Japanese men's brands are a curious phenomenon. Often, designers from Japan take Western fashion traditions as a basis, but reinterpret them in their own way. The result is horizontal corduroy, tweed cargo, work gowns with bold prints, and wearable denim kimonos.
So what is so special about Japanese fashion brands and why are they worth paying attention to?
In the production of jeans, the Japanese usually use so-called raw denim (also called selvedge). The key difference between these jeans and the usual models is that the finished product cannot be chemically treated or washed at the final stage. In Japan, such fabric is made on old spinning machines. In addition, when creating things from Japanese denim, a special dye is used, it directly affects the fact that jeans age beautifully. This process is called fading.
Specificity of staining
Most Japanese denim brands only use natural dyes, especially indigo. The dye is obtained from indigo, a plant of the legume family. This helps to achieve an interesting result due to the fact that natural paint lays down unevenly.
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Small batch production
The production of things in small batches, almost always on their own territory and with minimal use of chemicals - in fact, is responsible fashion, a phenomenon so important for the modern world. The Japanese were ahead of everyone here.
Use of elements of work and military uniforms
There is an addiction to 20th century uniforms among Japanese menswear designers. In general, there are four main directions in men's fashion in Japan: denim, streetwear, tayloring and the so-called heritage. The assortment of each brand, regardless of its specialization, is likely to include work gowns, "souvenir" bombers and other references to uniforms.
Love for a loose fit
Skinny jeans and trousers, fitted blazers, tight-cut suits are not about Japanese fashion brands. Whether it's young streetwear or more formal wardrobe items, local brands almost universally offer loose fit.
And now let's go directly to practice and see what and where to buy.
Blue Blue Japan. Indigo bet
The longtime brand was launched in Tokyo back in the 1990s, and its full name is Pure Indigo Blue Blue Japan. One of the main features is the dyeing of denim and other things with indigo. However, in the collections of the brand there are many other shades and the palette is very pleasant. This season there are items created using the fashionable tie-dye technique.
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Price issue: a shirt with a print of Mount Fuji costs 30 thousand rubles, hand-painted jeans - 34 thousand, a shirt with the addition of linen with short sleeves - 17 thousand.
Where to buy: Street Pie Store, Code7, Brandshop
Chimala. Denim for connoisseurs
The same reference raw denim, which will age beautifully over time, acquiring noble scuffs, but without losing the silhouette. Like other similar brands, Chimala works out all the smallest details with amazing precision: just at one glance at the lines, cuffs, buttons and "torn" patches it becomes clear - a worthwhile thing.
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Price issue: on average, one pair of Chimalas costs 34 thousand rubles, but for jeans that seem to survive even the apocalypse, this is quite adequate.
Where to buy: Mr Porter
Wacko Maria. Stuff for any party
Cool streetwear brand for those who are in fashion. Corduroy jackets with cashmere in a burgundy shade coexist with cardigans with images of the Virgin Mary, psychedelic prints, leopard spots and great shirts in loose fit. All this is supported by the slogan Guilty parties and sets a certain mood and atmosphere.
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Price issue: trousers cost 18 thousand rubles, a shirt with Bob Marley - 28 thousand, a reversible bomber jacket with embroidery - 63 thousand.
Where to buy: SSENSE, Farfetch, Belief
Neighborhood. Streetwear for those who don't like streetwear
Tokyo Neighborhood markets itself as a streetwear brand, but almost all of the items in the range are easy to integrate into any wardrobe. Embroidered bomber jackets in neon hues, slogan hoodies and bold catchy prints include the perfect informal shirts, suede jackets and great outerwear.
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Price issue: a velvet jacket with embroidery - 39 thousand rubles, a derby from collaboration with Dr. Martens - 14 thousand, wide-leg trousers with a print - 19 thousand
Where to buy: Belief, Aizel, Farfetch
Visvim. A planned luxury for connoisseurs
Visvim celebrates its 19th anniversary this year. In the brand's DNA is travel with an emphasis on American and Indian themes. Here you can find a denim shirt with a bandana sewn into it, a sweater with a Navajo pattern, shoes that look like Native American moccasins, or a puffer jacket with Japanese kimono details. The fact is that the youth of Hiroki Nakamura, the founder of Visvim, fell on the 1980s, the decade when Japan was fond of "American". Hence the duality. And the cost of things, comparable to the prices of luxury goods, is due to the incredibly high quality and the use of rare materials.
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Issue price: leather jacket - 274 thousand rubles, bathrobe - 89 thousand, trekking boots - 65 thousand, down jacket filled with wool and down - 255 thousand.
Where to buy: Belief, Mr Porter
Hender Scheme. Sneakers, sneakers and boots
Launched by Rio Kashiwazaki, the Hender Scheme brand is centered around gender free fashion. For many of the pairs, the designer deliberately takes the most iconic sneakers from Nike, adidas and other brands, putting them into new shapes and giving them an interesting sound. In addition to sneakers and sneakers, the brand offers other shoe models: derby shoes, slippers, trekking boots.
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Price issue: sneakers - 16 900 rubles, hi-tops - 59 300 rubles, sneakers from the adidas Originals x Hender Scheme collaboration - 40 900 rubles.
Where to buy: SVMoscow
Beams plus. Brand legend
Beams is one of the iconic Japanese brands, whose history began in 1976 in the Harajuku district of Tokyo. Once the brand huddled in a tiny room, but in a few decades it has acquired a network of stores around the world and has released an incredible number of clothing lines.
The male segment is represented by the Beams Plus brand. Here you can find almost everything that Japanese brands are famous for: suits that differ from those offered by Italian and English brands, unusual corduroy clothes, formal and informal shirts and much more.
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Issue price: shirt with print - 10 thousand rubles, corduroy trousers - 11 thousand, patchwork jacket - 14 500 rubles.
Where to buy: Mr Porter
Engineered Garments. Deconstruction and other fashion hooliganism
In aesthetics and design, Engineered Garments is reminiscent of another popular Japanese brand, Sacai, which also relies on deconstruction in men's and women's collections. The blazer, which cleverly combines Hawaiian print and thin stripe, patchwork-style chinos, shirts made from different fabrics, and other experiments with cut and materials, is the work of the creative director of the brand Daiki Suzuki. The designer likes to juxtapose vintage workwear with more athletic pieces.
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Issue price: shirt - 17 thousand rubles, trousers - 18 thousand, panama - 8 thousand.
Where to buy: Leform
Eyevan 7285. Optics with a long history
From the very beginning, the founders of the brand decided that they would create glasses that would become a full-fledged fashion piece, and not just a utilitarian accessory. The current team actively uses archival models, of which, frankly, a lot of them have accumulated over more than 40 years of the brand's existence. But the most interesting thing here is the materials. For example, the temples might be made from French cutlery from the 1940s, and the frame from 1970s medical equipment. All glasses are handcrafted.
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Issue price: 15–35 thousand rubles. for the frame.
Where to buy: SSENCE, Mr Porter
OrSlow. Not very expensive raw denim
As the name suggests, the brand acts as a counterweight to fast fashion. It takes a long time to create each product. The designer Ichiro Nakasu takes samples of working and military uniforms from different decades of the 20th century as the basis for his collections. First of all, it is worth buying, of course, denim products. And not only jeans, although they are great here, but also shirts and outerwear. Our favorite is the denim kimono raincoat.
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Issue price: trousers - 11 thousand rubles, jeans - 12 thousand, shirt - 22 thousand.
Where to buy: Yoox, Code7, Mr Porter>