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Top 20 Japanese Fashion Brands

Besides being famous for its technology, Japan is also recognized for the creativity of its young people in innovating in clothing. The benchmark just look at Harajuku, which is one of the centers of street fashion in the world. In that district, there are many kinds of brands, both local and international. The development of fashion in Japan is also supported by local industries that can compete worldwide. #WedWearing this time, we will present any brands that are successful worldwide and make Japan proud. Here’s the list:

  1. W)Taps is made by Tetsu Nishiyama, aka TET, a fashion pioneer in the Harajuku scene. After starting with several different brands in the early 90s, TET made a fortune after making W)Taps in 1996. The brand’s products are heavily inspired by military things, including its signature motifs. This brand has been recorded to have collaborated with several well-known brands such as Supreme, Stussy, A Bathing Ape, and Vans. https://www.wtaps.com/
  2. Although Evisu was not the first to produce selvedge denim, it was this brand that made a big impact and popularized this type of denim. Starting from the designer and owner Hidehiko Yamane who works as a supplier of imported clothing to Japan, he found that there is almost no quality denim in the Japanese market. Then he started to collect ancient looms for weaving selvedge denim, in the early 90s Yamane started by producing 14 pieces of denim which were sold around Osaka. Each piece of denim has a handmade seal on the back pocket which requires patience to make. Needless to say, selvedge denim is now a trend and sparks worldwide interest in vintage denim. Evisu is also an example of how small industries are run in Japan. https://www.evisu.com/
  3. Uniqlo has had success where companies like Gap, and H&M have stumbled. With roots that started in 1949, but started in earnest in 1984, Uniqlo offers a fashion store concept that always improvises in providing quality clothing at affordable prices for consumers. The brand has expanded its network to 100 stores in Japan in the last 10 years including opening a location in the heart of Harajuku – the fashion heart of Tokyo -. In 2004 this brand began to expand overseas by opening outlets in New York, including Indonesia. https://www.uniqlo.com/
  4. Good Enough Brand is the first brand created by the legend Hiroshi Fujiwara. It is a classic streetwear brand that has consistently provided awesome clothing for the youth of Harajuku and Shibuya in the 90s. Good Enough influenced and became part of the Japanese streetwear scene. This is Hiroshi’s first work on his journey to becoming the godfather of Harajuku and dictating world trends.
  5. Neighborhood was born thanks to the subculture of the ‘hardcore motorcycle subculture community’ in Japan. The product is of course for those who want to imitate how ‘badass’ the riders or motorcyclists are. Based in Harajuku and founded in 1994 by motorcycle enthusiast Shinsuke Takizawa, he was looking for a way to express his passion. Neighborhood, a streetwear brand that maintains its high-end level and is a favorite on the streets of Tokyo. https://www.neighborhood.jp/en
  6. Onitsuka Tiger has a long history of seducing athletic athletes who used to be barefoot to get used to wearing shoes. In addition, founder Kihachiro Onitsuka’s goal was to raise the confidence of children in a war-torn country through athletics. A shoe that offered many innovations at the time that made it popular in Japan. The change of brand name to ASICS in 1977, made this brand more popular not only among athletes but also among fashion lovers. Now who doesn’t know the legendary Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, or the ASICS Gel Lyte? There is an interesting story, around the 60’s a former Onitsuka agent for the American part, started selling a shoe called Cortez whose design was based on the Onitsuka Corsair. Do you know who the former agent was? he was Phil Knight, and his business was called Nike. https://www.onitsukatiger.com/
  7. Head Porter This is another work by Hiroshi Fujiwara, it’s not wrong if he is called the godfather of Harajuku. Being the brains of many of his brands, at Head Porter he specializes in making accessories, such as bags. It didn’t take long, this brand immediately became hype among fashion enthusiasts in Japan. This brand has collaborated with several other top brands such as Mastermind Japan, Comme des Garçons, and Undercover. The rest, this brand launched a sub unit called Head Porter Plus which offers simplicity but wrapped in quality and clothes that look awesome. https://www.yoshidakaban.com/
  8. Visvim. The appeal of this brand is that they create something that goes against what is. The designer Hiroki Nakamura started making shoes in 2000 and expanded to include clothing. Many brands are only concerned with visual aesthetics or quality alone, but Visvim is the perfect combination of both. Since its inception, Nakamura emphasizes strict quality control and ethical manufacturing that is carried out at every stage, to ensure that the clothes that reach customers are the best products. The combination of American style and Streetwear brings something fresh and original. See how John Mayer became a stylish man in Visvim. https://shop.visvim.com/viewall
  9. Bathing Ape. Without a doubt A Bathing Ape is the most influential and best streetwear brand in Japan. Designer Nigo started in 1993 with a few shirts and hoodies, plus Bapesta sneakers. His most phenomenal work is of course his signature camo pattern which became a boom, and took over the Japanese streetwear market in the 2000s. A Bathing Ape consistently provides exclusive models and is supported by several limited edition collaboration products. With large prints and logos used by Kanye West and Pharell William, of course, everyone will want it. But because it is limited that only a few can get Bape and make him continue to be hunted. Unfortunately, A Bathing Ape was overhyped, and led to it being sold to the Hong Kong IT Group in 2011. Bape is one of the brands that is often used as a reference, no streetwear brand in the world can claim to be unaffected by Bape. https://bape.com/
  10. Comme des Garçons from its inception, the brand has defied the notion of color, shape and conventions of fashion itself. This brand first emerged in 1970 from the creative idea of Rei Kawakubo who dared to deconstruct conventions in the fashion world. Now Comme des Garçons has dominated the high fashion market, especially for contemporary men. Not only that, he opened the Play and Homme Deux sub-units which are specifically for streetwear lovers and everyday formal wear. This brand became a brand that made the world pay attention to Japanese fashion, and continues to dominate on all fronts. For nearly 30 years now Comme des Garçons has been at the forefront of every conversation about men’s fashion. It also proves that a brand or brand is able to place a country on top of the world. https://www.comme-des-garcons.com/
  11. Kotohayokozawa. Stylized as “kotohayokozawa,” this is the eponymous brand of Kotoha Yokozawa, a Nagoya native who started the brand in 2015. The designer appreciates the uniqueness of following trends, and says he creates cut-and-paste for girls like himself. Catch one of its pop-up stores or browse online stores. https://kotohayokozawa.com/
  12. KIKS TYO is a Tokyo-based casual clothing and casual accessories company that was founded in 2006. Apart from basics like tees and sweatshirts, they also make accessories: hats, sunglasses, wallets, and phone bags and cases. https://kikstyoshop.com/
  13. UNDERCOVER. Jun Takahashi mendirikan UNDERCOVER di 1990, dan sejak itu merek ini menjadi klasik di dunia streetwear Jepang. Pakaian mengambil isyarat gaya dari punk rock serta penampilan mode tinggi. Slogan mereka adalah “Kami membuat suara, bukan pakaian.” https://store.undercoverism.com/
  14. DRWCYS is a streetwear brand aimed at women in their twenties and thirties. Their motto is “Trend. Casual. Bohemian.” The brand started in 2008, but didn’t open their first store until 2010. https://drwcys-store.com/
  15. Fumika Uchida adalah label mode yang tumbuh dari J’Antiques, salah satu toko pakaian vintage terbaik di Tokyo. Sesuai dengan akarnya, label ini adalah perpaduan gaya modern dan tampilan vintage yang diperbarui. http://fumika-uchida.com/
  16. Snidel carrying the concept of “formal street”, Snidel is quite popular among Japanese women of school age to their 20s. Designed by Asami Kusugami, Snidel opened its first store on Cat Street in Harajuku in April 2005. Subsequently, Snidel expanded its scope by opening boutiques in Shibuya, Nagoya, Shinjuku, Yokohama, and other cities in Japan. https://snidel.com/
  17. Tsumori Chisato was born in the city of Saitama, Japan, Tsumori Chisato greatly admires French culture and fashion. In 1990, Tsumori Chisato began to develop his own brand. She presented her first collection at Japan Fashion Week in the same year. The style that characterizes Tsumori Chisato is innovative textiles, the use of embroidery, appliques, and prints. Tsumori Chisato’s love for France made him open a shop in that country, in the Marais district to be exact. In addition, the Tsumori Chisato collection is also marketed in several countries such as the United States, Italy, Russia, and Scandinavia. http://tsumorichisato.co.jp/
  18. WEGO is a well-known fashion brand from Shibuya, Tokyo. The WEGO collection consists of cool and trendy casual clothes that young Japanese are known for. With the concept of “mix used style, WEGO offers collections such as t-shirts, tops, bottoms, and outerwear. https://wegoec.jp/shop/default.aspx
  19. Cecil McBee founded in 1984, Cecil McBee under the auspices of Delica Co. targeting young women as its main target market. In addition to targeting young women, Cecil McBee also launched a collection aimed at older women. Cecil McBee has the same name as a jazz singer from the United States. However, the two are not related at all. Even because of the similarity of the name, Cecil McBee, the jazz musician once filed a lawsuit against the Japanese fashion brand. https://www.mecollect.jp/
  20. The streets of Shibuya, Tokyo are the birthplace of the clothing brand United Arrows. Founded in 1989, United Arrows appointed Osamu Shigematsu as its first President. A year later, United Arrows opened its first store in Shibuya, Tokyo and was followed by other stores in the following years. United Arrows has The Green Label relaxing brand targeting younger and more casual shoppers. In December 1999, United Arrows launched Chrome Hearts, one of its product lines. Today, United Arrows manages more than 250 high-end boutiques spread across the Tokyo area. The United Arrows collection includes men’s and women’s clothing with models that continue to change every season. https://store.united-arrows.co.jp/shop/ua/default.html

Well friends, those are some brands from Japan that are arguably the best and are able to compete at the world level. One that can be learned is innovation, persistence, and doing what they believe got them where they are today.

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