Tokyo and Osaka Fashion News: Luxury Fashion in Japan
Hiroshi Saito and Sarah Deschamps
Modern Tokyo Times
The luxury fashion market in Japan is internationally famous because this country is known to consume more items than any other nation. This reality means that major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, Sendai, Yokohama, and many others, are awash with the crème de la crème of major international and Japanese luxury brands. Department stores also play a major role because some of the finest stores in the world are found in Japan. Therefore, with positive economic signs on the horizon in Japan based on strong sales for many retail companies in early 2013; then many new developments should open-up throughout the remainder of the year.
Indeed, one amazing feature of the Japanese luxury fashion market is that despite negative economic growth it appears that this sector ticks to a different tune. Areas like Kobe and Osaka are extremely close thereby both major cities enhance each other. These two cities also have a very vibrant fashion scene which caters from the most exclusive boutiques in the world to mainstream fashion. Also, Osaka is a major city by itself and when connected with Kobe then you have one continuous huge fashion market.
In another article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated about Osaka that “If you really want to feel a special vibe then a visit to the Midosuji Boulevard is a must. This area is blessed with being tree-lined and you have a really nice feel to this part of Osaka. Also, if you have time on your hands then the mixture between this area and Namba is extremely illuminating. On top of this, you are blessed with so many amazing boutiques to visit and the cultural changes between the Midosuji Boulevard and the 24 hour vibrancy of Namba highlights the power of culture in Osaka.”
“A partial list of companies based in Shisaibashi and the surrounding area includes Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Coach, Armani, Fendi, Rolex, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Versace, Yves Saint-Laurent, Dunhill, BVLGARI, Givenchy, Beams, H&M, Ships, Uniqlo, United Arrows, Franck Muller, and many others including Benneton. This partial list highlights the high octane nature of fashion in this adorable part of Osaka and if you are a fashion guru then this area is a must place to visit.”
Meanwhile, in Tokyo you have several adorable leafy districts to enjoy exclusive fashion. The vibes of Aoyama, Ginza, Omotesando and Yurakucho springs to mind quickly. Likewise, in powerful fashion districts like Ikebukuro and Shinjuku you will find a wealth of many different styles. Mixed in within the diverse fashion angles of Ikebukuro and Shinjuku are also exquisite luxury brands which can be found in various trendy parts of these two amazing fashion districts.
Major luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Hermes and a whole host of other luxury brands have heavy exposure in Japan. Indeed, for many luxury brands it is clear that Tokyo and Osaka, and other powerful cities, are a collective saving grace during global economic downturns. After all, the so-called “two lost economic decades” in Japan doesn’t appear to have altered the allure of luxury fashion brands throughout this country.
Therefore, Japan is often the fashion stepping stone prior to entering the Chinese and South Korean market for the majority of famous boutiques. Japan is not only tried and tested but this nation continues to attract new forces within the world of fashion. Also, for many famous international designers who were outside of the Japanese fashion market, then in time this often changes because the lore of Japan is too strong. This fact naturally follows on from the buzzing and vibrant fashion scene throughout Japan and which is expressed openly in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka.
The President of Gucci and CEO of this company, Patrizio di Marco, commented about the Japanese market. He stated that “Japan is one of the biggest and most important luxury markets in the world, with sophisticated and technological consumers. In the last ten years, the most important brands went through times of difficulty, and the situation is still complex. The year 2011 was a time of recovery both in terms of revenues and brand recognition among Japanese clients….We are still investing a lot, both in terms of quality and marketing, there probably is no other market other than Japan in which Gucci’s positioning is more appropriate.”
Patrizio di Marco therefore is highlighting both the complex nature of the luxury fashion market in Japan. Yet at the same time he is making it clear how important Japan is for many famous luxury brands. It is this reality which keeps on pulling in new exquisite designers who enter the vibrant Tokyo and Osaka fashion scene. Of course, each new luxury brand will adopt a different approach to expanding in Japan but a great emphasis is put on expanding in Tokyo and Osaka – and in time – to expand in other major cities like Kobe, Nagoya and so forth.
It is also factual that the vast majority of international luxury brands base themselves in Japan first before expanding to China and South Korea. Therefore, despite the negative global economy it is abundantly clear that for fashion lovers it is “business like usual.”
Lee Jay Walker gave guidance and support to both main writers