Spend any time in Tokyo and Japanese fashion rubs off on you. Everyone seems so well-dressed, from straight-laced salarymen to hip Tokyo streetwear aficionados. You get it all – rockabilly biker leather, staggering cosplay ensembles and extravagant lace trim. But the real gem Tokyo style and Japanese brands have to offer is their vision of the future.
Nowhere does the future meet the present better than fashion. High fashion houses like Dior have recently doubled-down on the Japanese capital remaining the arbiter, influencer and chief purveyor of international street style.
Tokyo moves fast, and Japanese clothing brands capitalize on the incessant need for quality and style. Japanese fashion designers borrow from their own past to reinvent modern Japanese clothing, from elaborately embroidered Sukajan Japanese bombers to ornate Harajuku style patterns.
It seems everyone has a touch of Japan in their DNA. They’ve been influencing the way we see the world since Marco Polo and the future Impressionists. Fashion is no exception.
Japanese denim is the only material for Naked & Famous; Vibram’s striking Furoshiki shoes turn heads everywhere; Taka Kasuga left his mark at Arc’teryx Veilance; upcoming luxury line Vallier sources premium Japanese wool. Chances are your jacket zippers were made by Japanese industry stalwart, YKK.
You’ll find superb outfits on the army of office-less workers at cool Akasaka or Omote-Sando cafés. Visit a bookmaker’s studio or couture atelier in Nishi-Shinjuku and discover a minimalist design born of necessity, from what they wear to the tools they use. Let’s take a look into the crystal ball that is Japanese fashion. After all, the future is always now in Tokyo.
Naked & Famous
Super Skinny Guy
Mionn IS Jacket
Simple Is Best
There isn’t much space on the islands, so compact simplicity is the order of the day. Minimum fuss and bulk, maximum technical features. Sounding a lot like Techwear. Sometimes Techwear can look like its out of the manga pages, but Snow Peak, Japanese makers of ski wear, lifestyle apparel and camping gear, streams profiles into almost aerodynamic form. Titanium sake bottles, downhill jackets, utilitarian vests – take style and function with you wherever you go.
Goldwin has long worked behind the scenes with the top labels – The North Face Purple Label, Champion, Helly Hansen, Asics – and created a Merino wool-based TABI collection with icebreaker. Goldwin’s ski legacy and slipstream profiling in the collection sums up everyday Tokyo casual perfectly. Their ski apparel functions so well on the slopes, people have adapted it to the streets.
Sp Tarp Long Sleeve Tee – Unisex
Tech Lite Crew – TABI Collection
Tech Blazer – TABI Collection
In Tokyo, mixing and matching is addictive and often heralds a new trend. High fashion meets high function wherever you look, be it embroidered kimono patches sewn onto jean jackets or Kabuki motifs screened onto button-up shirts.
The second largest luxury market worldwide is the place for high-minded designers to thrive and for people to express themselves – the more out there the better. Suicoke has created a wave of their own with funky designer sandals beamed to us from the space stations of the future.
Since taking the footwear world by storm in 2014, their partnerships with international designers and suppliers (Bape, Stussy, Norse Projects) display an adventure spirit unafraid to blend creative influences. Like Goldwin, Suicoke works with very little publicity or press, with an obsessive design focus their raison-d’etre. Their creations are snug, comfy, different and very much in.
Sandal KISEE-V – Unisex
Sneaker Aimé Leon – Unisex
Hit The Ground Running
We can’t forget the impact Salomon’s S-Lab had on the world of fashion, and in some ways the maximalist look can be found in Mizuno running shoes, especially the Waveknit runners. The century-old company is at the forefront of sleek speed designs that now double as fashionable everyday walkers. As you look for the best running shoe in terms of comfort, cushion and style, you’ll notice
Alpha Half Zip Sweater – Women’s
Wave Shadow 3 – Men’s
Wave Hayate 5 – Women’s
Wear The Future
When you are interested in getting the latest in style and functionality, you can’t do better than Japanese clothing brands. Forward-thinking aesthetics and influential design history converge in Tokyo to create styles that dictate fashion for the rest of us. Quality, meticulous detail and the latest look – they drive Japanese brand apparel and gear.