Turning Japanese | Five Apparel Brands From The Land Of The Rising Sun Quintessential Gent 28 July, 2014 Japan is undeniably a country with a strong creative spirit. At the forefront of technology, animation, gaming and art, Japan also boasts a thriving fashion industry with some of the worlds most exciting and coveted apparel brands. With the likes of A Bathing Ape, Evisu and Comme des Garçons now household names it’s easy to see why so many gents are now looking East for their wardrobe inspiration. With this is mind we’ve prepared a list of five of our favourite clothings brand from the Land of the Rising Sun that may of escaped your attention. From denim specialists to Americana inspired casual wear we’ve aimed to include a range of brands that could very well have you re-evaluating your autumn wish lists. Of course, no article on Japanese apparel brands would be complete without Uniqlo. The simplicity, practicality and sheer range of essentials has won the high street giant a dedicated following – and the affordable pricing definitely helps as well. But although we’d be the first to recommend Uniqlo as an essential visit for building up a wardrobe of essential classics and basics we thought we’d try to include some lesser known brands to illustrate the sartorial strength of Japan. 1. Edwin Founded in 1947 Edwin has earned it’s reputation as a denim institution over the years with an emphasis on unique production processes and quality craftsmanship. The virtues of Edwin’s jeans are well known and are naturally the brand’s bread and butter but their range of denim shirts also deserves singling out. Never afraid to experiment with pattern and design if you’re looking for a denim shirt you should consider Edwin for a creative take on the American classic. 2. Beams Plus Known for it’s rugged heritage and workwear lines Beams Plus takes the spirit of traditional Americana style and puts a uniquely Japanese character into the design – winning a legion of Western converts in the process. We love the range of blazers on offer from Beams Plus, from the unstructured silhouettes to the eye-catching use of pattern in their three buttoned collection, and the brand also has an impressively extensive range of good quality simple accessories. The Street Gentry team have been longing for a Beams Plus London flagship for a while – with products as great as these we’re hoping it’s only a matter of time! 3. Blue Blue Japan This entirely Japanese made denim label has built something of a cult following for it’s distinctive use of natural indigo dye and traditional craft techniques. Blue Blue Japan’s star only looks set to rise further as each successive collection pushes the experimentation and craftsmanship further. Although not all of the Tokyo brand’s output is blue most of their collections are overwhelmingly a varying shade of indigo. We’ve picked out this short-sleeve pin-dot number ideal for the warmer weather in – yup you’ve guessed it – blue. 4. Kamakura Kamakura shirts have quickly made a name for themselves across the pond in the New York store for their meticulous attention to detail, quality fabrics and affordable price point. With a great range of linen, Oxford and formal shirts it’s easy to start racking up a hefty looking shopping cart without thinking twice about those pesky customs and import duties! Infused with Ivy league spirit, we particularity love Kamakura’s range of Oxford shirts which are available in a range of fits to suit most torsos and tastes. “The Ivy League style is in our soul. Japanese craftsmanship is at our heart.” 5. Visvim With it’s strikingly bold designs and frequent notable collaborations since it’s founding in 2000 we were always going to feature Visvim as our Japanese footwear choice. Beloved by sneaker connoisseurs such as Kanye West the brand is certainly not cheap but if you’re a footwear addict it’s possible that you have a pair or two of Visvim’s proudly sat at the heart of your collection.