About the Author: Alexander Childs is an 18 year old freshman in college. He is an intern at USJETAA and he is attending American University. He plans on majoring in international business because he enjoys traveling a lot. He wants to study abroad in Japan as a junior and learn Japanese. He first got into fashion when he was 10 years old and has always had a passion for it. He got into Japanese fashion trends when conversing with his friends about different styles. He is from long island New York and has lived there for all of his life.
Fashion is something that is different in almost every culture. How you dress yourself shows a lot about you as a person and how you express yourself. Many people take pride in how they dress and follow certain trends and designs. I first got into fashion when I was 10 because I learned that there are some brands that charge a ridiculous amount of money for something that is cheap to make. This immediately sparked my interest because it didn’t make sense to me. I got into Japanese fashion through my friends who showed me different brands and styles that I thought looked very different in a unique way. Throughout this post I will be talking about some elements of Japanese fashion American fashion that I find interesting.
Japanese fashion influences so much of the fashion in the world despite American fashion in general just being way more widespread and accessible. For example, the brand Nike is very popular in America and Japan. You can order anything you want from them online making it very easily accessible. Many people in the United States embrace Japanese street fashion. Another significant thing about Japanese fashion is that the materials used in Japanese clothing are high quality and occasionally handmade. The high costs of Japanese goods reflects more of the cost of the raw materials and time than the profit margin.
One thing to keep in mind is Japanese fashion is more expressive because in a Japanese person’s life they always have to wear uniforms and be extremely professional when in school which would make them want to dress more expressively. This leads to all different styles and forms of expression in comparison to the U.S. where people just enjoy fashion. American street fashion is less colorful and inventive than Japanese fashion. For example popular American brands such as Abercrombie and American eagle are very basic and boring in terms of their designs. Japanese fashion stands out because of its bright colors and unique designs which are eye catching. The Japanese brands Undercover, Junya Watanabe, and Cav Empt are examples of this bright and unique Japanese style. Another thing to keep in mind is the idea of trending styles and designs meaning that after a certain amount of time it will become out of fashion. This is what keeps styles fresh and make them constantly change because newer designs are more sought after.
Japanese street wear is notorious throughout the world because of the creativity and thought that goes into each individual clothing brand. One of the most prominent Japanese brands is Comme Des Garcons it was founded in 1973 and did things differently than its competitors. Every piece of clothing made was handmade they did this because Comme des Garcons values the quality of hand-made garments, reflected in the more expensive price and longevity of their products. This I feel makes the clothing you wear more unique because each article is handmade. Another influential Japanese brand is Issey Miyake which grew in popularity around the same time as Comme Des Garcons and was known for having technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions and fragrances.
American street wear in recent years has gained attention. One brand, a rising brand know as Supreme, has blown up in popularity and is now one of the most successful street wear brands. Supreme sells out all off its inventory within minutes of releasing it to the public. This causes a huge demand for the brands clothing which makes it inflate in value. Supreme clothes increase in value after you purchase it. This is very unique because usually once you purchase clothing it usually decreases in value. Supreme in June 2017 launched a highly coveted collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Some of the items were doubling in resale value. This caused the two brands to get an immense amount of exposure in the public.
Overall, Japanese fashion is something that I have grown to be very passionate about. Following different brands and seeing the new designs that they come out with each season is keeps me interested constantly. Fashion is something that is different everywhere but it brings people together over a common interest.
AFSUSA. “In Japan, fashion offers an opportunity for self-expression.” Nd.
Day, Jon. “Feature: Harajuku in Tokyo is all about self-expression, says Punk Lolita.” Xinhua. 5 July 2015.
Dunnet, Kaitlyn. “ASU students use Japanese fashion as an outlet for self-expression.” The State Press. 17 Sept 2018.
Kawamura, Yuniya. “Issey Miyake.” LoveToKnow. Nd.
Kawamura, Yuniya. “Japanese Fashion.” LoveToKnow. Nd.
Leitch, Luke. “The Hype Economy.” 1843. 3 Aug. 2017.
Lieber, Chavie. “The Vast, Mysterious Empire of Comme Des Garçons.” Racked. 26 Apr 2017.
Live Japan. “The History of the Japanese School Uniform: a Symbol of Freedom, Rebellion, and Fashion.” 25 April 2018.
Ofiaza, Renz. “How Supreme & Louis Vuitton’s Collection Prompted Hysteria.” Highsnobiety. 4 Dec 2018.