Best Japanese Streetwear Brands: Top Picks for Fashion-Forward Shoppers
Japanese streetwear has been a global phenomenon for decades, with its roots tracing back to the Shibuya and Harajuku districts in Tokyo.
The unique blend of traditional Japanese culture and western influences has made Japanese streetwear a unique and sought-after fashion trend. The trend has influenced fashion across the world, and many Japanese streetwear brands have become household names in the fashion industry.
Understanding Japanese streetwear and its influences is essential to appreciate the unique fashion trend. The trend is all about expressing oneself through clothing and making a statement.
The fashion trend is not just about getting attention but also about dedication to the community and beliefs that surround a particular style. The trend has been influenced by a blend of traditional Japanese culture, western fashion, punk, and hip-hop.
- Japanese streetwear is a unique and sought-after fashion trend that blends traditional Japanese culture and western influences.
- The trend is all about expressing oneself through clothing and making a statement, and it has been influenced by a blend of traditional Japanese culture, western fashion, punk, and hip-hop.
- Many Japanese streetwear brands have become household names in the fashion industry, and their influence has spread worldwide.
Understanding Japanese Streetwear
If you’re a fan of streetwear, you’ll know that Japan has been a significant contributor to the scene for decades. Japanese streetwear is unique in that it often blends traditional Japanese design elements with modern streetwear aesthetics. It’s a style that’s hard to define, but easy to recognise once you know what to look for.
One of the things that make Japanese streetwear so interesting is its connection to subcultures. In Japan, streetwear is often associated with various subcultures, such as hip hop, punk, and skateboarding.
These subcultures have had a significant influence on Japanese fashion over the years, and many Japanese streetwear brands have emerged from them.
Another thing that sets Japanese streetwear apart is its focus on design. Japanese designers are known for their attention to detail and their willingness to experiment with new materials and techniques. This focus on design has led to some of the most innovative and unique streetwear brands in the world.
Tokyo is the epicentre of Japanese streetwear, and it’s where you’ll find many of the most influential brands and designers. However, Japanese streetwear has also spread to other parts of the country and the world. Today, you can find Japanese streetwear brands in cities like New York, London, and Paris.
If you’re interested in Japanese streetwear, there are a few brands and designers that you should know about. Some of the most well-known brands include A Bathing Ape (BAPE), Comme des Garçons, and Neighborhood. However, there are many emerging Japanese designers and brands that are worth checking out as well.
Overall, Japanese streetwear is a unique and exciting style that continues to influence the fashion world. Whether you’re a fan of streetwear or just interested in Japanese fashion, there’s no denying the impact that Japanese streetwear has had on the industry.
Influences on Japanese Streetwear
Japanese streetwear has been heavily influenced by a variety of different cultures and subcultures over the years. From punk and rock to hip-hop and Americana, Japanese streetwear has taken inspiration from a wide range of sources to create unique and iconic styles.
One of the most significant influences on Japanese streetwear has been punk culture. The punk movement emerged in the UK in the 1970s before spreading to other parts of the world, including Japan.
Japanese punk bands like The Stalin and The Blue Hearts helped to popularise the punk aesthetic in Japan, and this influence can still be seen in many Japanese streetwear brands today.
Another major influence on Japanese streetwear has been hip-hop culture. The rise of hip-hop in the 1980s and 1990s saw many Japanese youths embracing the style and incorporating it into their own fashion choices.
Brands like A Bathing Ape (BAPE) and Neighborhood were heavily influenced by hip-hop, and their designs often feature bold graphics and logos.
Western culture, particularly American culture, has also had a significant impact on Japanese streetwear. Brands like Visvim and WTAPS take inspiration from American workwear and military clothing, while others like Supreme have been heavily influenced by American skate culture.
Androgynous fashion has also played a role in Japanese streetwear, with many brands blurring the lines between masculine and feminine clothing. This trend can be seen in brands like Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, which often feature oversized and androgynous designs.
Finally, American motorcycle culture has also had an impact on Japanese streetwear. Brands like The Real McCoy’s and Iron Heart take inspiration from vintage motorcycle clothing, with designs featuring heavy denim and leather.
Overall, Japanese streetwear is a unique and eclectic blend of different cultures and subcultures. By taking inspiration from a wide range of sources, Japanese streetwear has created a distinct and iconic style that continues to influence fashion around the world.
Key Japanese Streetwear Brands
If you’re a fan of streetwear, then you know that Japanese brands are some of the most popular and sought-after in the industry.
From A Bathing Ape to WTAPS, these brands have gained a following for their unique designs, quality materials, and attention to detail. Here are some of the key Japanese streetwear brands that you should know about:
A Bathing Ape (BAPE)
A Bathing Ape, or BAPE for short, is one of the most iconic Japanese streetwear brands. Founded in 1993 by Nigo, the brand is known for its bold designs, featuring the iconic Ape Head logo and the signature camo print.
BAPE has collaborated with numerous brands over the years, including Nike, Adidas, and Stussy, and has even worked with celebrities like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.
Founded in 1994 by Shinsuke Takizawa, Neighborhood is a Japanese streetwear brand that draws inspiration from motorcycle culture and military aesthetics.
The brand is known for its high-quality garments and attention to detail, with each piece featuring intricate designs and unique graphics. Neighborhood has collaborated with numerous brands over the years, including Adidas, Converse, and Supreme.
WTAPS is a Japanese streetwear brand that was founded in 1996 by Tetsu Nishiyama. The brand’s name is a combination of “double taps,” a term used in military training to refer to firing two shots in quick succession.
WTAPS is known for its military-inspired designs, featuring bold graphics and utilitarian details. The brand has collaborated with numerous brands over the years, including Vans, Supreme, and Fragment Design.
Comme des Garçons
Comme des Garçons is a Japanese fashion brand that was founded in 1969 by Rei Kawakubo. The brand is known for its avant-garde designs, featuring oversized silhouettes, asymmetrical cuts, and bold prints.
Comme des Garçons has collaborated with numerous brands over the years, including Nike, Converse, and Supreme.
Human Made is a Japanese streetwear brand that was founded in 2010 by Nigo, the same founder of BAPE. The brand is known for its vintage-inspired designs, featuring graphic tees, denim jackets, and workwear-inspired pieces.
Human Made has collaborated with numerous brands over the years, including Adidas, KFC, and Pharrell Williams.
Sacai is a Japanese fashion brand that was founded in 1999 by Chitose Abe. The brand is known for its unique designs, featuring unexpected combinations of fabrics and textures. Sacai has collaborated with numerous brands over the years, including Nike, Converse, and The North Face.
Fragment Design is a Japanese streetwear brand that was founded in 2003 by Hiroshi Fujiwara. The brand is known for its minimalist designs, featuring simple graphics and clean lines. Fragment Design has collaborated with numerous brands over the years, including Nike, Converse, and Stussy.
These are just a few of the key Japanese streetwear brands that you should know about. Each brand has its own unique style and aesthetic, so be sure to explore them all to find the one that best fits your personal style.
Iconic Figures in Japanese Streetwear
Japanese streetwear is known for its unique and innovative styles, which are often influenced by a mix of traditional Japanese culture and modern fashion trends.
Some of the most iconic figures in Japanese streetwear have played a significant role in shaping this fashion movement. Here are a few notable names to know:
Jun Takahashi: The founder of the brand Undercover, Jun Takahashi is known for his avant-garde designs that blend punk and streetwear aesthetics. His designs often feature bold graphics, striking colours, and unconventional silhouettes.
Nigo: The founder of A Bathing Ape (BAPE), Nigo is considered one of the pioneers of Japanese streetwear. His designs often feature playful graphics and bold colours, and he has collaborated with a range of brands, including Adidas, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi.
Shinsuke Takizawa: The founder of Neighborhood, Shinsuke Takizawa is known for his utilitarian designs that blend military and streetwear influences. His brand has become one of the most influential in the world of Japanese streetwear.
Tetsu Nishiyama: The founder of the brand WTAPS, Tetsu Nishiyama is known for his minimalist designs that often feature military-inspired details. His brand has collaborated with a range of other streetwear labels, including Supreme and Vans.
Yohji Yamamoto: A legendary fashion designer, Yohji Yamamoto is known for his avant-garde designs that often feature asymmetrical cuts and exaggerated proportions. His brand has become synonymous with Japanese fashion and has been a major influence on the world of streetwear.
Sk8thing: A graphic designer and artist, Sk8thing has worked with a range of Japanese streetwear brands, including BAPE, Neighborhood, and Human Made. His designs often feature bold graphics and playful imagery.
Hiroki Nakamura: The founder of the brand Visvim, Hiroki Nakamura is known for his high-end take on Japanese streetwear. His designs often feature traditional Japanese craftsmanship and materials, and his brand has become a favourite among fashion enthusiasts.
Toshikiyo Hirata: The founder of the brand FPAR, Toshikiyo Hirata is known for his bold graphics and political messages. His brand has become popular among those looking for a more edgy take on Japanese streetwear.
Chitose Abe: The founder of the brand Sacai, Chitose Abe is known for her unique take on streetwear that blends traditional Japanese textiles with modern design. Her brand has become a favourite among fashion insiders and has collaborated with a range of high-end brands.
Hiroshi Fujiwara: A musician, designer, and entrepreneur, Hiroshi Fujiwara is known for his work with the brand Fragment Design. His designs often feature subtle details and minimalist aesthetics, and he has collaborated with a range of brands, including Nike and Louis Vuitton.
Keiji Ishizuka: The founder of the brand Blue Blue Japan, Keiji Ishizuka is known for his use of traditional Japanese indigo dyeing techniques. His designs often feature bold patterns and textures, and his brand has become a favourite among those looking for a more traditional take on Japanese streetwear.
Takahiro Miyashita: The founder of the brand Takahiromiyashita The Soloist, Takahiro Miyashita is known for his avant-garde designs that blend punk and rock influences with traditional Japanese craftsmanship. His brand has become a favourite among fashion enthusiasts and has collaborated with a range of high-end brands.
Japanese Streetwear and Global Brands
When it comes to Japanese streetwear, there are a lot of emerging designers that are making waves in the industry. However, it’s not just these independent brands that are making an impact.
Global brands such as Nike, Adidas, Vans, Louis Vuitton, Converse, and Moncler have all played a role in shaping Japanese streetwear.
These global brands have collaborated with Japanese designers, creating unique pieces that combine the best of both worlds. For example, Louis Vuitton collaborated with Hiroshi Fujiwara to create a range of streetwear-inspired pieces that were a hit with fashion enthusiasts.
Adidas has also collaborated with Japanese brands such as BAPE and NEIGHBORHOOD to create limited edition sneakers and clothing. These collaborations have helped to introduce Japanese streetwear to a wider audience, making it more accessible to people around the world.
Vans is another global brand that has embraced Japanese streetwear. The brand has collaborated with Japanese designers such as Taka Hayashi to create unique sneakers and clothing that reflect the style and culture of Japan.
Even traditional sportswear brands such as Nike have taken notice of Japanese streetwear. The brand has collaborated with Japanese designers such as Jun Takahashi to create limited edition sneakers and clothing that blend sportswear and streetwear.
In summary, while there are many emerging Japanese streetwear brands, global brands such as Nike, Adidas, Vans, Louis Vuitton, Converse, and Moncler have also played a significant role in shaping the industry.
These brands have collaborated with Japanese designers to create unique pieces that combine the best of both worlds, making Japanese streetwear more accessible to people around the world.
Fashion Elements in Japanese Streetwear
Japanese streetwear is known for its unique and diverse fashion elements that combine traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern fashion trends. From utilitarian workwear to minimalist designs, Japanese streetwear offers a wide range of styles that cater to different tastes and preferences.
Quality is a key element in Japanese streetwear. The garments are made with great attention to detail and craftsmanship, ensuring that they are durable and long-lasting.
This focus on quality is also reflected in the selection of materials, with many Japanese streetwear brands using premium fabrics such as selvedge denim and high-quality leather.
Collaboration is another important aspect of Japanese streetwear. Many brands collaborate with other designers, artists, and musicians to create unique and innovative collections.
This collaborative approach has led to some of the most iconic streetwear pieces, such as the Bape x Pharrell “Roadsta” sneakers and the Neighborhood x Vibram “Moc Toe” boots.
Japanese streetwear is also known for its use of camouflage patterns, which are often used in military-inspired designs. This trend has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many brands incorporating camouflage into their collections.
Another notable feature of Japanese streetwear is its connection to the Harajuku and Shibuya fashion districts in Tokyo. These areas are known for their vibrant and eclectic fashion scenes, and many Japanese streetwear brands draw inspiration from the unique styles found in these districts.
The influence of traditional Japanese fashion is also evident in Japanese streetwear, with many brands incorporating elements such as the kimono into their designs. This fusion of traditional and modern styles is a defining characteristic of Japanese streetwear.
In terms of footwear, Japanese streetwear brands are known for their innovative and unique designs. Brands such as Suicoke and FBT have gained a cult following for their unconventional and eye-catching footwear styles.
Overall, Japanese streetwear is a reflection of the country’s rich fashion history and unique cultural identity. With its focus on quality, collaboration, and innovative design, Japanese streetwear continues to be a major influence in the global fashion industry.
Japanese Streetwear and Celebrity Influence
Japanese streetwear has been heavily influenced by celebrities around the world, and in turn has influenced the fashion choices of many celebrities. In particular, the hip hop scene has played a significant role in the rise of Japanese streetwear.
One of the most notable celebrities who has been a big fan of Japanese streetwear is Kanye West. He has been seen wearing brands such as BAPE and Visvim, and has even collaborated with BAPE on a collection.
Pharrell is another celebrity who has been seen sporting Japanese streetwear brands such as Human Made and Billionaire Boys Club. Soulja Boy has also been known to wear Japanese streetwear brands like BAPE and Neighborhood.
The influence of these celebrities has helped to bring Japanese streetwear to a wider audience, and has also helped to establish the brands as some of the most sought-after in the fashion world.
Many of these brands have also collaborated with celebrities on limited edition collections, further solidifying their status as must-have fashion items.
Japanese streetwear is known for its unique designs, high-quality materials, and attention to detail. It is no wonder that celebrities have been drawn to these brands, as they offer something that is both stylish and unique.
Whether you are a fan of hip hop or not, there is no denying the impact that Japanese streetwear has had on the fashion world, and its continued influence is sure to be felt for years to come.
Future of Japanese Streetwear
Japanese streetwear has been dominating the fashion scene for quite some time now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
As we move towards 2024, Japanese streetwear is set to become even more popular, with new brands emerging and established brands continuing to innovate and push boundaries.
One brand that is set to make waves in the world of Japanese streetwear is Wacko Maria. Known for their unique designs and high-quality products, Wacko Maria is set to become a household name in the industry.
With their focus on lifestyle and culture, Wacko Maria is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing trend towards streetwear that reflects the wearer’s personality and interests.
As for fashion trends, we can expect to see a continued focus on oversized and baggy clothing, as well as a move towards more sustainable and eco-friendly materials.
Japanese streetwear has always been known for its unique take on fashion, and we can expect to see more experimentation and innovation in the years to come.
Overall, the future of Japanese streetwear looks bright, with new brands and trends emerging all the time.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the scene or just starting to explore the world of Japanese streetwear, there’s never been a better time to get involved. So why not embrace the trend and see where it takes you?
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Japanese streetwear brands offer affordable options?
If you’re looking for Japanese streetwear brands that won’t break the bank, there are plenty of options to choose from. Brands like Uniqlo, A Bathing Ape (BAPE), and WEGO offer affordable clothing options without sacrificing style.
Where can I find the best Japanese streetwear pants?
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of Japanese streetwear pants, there are a few places you can look. Popular streetwear stores like Supreme, Bodega, and Kith often carry a selection of Japanese streetwear brands. You can also check out online retailers like END. Clothing and Farfetch for a wider selection.
What are the top Japanese streetwear stores to shop at?
Japan is home to some of the best streetwear stores in the world. If you’re in Tokyo, be sure to check out stores like Bape Store Harajuku, Supreme Shibuya, and Atmos. In Osaka, you can find stores like GR8 and Beauty & Youth. For a more comprehensive list, check out our guide to the best Japanese streetwear stores.
Who are some notable streetwear designers from Japan?
Japan has produced some of the most influential streetwear designers in the world. Some notable names include Nigo of A Bathing Ape (BAPE), Hiroshi Fujiwara of Fragment Design, and Jun Takahashi of Undercover. These designers have all contributed to shaping the Japanese streetwear scene and continue to influence fashion today.
What is the name of the Japanese streetwear style?
The Japanese streetwear style is often referred to as “Harajuku fashion” or “Tokyo street style”. It is characterized by bold colours, graphic prints, and a mix of high-end and affordable clothing. Japanese streetwear is known for its unique and eclectic style, and has become a major influence on fashion around the world.