Let’s talk about the big debate; Is Japanese fashion better than Western fashion? Now in this blog, we would like to touch on the trends, influences, approach, and ideologies surrounding Japanese fashion. Since we live in the West, we would like to shed more light to the Japanese streetwear scene as much of western society isn’t too aware of this other scene and what they represent. In saying that, after the reading, please comment down below which style you think is the best.
So without further notice, let’s discuss the debate: Is Japanese Fashion Better Than Western Fashion?
Anyone who is familiar with fashion probably is aware that the West is full of trends. They come and go repetitively and are usually hyped up by celebrities and influencers. This can be seen with such stars like Pharrell, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Asap Rocky, Rihanna and Kylie Jenner, all who have influenced many trends in the recent years. In regards to these individuals, you may notice the direct influence that they have on the masses. They seem to consistently influence newer and bigger trends globally. In contrast towards Western influence, Japan does not have this luxury of worldwide influence. In Japan, almost every young person knows the names of the celebrities mentioned above but when it comes to the West, Japanese celebrities are not much of a big deal. In saying that, Japanese fashion is probably the void of trends, as they focus more on individuality and expression within their clothes.
Some might say that streetwear brands in the West are standardized across the board as many brands do the same thing and follow similar trends. Opposed to the West, Japan’s streetwear brands tend to deviate from brand to brand as well as include cultural styled garments which many brands in Japan take influence from. For example, wide pants, elongated shirts, collarless jackets, and etc, have always had a presence within Japanese streetwear while the West barely catches on. One con surrounding Japanese Fashion is that most people think that their style is nothing but a fluff or gimmick. Usually, within Japanese streetwear, clothing pieces can have outrageous price points and in terms of most brands, nothing really becomes of their pieces beside the initial concept. However, Japanese streetwear fashion celebrates experimentation, something in which the West isn’t too fond of. Through their deep love for experimentation, Japanese brands set goals to set themselves apart from their peers, gathering support from their direct demographic. They show their own individualism by creating a principle around their clothing that relates to a small subset of society.
Due to their specific targeting, most Japanese Brands are of a higher premium as they focus intensely on a particular lifestyle, which they represent through their clothing. Each and every piece is carefully crafted to the finest detail for their target. In doing this, Japanese brands follow this style of work by a motto known as Monozukuri: meaning that once applied, the act of making becomes more than simply making things but refers more to creations as a craft. With that being said, Japanese brands follow this philosophy to a great extent and have even influenced American brands to do the same, increasing their quality of clothing. For instance, such brands like Levis and Champion have thrived by making higher quality-alternates exclusively in Japan.
Now Japan isn’t just praised for their experimentation or quality, they also are looked up too for choosing strong complex messages rather than being a hype brand. Now there’s nothing wrong with hype, as big Japanese brands like Bape, Undercover, and CDG have followed the American approach of being trendy. These big brands are very prominent in the streetwear culture and aren’t distasteful at all but sometimes outliers with a strong message peak a new interest of excitement and astonishment. Moreover, Japanese brands increase excitement with their clothing because instead of setting their goals on becoming famous or trendy, they would rather be pioneers in their own lane and innovate the fashion world. Many brands such as Neighborhood and White Mountaineering have followed this ideal and have created pieces that have never been seen before in the fashion world. With that being said, innovation pushes for newer heights and Japan is most definitely reaching those heights.
To Sum Up
When regarding Japanese Fashion and its streetwear philosophy, quality is such an important ideal within this particular scene. As mentioned before the Japanese follow a motto known as Monozukuri, which pushes them to create quality pieces. In addition, experimentation and individualism are highly looked upon when creating their clothes, always challenging the status quo by creating principles within their pieces. However, The West creates trends and popular culture, inviting many people to be a part of something without being from a particular demographic. Though many might call the West followers, something looked down upon in the Japanese fashion world, they represent the youth who dictate what’s popular.
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