Japanese streetwear has largely been an underground movement since its creation in the early 1990s. Only within the last few years has this style trend caught on with a larger and more global audience. By definition, “Streetwear” is a unique, trend-conscious style of clothing that is typically released in small quantities through select, exclusive channels. Streetwear pieces themselves are comfortable and casual, including jeans, t-shirts and baseball hats. Most streetwear designs are influenced by military, hip-hop and skateboarding looks. Here is our list of the top Japanese streetwear brands you should check out to update your wardrobe!
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Japanese Streetwear: A Bathing Ape (BAPE)
With locations all over the world, A Bathing Ape (BAPE) is a world-famous lifestyle and street-wear brand. Their designs are bright and colorful and are known for their signature take on the camouflage print as well as the iconic Bathing Ape monkey on their apparel. They often collaborate with other famous brands like Star Wars, Pepsi and Coca Cola. Their designs are perfect for men, women and children, but can be expensive, with prices ranging from $50-$500. Check out our article on BAPE here!
BEAMS is one of the most famous Japanese clothing brands with stores all across Japan, Tokyo and worldwide. This brand encompasses many fashion lines, such as the BEAMS T street-wear line and Ray BEAMS for women. BEAMS offers a variety of fashionable attire as well as custom tailored pieces. Shopping here means that you will always be up to date on what is popular and trendy. Their lines encompass a wide array of styles, which are perfect for men, women and children. Check out our article on Beams here!
Billionaire Boys Club (BBC) and Ice Cream
Pharell Williams and Nigo (the founder of Undercover and A Bathing Ape) founded Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream in 2005. BBC designs are typical of Tokyo streetwear fashions, including t-shirts, jeans, jackets and sneakers. The pieces are produced in very small quantities and are quite expensive.
You can visit the Billionaire Boys Club website (Japanese-English mix) and check them out on Facebook (Japanese), Twitter (via Google Translate), or Instagram. If you like what you see, check out their Online Store (English).
Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Meiji-jingumae Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)
Hours of Operation: Open everyday 12:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Comme des Garcons
Comme des Garcons is a Paris-inspired fashion label by Rei Kawakubo. From runway fashions to street-ready designs, Comme des Garcons has stayed globally relevant since its start in 1969. If cutting-edge style and atmosphere are what you’re after, then there is no other destination in Tokyo than Comme des Garcons. When visiting the Gyre Mall Shibuya location, look out for the Play Box store (pictured above) – a small pop-up store with a limited selection of apparel!
Nearest Station: 8-minute walk from Harajuku Station (inside the Gyre Building) (click on the Google Map for walking directions)
Hours of Operation: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Hysteric Glamour is one of the edgier designer Japanese streetwear clothing brands. Rocking a 1960s retro theme, their T-shirts and tops feature graphics on topics ranging from classic bands to old cars. They offer jeans, T-shirts, cardigans, and dresses as well as some menswear. Their name was even mentioned by Gwen Stefani in her famous song about Japan titled, “Harajuku Girls”. Hysteric Glamour has 51 stores in Japan and is perfect for men and women. Check out our article on Hysteric Glamour here!
Issey Miyake is regarded as one of the most internationally famous Japanese designers. Miyake’s pieces are a combination of Japanese concepts, mixing simple designs with modern and futuristic fabrics and techniques. Miyake designs are made for both the runway and every day, and can be seen on sophisticated and street fashionistas alike.
Locations: Multiple locations in Tokyo, find a store here.
“Muji” (“no brand” in Japanese) is famous worldwide for their minimalist, quality clothing and reasonably-priced home furnishings. This brand carries lines of simple clothing for men, women and children in neutral colors, patterns and styles. The goal at Muji is to have the finest selection products made from quality materials, and to simplify the process and packaging of the goods they sell. This makes Muji a great one-stop-shop to update your Japanese streetwear selection. Check out our article on Muji here!
Neighborhood (or NBHD) is one of the founding brands of the Japanese streetwear movement. Started by Shinsuke Takizawa in 1994, NBHD clothing includes t-shirts, sweats, flannels and jackets with a distinct motorcycle gang-style influence. Recent collections feature more military and preppy designs, but are still recognizable as NBHD.
Nearest Station: 3-minute walk from Meiji-jingumae Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)
Hours of Operation: Everyday 12:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
One of the most important items to pack for Tokyo is a good pair of walking shoes, but if you’re in need or just want a new pair of shoes, head over to Onitsuka Tiger! As one of the oldest and most reliable sneaker brands in Japan, Onitsuka Tiger offers fashionable styles for both men and women. If you find yourself in Harajuku or Shibuya, be sure to visit a store and pick up an item from a 100% Japanese made label. Check out our article on Onitsuka Tiger here!
Supreme is a NYC-based clothing brand with multiple store locations across Tokyo. This brand changes its line often, and limits their Japanese streetwear collections to each season. Past collaborations have included luminaries such as Vans, Comme des Garcons, and Louis Vuitton.
Locations: Multiple locations in Japan, find the closest store here.
Undercover is one of the first streetwear brands, appealing to both high-end and street audiences for nearly 30 years. The brand’s motto, “We make noise, not clothes” perfectly describes its aesthetic, which is a mix of punk and goth. Each piece is like a work of art, making the brand very popular and sought after. Collaborations include Nike Sportswear and Uniqlo.
Locations: Multiple locations in Tokyo, find the closest store here.
Uniqlo is a famous Japanese clothing brands for simple and reliable fashion. The brand prides itself on expertly made and long-lasting designs. Clothing and accessory collaborations have included Andy Warhol designs, Star Wars, Disney and Keith Haring. Top PGA golfer Adam Scott and tennis player Novak Djokovic wear Uniqlo designs. Don’t miss the massive 12-story flagship store in Ginza! Check out our article on Uniqlo here!
If you are looking for the best in high-end Japanese men and women’s fashions, look no further than visvim Omotesando. Founded in 2000 by designer Hiroki Nakamura, visvim mixes Japanese minimalism with Americana themes. visvim offers premium denim and high-quality cotton shirts and button-downs, mixing vintage-inspired fabrics with clean lines of modern fashion. The shop’s intricately designed interior enhances your experience while browsing for the next addition to your wardrobe. Check out our article on visvim Omotesando here!
Tetsu Nishiyama created the WTAPS streetwear brand in 1996. Designs are heavily inspired with military themes. However recent collections have incorporated more preppy and traditional American themes. WTAPS has also collaborated with other popular streetwear brands, including Vans, Supreme, and A Bathing Ape. The GIP Store in Shibuya and other authorized dealers carry the WTAPS brand.
Nearest Station: 8-minute walk from Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)
Hours of Operation: 12:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m.; Closed on the last Monday of every month
Yoshida & Co. is a high-end bag and accessories brand. They have featured the cartoon Peanuts and Eric Clapton on their bags. This brand’s products are targeted towards both men and women and include luggage, briefcases, backpacks, and wallets. Their pieces are found in over 700 stores worldwide. Check out our article on Yoshida & Co. here!
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