I Would Hit That's James McNally: Japanese Imports Worth Tracking Down

JAMES051911_key_blog.jpgTrend-spotter and style blogger James McNally of I Would Hit That brings you weekly scouting reports from the leading edge of fashion.

A new wave of Japanese labels is making a foray onto mainstream blogs—and into trendsetting retailers in the United States and Europe. Shops like LN-CC, oki-ni, Très Bien, and Union are picking up brands like White Mountaineering, SASQUATCHfabrix, and Nanamíca. Here are some of the top-notch pieces that have surfaced.

Click below to see all of McNally's picks.
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    White Mountaineering Gore-Tex Paclite Primitive Pattern Jacket
    Yosuke Aizawa launched White Mountaineering in 2006 after honing his skills at Comme des Garçons, and the brand has quickly become a cross-genre fashion darling. This piece might not be the standout from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection, but it encapsulates what White Mountaineering does amazingly well: seamlessly blending cues like the primitive pattern into an unabashedly technical piece.

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    Nanamíca Gore-Tex Hills Coat
    Nanamíca elevates to an art the combination of classically inspired outdoor equipment and bleeding-edge textiles. A perfect example: this high-performance Gore-Tex coat, in the guise of a classic duffle, right down to the wooden toggles.

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    ts(s) Gradation Houndstooth Two-Button Country House Jacket
    Takuji Suzuki is a popular name in the Tokyo streetwear world; his new label, ts(s), reflects his evolution in tandem with the broader Japanese style ecosystem. The ts(s) line is centered on reimagined workwear, summed up well by this country-house jacket in a whimsical houndstooth mix.

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    SASQUATCHfabrix Zenarchy Denim Mod's Coat
    SASQUATCHfabrix seems an unlikely candidate for breakout stardom, given the label's unabashed idiosyncrasy, but that's exactly what it has become, earning it a spot at the artfully curated London retailer LN-CC.

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    Hobo x Bastien Industries Suede Moccasins
    The Japanese label Hobo's leather goods and accessories get regular love from style blogs. One exceptional piece is this beaded moccasin from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection—a collaboration with the traditional moccasin company Bastien Industries. It's a textbook example of how well Japanese designers can utilize heritage influences.

For more wisdom on Japanese brands, head to James' blog.

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From top: Courtesy of Firmament, Oi Polloi, Context Clothing, LN-CC, and oki-ni
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