Anyone on the cutting edge of fashion knows that if you're looking for high quality Japanese Streetwear, Japan is one of the best places to find it. Since the explosion of BAPE (A Bathing Ape) in the early 1990s, the world has become increasingly familiar with Japanese streetwear brands. Many celebrities from all over the world are seen wearing these Japanese streetwear clothes, from American stars to soccer players.
Today, we present some of the best Japanese streetwear brands in 2021 that you need to know about, whether you're an avid hypebeast or just want to get started.
We start the list with what is probably the most famous Japanese streetwear brand. It has two spin-off brands, AAPE (by A Bathing Ape) and BAPY (Busy Working Lady), but its main brand, BAPE, is the most famous. Even if you don't know anything about Japanese streetwear, chances are you've seen their camouflage patterned clothing somewhere. Other popular products include shark hoodies and streetwear coats.
Beams® is a famous Japanese clothing brand from the Land of the Rising sun created by the designer Yo Shitara. Established in Harajuku district of Tokyo since since 1976, Beams owns several stores in different countries such as Japan, New York,Paris, Milan and London.
Thanks to its huge versatile catalog of interior goods, furniture, galleries, clothing, shoes, and accessories, Beams has made its way into Worldwide fashion and have been able to collaborated with other huge brands such as New York Yankees, Nordstrom and even McDonald's.
If you're not a fan of Yohji or KURO's minimalist styles, then you'll be more interested in FACETASM. The brand chooses not to categorize itself. Each collection is different from the last, playing on the whims of founder and designer Hiromichi Ochiai. Despite this, their concept is to express Tokyo's street culture in a fun and free way, and if their previous collections are any indication, that's exactly what they do. Their designs tend to be playful, bold and eccentric.
KURO, which simply means "black", is a relatively new streetwear brand, having made its debut only in 2010. Its founder, Yusuke Yatsuhashi, puts Japanese craftsmanship at the forefront of his brand, ensuring quality by frequently visiting factories to make the clothes himself.
His designs tend to be more minimalist and sleek, but they are magical in their innovation. He is known in the industry for his constant search for new and original materials, new sewing methods, and for his desire to preserve Japanese culture through his collections. All his products are also 100% made in Japan.
5. YOHJI YAMAMOTO
Yohji Yamamoto is one of Japan's most famous fashion designers. The brand takes Japanese minimalism to the next level with their timeless designs, simplicity and unmatched craftsmanship. They also tend to be more drapey and layered in style, with asymmetrical silhouettes, dropped hooks and oversized cuts. If you are looking for a colorful wardrobe, this brand is not for you. Yohji works primarily with black, even in all his collaborations, which include Doc Martens, Adidas, and others.
If you're not willing to sacrifice high fashion for punk streetwear, UNDERCOVER is your brand. Their motto, "We make noise, not clothes," sums up their design philosophy: rebellion and disruption are at the core of their approach. Jun Takahashi, the label's founder, mixes pop culture and punk aesthetics to create what is now one of Japan's most influential streetwear brands. It also boasts many high-profile collaborations, including NIKE, Valentino, Doc Martens, Converse and many others.
7. WACKO MARIA
8. CAV EMPT
Cav Empt is the short term for "caveat emptor", the Latin sentence for "buy carefully" but, don't worry, there's nothing to fear from this streetwear brand.
It is one of the favorite brands of the famous YouTuber PewDiePie. The creators of this brand are Sk8thing, who is a graphic designer at BAPE, and Toby Feltwell, art director of Pharrell William's clothing line. So it's no surprise that cav empt's style is retro-futuristic, with boldly designed collections. We like to think of it as streetwear for a high-end audience.
Visvim is arguably one of the most famous contemporary Japanese streetwear brands on this list. Fans of the brand include well-known artists such as Kanye West, John Mayer, Drake and A$AP Rocky, who have all been seen wearing visvim's most popular product, the FBT.
Although it started as a shoe manufacturer, visvim now has a full line of clothing that draws heavily from founder Hiroki Nakamura's travels. Aya Nakamura also spares no expense in the making of his designs, using rare textiles and highly developed methods to produce truly high quality garments.
KAPITAL began in the 1980s as a jeans brand and has since become one of the country's most recognizable streetwear brands. It has a bit of a cult following that loves the brand's unconventional, edgy and offbeat aesthetic. The owners and designers are father-son duo Toshikiyo Hirata and Kiro Hirata, who take special care to ensure that each design uses traditional Japanese dyeing techniques and craftsmanship.
Among KAPITAL's most famous products are its indigo jeans (not surprising, given that the brand is based in Kojima, the denim capital of Japan), as well as its ring coats. They also have a sub-label, KOUNTRY.