Lolita Is La Carmina: A Famous Harajuku Girl". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ "Professional Blogger Spotlight: La Carmina | Independent Fashion Bloggers". November 30, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  14. ^ Katayama, Lisa (December 14, 2009). "Why it's time to lighten up about "weird" Japan – Boing Boing". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Fall '09 Japanese Goth Trend: Good Mourning – Trends – Fashion". May 6, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  16. ^ "La Carmina". August 31, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". July 17, 2010. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Travel Writers: La Carmina". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b "AArisings – Alternative Fashion Blogger La Carmina A-Profiled". Archived from the original on 2011-09-05. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b
  24. ^ (November 15, 2010). "Firenze4Ever Chapter III". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Luxury Shopping Worldwide Shipping". Luisaviaroma. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  26. ^ (2011). "Luisa Via Roma. Torna lo Style Lab di Firenze4Ever". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Blogger Inspiration: La Carmina". August 6, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011. /
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b
  38. ^ "Professional Blogger Spotlight: La Carmina | Independent Fashion Bloggers". November 30, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  39. ^ "CNNGo TV: Tokyo part 2". June 15, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  40. ^ "ANTOINE DE CAUNES, FRENCH TV HOST OF EUROTRASH & CANAL PLUS DOCUMENTARY. ODAIBA DINNER BOAT CRUISE & KARAOKE, TOKYO BAY. | LA CARMINA. Gothic Lolita Punk † Cute Girls Japanese fashion † Tokyo Japan street style † Visual Kei Jrock bands". June 18, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Deathrayweekly.Com". Deathrayweekly.Com. July 11, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  42. ^ a b
  43. ^
  44. ^ Carmina, La (March 5, 2012). "WATCH: Mazatlan's Day Of The Dead". Huffington Post. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ "La Carmina's Super Cute Birthday @ Mr. Black LA – Los Angeles – Slideshows". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  47. ^ Anderson, Chris C. (August 21, 2011). "Coolhunting Weird Wisconsin Ep 1: Bondage Beds at the Don Q Inn". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  48. ^ "Interview with La Carmina". the Whiskey Dregs. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  49. ^ "From Law to La Carmina". Audrey Magazine. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ "Professional Blogger Spotlight: La Carmina | Independent Fashion Bloggers". November 30, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  54. ^ Anna María López López (2011). Coolhunting digital, a la caza de las últimas tendencias. Spain: ANAYA Multimedia. pp. 29–32. ISBN 978-84-415-2934-2. 
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^ "Ke Alaka'i – BYU-Hawaii Student News Lab – "Bagel Heads" become Japanese beauty trend". October 12, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  58. ^ "Blogger Inspiration: La Carmina – College Fashion". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  59. ^ Furniss, Tracey. "Goth Queen". South China Morning Post. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  60. ^ "Metro – It's as cute as a button mushroom". Archived from the original on October 24, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  61. ^ Penguin Blog (USA) – Penguin Group (USA) (February 22, 1999). "Cute Yummy Time, La Carmina | Penguin Blog (USA) – Penguin Group (USA)". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  62. ^   (November 27, 2009). "Cute Yummy Time: Go ahead, play with your food -". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  63. ^ "Photos from La Carmina's L.A. Book Signings at Giant Robot & Kinokuniya!". Mark Batty Publisher. December 3, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  64. ^ "La Carmina". August 31, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  65. ^ Alison Flood (February 5, 2010). "Bondage for Beginners vies with Origin of Faeces as contenders line up for oddest title prize | Books |". London: The Guardian. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  66. ^ "Holiday Guide 2009: Gifts – Cookbooks for 2009". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  67. ^ Sarah DiGregorio (September 18, 2011). "The Cute Food Movement: Cute Yummy Time". Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  68. ^ "Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants Tokyo". May 27, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  69. ^ "La Carmina Tours Astonishing Japanese Eateries in "Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo"". Mark Batty Publisher. August 13, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  70. ^ Hyslop, Lucy (August 1, 2009). "Tour the bizarre eateries of Tokyo with La Carmina". Archived from the original on July 18, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  71. ^