As we’re entering the digital era, geographical positioning is no longer a reason for things to become inaccessible. People are now openly exposed to various cultures they wouldn’t encounter otherwise. Thus, inspiration is no longer limited to one’s own horizon but has extended far beyond. Fashion as an industry, has also appear to grow more globally. While for decades (even centuries), the West has been dominating the scene, there seems to be a wave that’s currently emerging. And the mentioned wave is slowly heading towards the East.
After the rise of Korean-inspired everything in the last few years, now is the turn of another Asian country to gain the spotlight. Japan, is predicted to be the place where various next-big-things of 2016 will originate. Although its triumph on being called as trendsetter is more of a recurring thing, we predict that this time round, the title will be more securely placed. As opposed to be promoted for their one hit wonders and one time trends, Japan is currently boasted for their artisanal specialty.
Take the cue form the giant menswear retailer, Mr. Porter. For their upcoming collection, they team up with Japanese department store, Beams to unveil six collections featuring emerging brands previously unavailable outside Japan. Each brands are known to have their own specialties, like Teatora which makes outstanding technical travel suits and orSlow which offers fantastic range of denims. The collections will also be shown in London Fashion Week. In the other hand, London-based online retailer Archibald Optics is tapping optical artisans form Fukui who have been making eyewear, using local titanium and acetate, through a 200-step process.
All these renewed recognition which Japan successfully gain is not achieved by creating another one time trend but rather by sticking to things that they know best. This should also act as a cue for fashion industry in other Asian countries. To be able to compete globally, it is best to bring out products that are meant to show the country’s unique specialty. And by then, in five to ten years, Jakarta, Bangkok, or New Delhi fashion week will legitimately be the next bigh thing… who knows?