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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.