Japan couldn’t be any further away from the UK, but that hasn’t stopped its flair for fashion reaching British shores.
From high street retailers to luxury designers, the country’s unique brand of simplicity, paired with heaps of personality, has resonated with style mavens across the globe, earning many of its homegrown labels a place in the modern man’s wardrobe.
So, whether you’re new to the world of Japanese fashion or are looking to add to your burgeoning line-up of eastern pieces, here are the ten brands you should be considering.
Starting out life back in 1993, it was only when this Japanese label made its Paris Fashion Week debut in 2002 that it really landed on the global fashion map.
In recent years, Undercover has seen its success reach even greater heights thanks to coveted collaborations with the likes of Nike and Uniqlo, bringing its signature brand of utilitarian yet rebellious designs to the masses.
Uniqlo is a high street name that every style-conscious man will already know, with the Japanese retailer producing high quality basics and simple, laid-back designs since the mid-eighties.
Today, the brand is a one stop shop for wardrobe staples, releasing new linen, polo shirt and sports wear collections in recent months.
Available at Uniqlo.
3. Comme des Garçons
Despite its French moniker, Comme des Garçons (which translates as ‘Like Boys’) actually hails from Tokyo.
The brainchild of husband and wife partnership Adrian Joffe and Rei Kawakubo, this label is deeply embedded in the European fashion scene, showing at Paris Fashion Week every season.
It’s also the mastermind behind London’s Dover Street Market shopping concept, with sister outlets in New York and Ginza, Tokyo.
Available at Dover Street Market.
4. White Mountaineering
This Japanese label is all about the great outdoors, looking to adventure and exploration for its utility-inspired designs.
Founded by Yosuke Aizawa – former assistant to Comme des Garçons designer Junya Watanabe – in 2006, White Mountaineering’s rugged yet elegant pieces have proved a hit for men across the globe, thanks to their technical features and lasting quality.
5. Beams Plus
With a distinct workerwear feel, Tokyo’s Beam Plus truly reflects the strong heritage of Japanese style.
Launched in 1999, this Harajuku-based label gives classic preppy designs a more rugged edge by using strong cottons and woven fabrics to create a masculine feel.
This brand is definitely the place to go if you want to build a relaxed yet smart warm-weather wardrobe.
6. Head Porter
If practical, high quality accessories are your thing, it’s time you invested in a piece from Head Porter.
The Japanese label excels when it comes to everyday bags with a minimalist edge, producing everything from backpacks to wallets. If you’re instantly taken by its pared-back design approach, be sure to check out its apparel line, Head Porter Plus, too.
Available at END Clothing.
There’s no other label that oozes Japanese’s unique brand of street style like Bape, aka A Bathing Ape.
Founded by DJ and producer Nigo in 2003, this label has become world renowned for its ape emblem, camouflage prints and cartoon motifs, adding a touch of child-like fun to cutting edge urban designs.
Its wide appeal has lead to countless collaborations over the years, most recently with adidas and fellow Japanese label Undefeated.
Available at Selfridges.
Children of the noughties will remember Evisu for its bold Daicock jeans (which are set to return this season) and the graphic squiggle emblem that adorned the back pockets of its eye-cathing designs.
Nowadays, the Japanese denim label still focuses on high quality pieces with added artistic flair, reeling its motifs in slightly to produce a more slick and sophisticated aesthetic.
Available at evisu.com.
9. Journal Standard
Parkas, unstructured blazers and simple Oxford shirts form the crux of Journal Standard’s collections, bringing rugged workerwear styles together with clean contemporary pieces.
From check shirts to striped knitwear, this label covers everything you could possibly need in your wardrobe all year round, with quality and comfort coming as standard.
Available at END Clothing.
This coveted label isn’t as widely available outside of Japan as some of its fellow brands, so getting your hands on its slice of sophisticated streetwear is a real treat.
Merging urban influences with fashion classics, Tokyo-based Neighborhood produces high-end casual wear that will quickly become a part of your everyday rotation.
If you’re searching for an outerwear style with a bit of attitude, the brand’s varsity jackets come highly recommended.