What to Know About Japanese Street Fashion in 2017

The past few months have seen various reports about how Japanese street fashion, particularly the styles related to Harajuku, has died, due to the closure of various shops, brands, and magazines. So is the youth just walking around naked now? Obviously not!

A lot of ideas about Japanese pop culture internationally are quite stale. Just how people have moved on from listening to Avex’s stars of yore, street fashion has moved away from styles rooted in the 90s, like Decora, Visual Kei, and Gothic Lolita.

So what is hot now? Our friend over at Tokyo Fashion just published an extensive look at Japanese street fashion in 2017 on Medium. Check it out here!

  • Comments

    • yacchaitai
      • zephyr

        THOSE HAIRSTYLES ARE TERRIBLE

        Also I can’t help but notice the guy wearing a yellow shirt looks like a lovechild of Midousuji & Onoda from Yowapeda tbh https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/80d29708f18b3c4ed7544a337d6a9230f74a3d3a120ba7b20a32e8ef2071d698.jpg

      • Some of these look cool, idk what the problem is. At least they are showing some individuality rather than just follow whatever is trendy with young male celebs.

        • The one thing I noticed is that these styles rarely crossover to celebrity males. I’m reminded now of that BEAMS video and what it says is currently happening is what it seems like celebrity males wear now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmsxWmKz-B8

        • hasawa

          Not sure if following trends is actually showing individuality… I already seen a bunch of this kind of looks kn randomly Japanese insta fashionistas…
          Being excentric doesn’t necessarily means being original.

          • I’m not a Japanese citizen, never been to Japan but I’m intrigued about their culture, so if you have better knowledge than me, feel free to correct me on all of this:

            I mean, if we take Japanese culture into consideration, which is much about being a silent sheep who doesn’t stand out, getting a crazy mullet with a crazy color is a pretty clear way of saying ” I don’t want to be part of a dull, restrictive mold that is deemed acceptable by the society. ” Japan, from my understanding, ISN’T like most western countries where it’s acceptable to wear almost anything without getting much grief from it. Japan is a country where a teacher will forcibly shave your head if you dared to get shaved sides on your hair (not that this is allowed I don’t think, but dress codes are extremely strict).

            I’m not talking just about having an individualistic style, but BEING individualistic. Having a crazy mullet shows more want to experiment and not follow the mold society has given you, rather than having the same hairstyle as some all-around popular celeb has. I don’t see the Japanese entertainment industry embracing being different, so I kind of made the connection of what is popular in Japan, like celebs and their styles, is also what is deemed acceptable.

            Certainly I’m not saying crazy mullets fit everyone, or that they all look cool, or that the ones who wear them aren’t pretentious posers, but it’s something, and it’s refreshing. I’d rather see crazy mullets rather than the samey acceptable styles that every famous celeb is wearing.

            • hasawa

              Oh don’t worry I’m not here to lecture you about Japanese culture, just saying my input!
              I’ve never been in Japan although I have a very close friend who leaves and works there since years so I can ask him about Japanese perception about random side of its own pop culture (in comparison to how it is handled here in the West). From what I learnt about him, it’s that Japanese are absolutely not ‘serious’ about their relationship with fashion. In a sense like they don’t really have ‘commitment’ with it. Here in the West you’ll get shit for wearing metal band t-shirt if you don’t listen to metal. They will wear stuff bc they want to, not really because they feel a connection with the culture this fashion represents. We are recently getting the same phenomenon here with all these hip kids wearing “Trasher” t-shirt/hoodies (that Vêtements put on trend) but don’t do skate or never heard of this magazine before.
              I tend to think countries with a more strict social rules are consequently generates a more ‘rebel’ youth. Even with subtle touch such as uniform wearing : it strikes me whenever I’m going to UK how much more young ppl have eccentric style in comparison to (no uniform schooling) France.
              So it’s really plausible these rebels kids don’t really get what they style comes from or represents, which I’m not fondamentally against though (fashion ain’t that serious) and just want to look different, but yeah punk culture has been so eculated (esp in Japan) I feel this mullet wearing neo punk stuff pretty tired imo

        • circe154

          To be fair, the Japanese aren’t going to have the same stereotypes about mullets that Americans do.
          And for the record, David Bowie is the only person who could ever pull it off.

    • cheng xiao’s forehead

      One trend I noticed for sure is the punk style coming back in all its glory: buzz cuts and mullets.

    • Matcha
      • starlightshimmers

        It’s okay, tanning is bad for your skin. Tanning is your skin attempting to protect itself from UV rays that are trying kill you.

    • mi|kshake

      ” Just how people have moved on from listening to Avex’s stars of yore” Heeeeey! ;)

    • ProllyWild

      while there are still kids into wild fashion, the reality is retailers like Uniqlo have killed much of the higher fashion industry’s appeal to younger consumers.

      • hasawa

        Fair enough, I will always be more okay with brands providing affordable fashion pandering to young people than high end brands selling Dream (and frustration) to kids with expensive ass garments a huge majority of them will never be able to buy (lookup this summer Gucci campaign featuring meme)
        Also, normcore has its appeal imo.

        • As someone who sells high end fashion, the average customer for these items and the market the brands seems to be targeting are decades apart. I’m not selling Gucci to people who post memes, but their parents instead.

      • circe154

        The recession killed that. Since then, most people can’t afford those brands; its the same all over the world. In the US, bling and branded items were popular before the recession, now they’re tacky and teens and 20 somethings shop at forever21 or H&M instead of Bebe or Abercrombie.

        • Bling and branded things are coming back now. It’s like the 00s all over again now.

          • circe154

            The 00s were the worst decade and I dread seeing it come back.

    • hasawa

      I find it pretty ironic how the article is in denial that the Japanese street fashion is dead when in the time it points out that basically all the up and coming trends are still blatant Western fashion rehash (punk, goth, Gosha Rubchinskyi). Sure, Japanese street fashion has been for a good mostly about copying the West (and not with much subtleness tbh), but then I don’t see how bc the new kids are picking into new Western inspired fashion rends (even though the 60s already did a come back in the late 90s/early 00s with Shibuya kei – fashion is a cycle) it would be a testimony of fresh air coming up on Harajuku… It’s like changing for remaining the same.
      It also confirmed that Kawaii fashion is still and will remain a thing since this trend has a huge appeal to young people. I feel like a lot of this scene emphasize on the youthfulness of its new icons – dixit. the 6 y.o fashion blogger or the 20 y.o designer. Maybe that’s why this whole fashion scene seems so keep biting its own tail : older generations will move on, or experience a more casual/less flashy fashion, while the new up and coming kids will catch on with the most visually bold and more appealing fashion style (which sometimes directly pander to them).

    • Just Tim

      This article’s header image reminds me TOO MUCH of the American emo scene. Ugh.