Fashion / Style

9 Japanese fashion labels you should know about

9 Japanese fashion labels you should know

There really isn't anywhere on earth more fashion-forward than Japan. From the maximalism of Harajuku dressing, to the country's penchant for simplistic, well-made pieces that stand the test of time, the Japanese fashion scene is as vast and versatile as it is cutting-edge. If you're new to the Japanese fashion landscape, we decided to put together a bit of a roadmap of some of the Japanese fashion brands we think you should know about.


1. Sacai

Japanese luxury fashion label Sacai was established by Chitose Abe in 1999. The label's aesthetic pathworks together sportswear and couture, juxtaposing traditional silhouettes with contemporary practices like 3D modelling. Sacai has also featured in notable collaborations with brands like Nike and Moncler.


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2. Comme des Garçons

A label synonymous with Japanese fashion is Comme des Garçons (also known as CDG) . Established by designer Rei Kawakubo, CDG has become a global fashion powerhouse - even 2017's Met Gala themed itself around the fashion house's legacy (the first time the museum focused on a living designer since Yves Saint Laurent in '83).

The label has long disregarded trends and gendered clothing, opting to draw their own line between order and chaos.


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3. Fumiku

Fumiku's vision is an ethereal one, based on the idea of "expressing the world between real and fantasy". Launched in 2018 by the eponymous Fumika Hayashi, thoughtfully explores the interplay between masculine and feminine shapes, championing brilliantly tactile materials that layer together to create something magic.


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Akiko Aoki is one of Japanese most promising up-and-coming fashion designers. Postured by the philosophy that clothing is a a performance, Aoki deconstructs traditional womenswear to create a novel vision.


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5. Soshiotsuki

Tokyo menswear label Soshiotsuki proffers a a new vision of suiting, reinventing form and function to present oversized blazers, tasseled businesswear and fur vests. There's a studied inelegance to his collections, an undone-ness that somehow lands at a perfect symbiosis of practicality and beauty. The brand's 2023 collections mark a decade since the brand's namesake designer Soshi Otsuki was nominated for the LVMH prize back in 2013.


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6. Kozaburo

Referencing its latest collection as a "sort of cosmic rock 'n' roll cowboy trapped in a cycle of Ukiyo-e wood blocks", Kozaburo's world of fashion is both enigmatic and alluring. Colliding time and place with a fantastical vision of Japan's mythical past, the brand builds upon designer Kozaburo Akasaka's upbringing amidst music subculture and street style in 90s Japan, and from his time as an undergraduate in London's renowned fashion institution, Central Saint Martins.


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7. Children of the Discordance

Established in 2011, Children of the Discordance is a sustainable fashion brand that places focus on upcycling items from designer Hideaki Shikama's personal archives, as well as making use of sustainable materials sourced from African Masai tribesmen and refugee textile factories in Palestine.

Shikama's garments are unique, patchwork homages to the ways in which we might reinvent textiles, without losing the ability to be radically imaginative or deeply personal.


8. Junya Watanabe

Having cut his teeth as an apprentice pattern-maker under the legendary Rei Kawakuboat at Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe was given space to create his own, more experimental label under the CDG family umbrella. Watanabe's avant-garde aesthetic eschews the traditional, favouring a more exploratory and contemporary approach to design. Notable collaborations with the likes of New Balance and Carhartt have reinforced the brand as a mainstay of the Japanese fashion landscape.


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Beginning as an experimental jewellery brand, AMBUSH has grown to become one of Japan's foremost luxury streetwear labels. Capturing a distinct, pop-art aesthetic inspired by Tokyo culture has led to commissions and projects with an impressive list of collaborators, including includes Louis Vuitton, Off-White, Bvlgari, Nike, Moet and CONVERSE. Dior's Kim Jones even installed AMBUSH's lead designer as head jewellery designer for Dior Men.

You can get your hands on AMBUSH's pieces at their exclusive flagship store in Tokyo, or online.


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