Japan is a country that provides one of the best shopping experiences for those who love fashion, with specialized neighborhoods and unique stores. The creative pattern of the pieces is favored, because the Japanese people who love fashion are usually open to novelties, bold pieces and out of pattern. Get to know some stores that are worth visiting in Japan.
In this article we will find out:
- The japanese fashion brands influence in the world
- What it is to shop for Japanese brands in Tokyo
- The traditional Japanese clothing & Harajuku style brands
- The 10 most trendy Japanese streetwear brands for 2021
How Japanese Brands influence trends?
The streets of Tokyo are the most popular fashion runways in the world: in them, every pedestrian -especially the young ones- looks like a model and exhibits his or her particular style, which has led the emerging Western fashion brands to take inspiration from them in order to import Tokyo's trends.
Therefore, for many young Japanese people walking around Shibuya, one of the world's fashion epicenters, the era of skinny jeans is over. Those that dominate now are wide from the waist, which adds to the use of accessories such as hats or bags with striking colors and textures. One of the characteristics of Japanese brands, as the designers explain themselves, is the ability to combine new trends with Japanese tradition itself.
For the designers, especially inspired by the revisions of traditional garments such as kimonos, the relevance of Japanese fashion is not only defined by the weight of Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto or Issey Miyake, but also by all the influence it has on other creators around the world who incorporate it into their work.
What is it to shop in Tokyo for Japanese Clothing Brands ?
In places like Tokyo the word fashion acquires a completely different meaning than it usually has in other western cities. Despite the existence of large international retail stores that sell clothing pieces produced in bulk and at accessible prices, there are many circuits where design is allowed to go in its most experimental, chaotic, beautiful, organic and splendid aspects.
The prices vary a lot, as do the qualities and the areas where you can find these three segments of fashion that I announced in the title. Therefore, one by one I will tell you how to navigate the omnipresent and intricate world of fashion in Tokyo.
Japanese Luxury Brands
Speaking of haute couture (leaving aside the mass market), on your visit to Japan you can't miss a stop at a kimono store. The price range is huge, considering that you can buy new kimonos and yukatas, made to measure and used clothes but in excellent condition. Behind the area of Sensoji Temple, in the Asakusa neighbourhood, you will find several stores where you can feast your eyes on those pieces of folk clothing of the highest artistic appreciation that, despite being part of the cultural and historical heritage of the country, in many designers find a way of evolution and permanent updating.
Japanese Local Brands
At more accessible prices, without neglecting design and quality, we find local brands such as Uniqlo, GU and Muji, among many others. In these stores, which extend throughout the length and breadth of Japan, you can find a wide variety of garments of all types and styles, but also designed for the demands of everyday life.
As we mentioned earlier, Tokyo is perhaps the most experimental city in the Japanese archipelago in terms of trends and fusion of styles. This mixture of international information with very interesting traditions in the aesthetic field gave rise, in the early 1990s, to the emergence of different urban tribes that specifically differentiated themselves from one another by their costumes made up of unusual garments and striking accessories.
Let’s find out, which Japanese brands are the most interesting to follow in 2021 !
Most trendy Japanese streetwear brand for 2021
Anyone who has walked through the center of Tokyo knows first-hand the peculiar energy of Japanese culture: somewhat pragmatic but dreamlike, technical but infinitely creative, refined but extravagant.
Japanese brands are characterized by immense technical prowess and rock-solid product design, but they also have a sense of fun and a winning desire to push the envelope. Drawing on a range of international influences, particularly Italian and American, Japanese designers produce pieces designed for the contemporary people. Here are the top 10 brands you need to know for 2021.
Created by charismatic businessman Nigo in 1993, Bape is a pillar of Japanese street fashion and one of the first pioneers in Tokyo's Harajuku fashion district. The brand is heavily influenced by computer games, toy figures and cartoons, and has become firmly integrated into the hip-hop culture.
Historical partners include Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Pusha T and The Weeknd, while Nigo himself is co-owner of sister brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream with Pharrell Williams. The brand is perhaps best known for its multicolored camouflage prints, which adorn everything from sneakers to bow ties.
Yohji Yamamoto & Y-3
Y-3 marks the deep and fruitful relationship between Adidas and iconic designer Yohji Yamamoto. It is a cult fusion of sportswear and luxury design. Coveted by collectors around the world, the brand is both elegant and practical, with an exclusively Japanese character and futuristic silhouettes. It stands out for its imitated sports shoe lines, with its characteristic monochromatic colors and its synthetically woven insteps.
Probably not many of you have heard of Undercover, the Japanese fashion brand was founded in 1993 by a then university student, Jun Takahashi. With punk roots and an international perspective, the brand has long fused American and British streetwear with images from Japanese pop culture to create bold, cutting-edge design garments.
Today, it is best known for its coveted collaborations with major American sportswear icons: Nike crossovers for Undercover often sell out in minutes. Here is an interesting featuring for the fans of the comma brand as well as for the Japanese fashion fan.
Comme Des Garçons
Being the most relevant Oriental brand in the world requires a level of creativity and reinvention that CDG surpasses by far with a rating of excellence. Its creator Rei Kawakubo is one of the great minds of the 20th century for her ability to deconstruct silhouettes and styles with an intuitive and deeply liberating vision.
The color black is another of the omnipresent elements in her creations. The masculine and feminine lines of Comme des Garçons have coexisted since the end of 1978 and represent, together with other Japanese brands such as Yohji Yamamoto's, a genderless concept that is currently revolutionizing the industry but which they have been developing for 30 years.
Uniqlo is a Japanese apparel brand that offers high quality items that make full use of technology at low prices. In recent years, in addition to low prices and high quality, Uniqlo has been shifting to a more design-conscious brand strategy and a more fashion-oriented image, including the UT T-shirt line, which features a number of character collaborations each season.
The ubiquitous Uniqlo is great for getting basic notions and low cost, but well done. His collaborations with cutting-edge designers such as Jun Takahashi of UNDERCOVER. Uniqlo's "Uniqlo U" is designed by a design team led by Christophe Lemaire. This line offers a neat look product which is highly appreciated by streetwear style lovers.
This brand has become over the years an icon to be followed by many "fashionistas" because of how difficult it is to find it. The brand, which markets luxury fabrics and bold logos, is famous for being hard to find outside of Tokyo. But if I were you, I would look for it everywhere. Founded by design icon Shinsuke Takizawa in 1994, Neighborhood has grown into a trusted casual clothing brand with luxurious distinction. Their monochromatic design pieces, for example, are often imitated but rarely improved.
Ichiro Nakutsu, the designer and entrepreneur has become one of the world's most dedicated denim collectors. His debut as a brand is a tribute to the many disparate references in his own closet, while his name comes from the careful consideration his team puts into each garment. Influenced by American clothing, the Japanese military uniform and the clothing of European workers in the sixties, each of orSlow's sturdy pieces is woven on a traditional loom before being washed and aged for a unique vintage look.
Born in a small store in Tokyo's Harajuku district in 1976, Beams has since become a cornerstone of Japanese fashion at home and abroad. Its first line of men's clothing was launched in 1999, and from the beginning it was inspired by classic workwear and hard-wearing fabrics. Today, the brand has become one of the most prominent Ivy League brands of the 1960s. Men's fashionistas flock to the brand for their madras and Oxfords buttoned-up shirts as well as their jackets and military-inspired clothing.
For his love of Japanese Edo period tailoring, 1950s baseball culture and vintage workwear, there is certainly something immensely nostalgic about Visvim. Their way of working also takes us back to a time when everything was done more by hand; for example they use natural dyes and traditional manufacturing methods in many of their products. The result is a soft variation in each garment, a feature that makes the Visvim range unique and complies with the traditional Japanese concept of wabi-sabi: the imperfections of a work of art that give extra beauty to the finished product.
Inspired by the diversity of the climate and terrain of his native Japan, designer Yosuke Aizawa created the Crossover White Mountaineering in 2006 as a luxury brand for outdoor enjoyment. The firm's mission is both simple and complex: to combine functional and athletic silhouettes with rich fabrics and elegant details (or, in other words, to create artwork that can be taken on a hike).
Get the best out of the Japanese Brands
Now that you know everything about the clothing styles in Japan and especially Harajuku, you probably have a lot of ideas behind your head to make your wardrobe look like a beast. For those you want to have an useful visual disclosure of all the different Japanese Clothing brands featured on this article, check out this video of The Casual about the 10 best Japanese Streetwear Brands Ever!
Even if you may have discovered some new designers from our favorite ones, you shouldn't miss the alternatives on the web that are much cheaper, for a quality that can get very close to these.
And you know what ? You are at the best place for your shopping of Japanese brands: we are distributing the latest pieces of clothes you need to elevate your Harajuku look from a 8/10 to a solid 11/10. Make sure to check out our Japanese Street Fashion collections to get the best out of the street style trends coming for 2021.