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Japanese fashion is famous for switching in between self-invented trends really fast, a reputation that’s well-earned. Not everyone has the luxury of spending their days people-watching in Harajuku, so we do our best to keep you up to date on what’s cool on the streets of Japan’s youth fashion capital. The warm weather, numerous festivals and events, and Japanese school holidays make summer the peak season for Tokyo street fashion trends. There are still quite a few warm days left here, but as autumn approaches let’s take a look back at the Top Japanese Street Fashion Trends of Summer 2014.

With all of these forces pushing and pulling in different directions, it’s become more difficult for super-trends to emerge. The number of niche/smaller trends, however, appears to be ever increasin.
These days Japanese fashion brands would create certain trend items, shops would add these trending clothing items in their stock, and magazines explain exactly how the items should be worn for maximum effect. These coordinated efforts led to specific looks and pieces appearing everywhere on the street at once. The brands, shops, and magazines would then quickly move on to the next item, and so too would the street.

Young stylish woman with a bicycle in a city street
Coordination between Japanese fashion magazines and Japanese retailers used to mean that trends were relatively easy to predict and track.The decline of print fashion magazines over the last few years – combined with the increasing popularity of social media networks in Japan, independent online shops, the increasing influence of international fast fashion brands, and other “uncontrollable” influences on the Japanese fashion scene – has led to a less predictable (but just as quickly moving) stream of trends.

The fact that a Japanese magazine – or multiple magazines – is promoting a “trend” doesn’t necessarily mean that the trend will ever make it to the street. As mentioned previous, the Japanese street is more than willing to reject top-down fashion “trends” these days.


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