When Myth Becomes Style: Japanese Fashion Trends and American Streetwear

    Written By: Akemi Hayashi

    Japanese culture is one that mostly encourages acts of conformity and rigidity. It is not one that supports the ventures of standing out and being different. Hence, the fashion motto of the Japanese people revolves around the deviant display of defying norms. This is why you find many outlandish fashion trends that circulate in Japanese and global media.

    The streets of Tokyo are now a major epicenter for street fashion. Its transition towards the hub of the fashion world comes greatly from the mythical versions of American pop culture and Hollywood. The Japanese fashion industry continues to make their versions of American culture through the fashion industry and sell it worldwide, including America.

    The Japanese Rebirth of the American Past

    The Japanese fashion trends are a true reflection of the glorious trends of the American past. The fashion industry’s ever-evolving nature makes it an incredibly volatile industry that voluntarily kills an existing trend just to announce a new one. Unlike the American fashion industry, the Japanese designers give much respect to the passed down styles and fashion.

    Their newest styles and trends involve amending dead trends by redesigning them. Their redesign or reinvention of all the earlier trends is so emphatic that it gives new life to the old fashion trends. This mainly stems from their ability to give attention to detail and their creative, subtle changes. Furthermore, when you look at Japanese clothing, their love for the American cultures and the various subcultures surrounding it is evident.

    i don’t do fashion, i am fashionCoco Chanel

    One of the clear examples of how the Japanese fashion industry recreated an American streetwear trend is their reintroduction of baggy clothing. You will find people wearing oversized and baggy apparel all around the busy streets of Tokyo. The baggy clothes trend was one that dominated the early 20s because of the rise of hip hop culture. The inner streets of New York and Detroit were swarming with fans wearing baggy clothes. After a few years, you could notice this fashion trend diminishing from the public view until the Japanese fashion industry revived it.

    The Secret to Their Success

    The fashionable Japanese take on the American street culture is so widely popular despite their unconventional practices when it comes to design. This is huge because of their great attention to detail and their incredible sense of aesthetics. Not to mention, the Japanese fashion designers have an incredible eye for aesthetic sense. They can successfully put together color combinations and outfits effortlessly in an outstanding way.

    Another reason why their fashion trends are taking over the American streets is the freedom in their designs. The Japanese fashion industry does not care about breaking the conventional fashion rules and concentrate more on what simply looks good. The carefree aspect of the Japanese fashion industry drives the American and global public towards their products. In other words, Japanese fashion trends give the people freedom to wear whatever they want without any worry.

    When you walk around the busy streets of Japan, it is just amazing how you can spot all your favorite American trends combined with the Japanese essence and individuality. The freedom of expression is unreal in Japan. Furthermore, the trends are just depictions of one’s true inner self.

    To Conclude

    The Japanese fashion industry makes successful strides by recreating the cultural trends of America in the most subtle Japanese way possible. However, the Japanese people greatly how little changes can make a huge difference. Their beautiful and crafty design allows them to pull people towards their streetwear from around the globe.


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