Top 40 Japanese Streetwear Brands You Need To Know In 2024

best japanese streetwear brands

Embark on a captivating journey into the dynamic fusion of Japanese fashion and streetwear culture, where boundaries blur, and creativity reigns supreme. Within this vibrant landscape, the term 'streetwear' serves as a gateway to a diverse array of styles, encompassing everything from Americana to high fashion, all seamlessly integrated into the fabric of Japanese fashion identity. In this exploration, we'll unravel the intricate relationship between anime-inspired streetwear and its Japanese origins, tracing its evolution from niche subculture to global phenomenon.

From pioneering powerhouses to up-and-coming trendsetters, these Japanese streetwear brands offer a glimpse into the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary fashion. As we navigate through their distinctive visions and styles, we'll gain a deeper understanding of the ethos driving this dynamic movement and the profound impact it has on the global fashion zeitgeist. 

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Japanese streetwear, a realm where tradition intertwines with innovation, giving rise to a kaleidoscope of bold designs and fearless self-expression. Here, fashion transcends mere clothing; it becomes a canvas for cultural storytelling and individual empowerment. So, join us as we embark on this exhilarating exploration of Japanese streetwear, where every garment tells a story and every outfit is a testament to the boundless creativity of the human spirit.

What is streetwear? 

Streetwear is a dynamic and influential fashion movement characterized by its casual, urban-inspired aesthetic and cultural significance. Originating from youth subcultures and skateboarding communities in the 1980s, streetwear has since evolved into a global phenomenon embraced by diverse demographics. It blends elements of hip-hop, skateboarding, surf culture, and high fashion, resulting in a unique fusion of style. Key features of streetwear include graphic tees, hoodies, sneakers, baggy jeans, and accessorizing with hats and jewelry. 

Beyond clothing, streetwear embodies a lifestyle and attitude of self-expression, rebellion, and authenticity. It often serves as a canvas for social and political commentary, reflecting the values and experiences of its wearers. With its widespread popularity and continuous evolution, streetwear remains a driving force in contemporary fashion, shaping trends and challenging conventional notions of style.

Streetwear and its Japanese Influence 

Streetwear, deeply intertwined with Japanese fashion, draws significant inspiration from Japan's rich cultural heritage and avant-garde design ethos. Renowned for its innovation and attention to detail, Japanese streetwear seamlessly blends traditional craftsmanship with modern urban sensibilities. Brands like A Bathing Ape (BAPE), COMME des GARÇONS, and Neighborhood have propelled Japanese streetwear onto the global stage, showcasing unique interpretations of casual wear infused with Japanese aesthetics.

From intricate graphic prints to meticulous construction techniques, Japanese streetwear exudes a distinct sense of craftsmanship and authenticity. Embracing elements of street culture, anime, manga, and traditional Japanese motifs, these brands create clothing that transcends fashion, becoming symbolic of cultural identity and personal expression.

The influence of Japanese streetwear extends far beyond its borders, shaping global trends and inspiring countless designers worldwide. With its blend of innovation, craftsmanship, and cultural resonance, Japanese streetwear continues to captivate and inspire fashion enthusiasts, leaving an indelible mark on the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary style.

How has anime inspired streetwear?

Anime has undeniably left an indelible mark on streetwear culture, catalyzing a unique fusion of Japanese pop culture and urban fashion. The early 2000s saw a pivotal moment with the introduction of Japanese animation on American television through platforms like Cartoon Network's Toonami. Suddenly, audiences were exposed to a kaleidoscope of surreal narratives, dystopian worlds, and avant-garde aesthetics previously unseen in mainstream media.

Shows like Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and FLCL not only captivated audiences with their compelling storytelling but also introduced a visual aesthetic that resonated deeply with viewers. The hand-drawn artworks and intricate character designs became iconic symbols of creativity and individuality, inspiring a generation of fans to embrace Japanese culture and incorporate it into their personal style.

This newfound obsession with anime sparked the formation of subcultures centered around Japanese media, leading to the emergence of communities where enthusiasts shared their passion for anime-inspired fashion and merchandise. From graphic tees adorned with anime characters to streetwear brands incorporating manga motifs into their designs, the influence of anime on streetwear is undeniable. It provided a visual alternative to traditional Western cartoons, offering a fresh perspective and a sense of belonging to those seeking unconventional forms of self-expression.

List of Japanese Streetwear Brands You Need To Know in 2024

Step into the forefront of contemporary style with our curated list of Japanese streetwear brands defining 2024's fashion landscape. From iconic labels steeped in tradition to emerging trendsetters pushing the boundaries of design, explore the essence of Japanese streetwear culture through these must-know brands. Elevate your wardrobe with cutting-edge aesthetics and unparalleled craftsmanship, as we unveil the essence of urban sophistication in the heart of Tokyo's fashion scene.

1. BAPE

Bape website

BAPE, short for A Bathing Ape, emerged from the vibrant streets of ura-Harajuku in the 1990s under the visionary leadership of Nigo. Inspired by pop culture and the iconic film "Planet of the Apes," BAPE quickly became synonymous with youthful trendiness. Renowned for its distinctive camo pattern, the brand captured the essence of streetwear fashion and propelled it into the mainstream.

Embracing an ethos of exclusivity, BAPE mastered the art of scarcity, cultivating a fervent following eager to acquire its coveted pieces. From the iconic shark hoodies to insulated snow jackets and the legendary Bapesta sneaker, each creation exudes an aura of cultural significance and urban authenticity. With deep roots in hip-hop and street culture, BAPE continues to shape the trajectory of contemporary fashion with its innovative designs and unparalleled influence.

2. Undercover

Undercover website

Undercover, helmed by the visionary Jun Takahashi, stands as an iconic emblem of Japanese streetwear culture. Pioneering the movement over three decades ago, Undercover remains a stalwart presence, celebrated for its ethos of disruption and rebellion. With a motto that boldly declares "We make noise, not clothes," the brand transcends mere fashion, embodying a spirit of defiance and audacity that resonates deeply with its audience. 

Undercover continues to redefine the boundaries of streetwear, channeling creativity into provocative designs that challenge conventions and ignite conversation within the fashion sphere.

3. and wander

and wander website

Founded in the bustling streets of Tokyo's Shibuya district in 2011 by Keita Ikeuchi and Mihoko Mori, and wander has swiftly ascended to prominence, propelled by the currents of the techwear revolution. Renowned for its unparalleled technical fabrics and meticulous craftsmanship, the brand has captivated a fashion-conscious audience with its stylish clothing, outerwear, and utilitarian accessories.

Embodying a fusion of functionality and fashion, and wander's offerings boast taped seams, GORE-TEX materials, and an abundance of toggles, all seamlessly integrated into an understated yet versatile earth-tone color palette. Occasional bursts of vivid hues add an unexpected pop, reflecting the brand's deep-rooted inspiration drawn from the natural world.

With a mission to inspire exploration and adventure, and wander's collection is designed to equip individuals for the great outdoors, encouraging them to embrace the wilderness and embark on unforgettable journeys.

4. Kapital

Kapital website

Kapital, born from the creative vision of father and son duo Toshikiyo and Kiro Hirata, serves as a quintessential embodiment of Japan's cultural heritage. Originating as a dedicated manufacturer of meticulously crafted American denim, Kapital has evolved into a trailblazer in contemporary Japanese fashion. Rooted in the denim capital of Kojima, Japan, the brand's journey began with Toshikiyo's fascination with American denim during his travels in the United States, sparking a lifelong pursuit of mastering the art of denim manufacturing.

Undergoing a transformative shift with the entry of Kiro Hirata in 2002, Kapital seamlessly blends tradition with modernity, resulting in a distinct aesthetic that defies conventional boundaries. Renowned for their unconventional approach to distressing clothes, Kapital merges traditional Japanese craftsmanship with an edgy, avant-garde sensibility, setting itself apart in the realm of fashion innovation.

With each collection inspired by different regions or cultures, Kapital weaves a vibrant tapestry of cultural narratives, paying homage to Japan's rich history while daring to challenge and critique it. As a trailblazer in redefining Japanese fashion, Kapital not only celebrates tradition but also embraces the spirit of exploration and reinvention, epitomizing the dynamic evolution of contemporary style.

5. Visvim

Visvim website

Visvim stands as a beacon of Japanese Americana culture, rooted in a fascination with the heritage of late 19th and early 20th-century Americana. As part of a broader movement among Japanese designers, Visvim has garnered acclaim for its exceptional denim craftsmanship, earning a reputation for some of the finest denim creations worldwide. Revered for its supreme quality and distinctive designs, Visvim has become a staple in celebrity wardrobes, counting icons like John Mayer among its loyal clientele.

Embodying a commitment to artisanal excellence and meticulous attention to detail, Visvim's offerings epitomize the convergence of traditional craftsmanship with contemporary sensibilities. Under the Visvim umbrella, brands like Kapital, Nanamica, and Hysteric Glamor further enrich the cultural tapestry, each contributing its unique perspective to the realm of Japanese fashion. With its rich heritage and enduring appeal, Visvim continues to inspire and captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide, setting the standard for uncompromising quality and innovative design.

6. Mizuno

Mizuno website

Mizuno, established in 1906 by Rihachi Mizuno after a transformative trip to the U.S., initially specialized in baseball gear before evolving into a powerhouse in technical sports apparel. From skiing to handball, tennis, and beyond, Mizuno's expertise spans a diverse range of sports, underpinned by a commitment to innovation and quality.

For many, Mizuno embodies the essence of sport, quality, and heritage, with a rich history that resonates deeply with athletes and enthusiasts alike. Renowned for groundbreaking technologies such as Wave technology and Enerzy Foam, Mizuno continues to push the boundaries of performance excellence.

While maintaining its stronghold in the realm of sports, Mizuno has also ventured into lifestyle products, forging notable collaborations with artists and brands like Footpatrol, Hajime Sorayama, and others. With the launch of its Sportstyle line in 2018, Mizuno has expanded its reach to appeal to style-conscious consumers, bridging the gap between innovative technology and fashion-forward footwear, thereby captivating a new generation of sneaker enthusiasts.

7. NEIGHBORHOOD

NEIGHBORHOOD website

NEIGHBORHOOD, once a hidden gem nestled in the bustling backstreets of Tokyo's Shibuya district, has evolved into a global icon of streetwear fashion. Founded by Shinsuke Takizawa amidst the cultural upheaval of the early '90s, the brand epitomizes a fusion of Americana and punk rock influences. Takizawa's passion for motorcycle culture permeates each garment, infusing the brand with an authentic edge reminiscent of its Ura-Harajuku origins.

Initially cherished by a niche audience of streetwear enthusiasts making pilgrimages to Japan, NEIGHBORHOOD's commitment to masterful craftsmanship, superior quality, and meticulous attention to detail has propelled it onto the global stage. Today, NEIGHBORHOOD stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Japanese streetwear, captivating audiences worldwide with its distinctive aesthetic and unwavering commitment to authenticity.

8. Cav Empt

Cav Empt website

Cav Empt, founded by Sk8thing and Toby Feltwell, is renowned for its exceptional eye for patterns, setting it apart in the world of streetwear. Sk8thing, a seasoned graphic designer with an illustrious career in streetwear, infuses his wealth of design expertise into the brand's aesthetic. 

Drawing on his extensive background, Cav Empt's pieces boast technical prowess alongside elevated patterns and colorways, resulting in an irresistible fusion of style and functionality.

9. Medicom Toy

Medicom Toy website

Celebrating two decades of innovation, Medicom Toy stands as a testament to the unique intersection of Japanese fashion and streetwear, bridging the gap between toys and clothing in a truly unconventional manner. In a digital age where virtual experiences dominate, Japan's physical culture remains steadfast, emphasizing tangible interactions and experiences. With a cultural ethos rooted in tradition, purchases are often made in cash, reflecting a reluctance to overspend and a reverence for financial responsibility. Amidst this backdrop, Medicom Toy thrives, embodying the essence of Japanese fashion as a means of self-expression and social engagement.

10. Beams

Beams website

Beams, tracing its origins to 1976 when Etsuzo Shitara founded the brand in Tokyo's vibrant Harajuku neighborhood, exudes a nostalgic charm reminiscent of a cozy UCLA dorm room. Initially focusing on varsity-inspired clothing and charming home wares, Beams quickly gained recognition for its distinctive blend of warmth and simplicity. As the brand expanded, it diversified into various sub-brands, each offering a unique perspective on Americana clothing.

One such sub-brand, Beams Plus, launched in 1999, pays homage to the golden age of American menswear, spanning the 1940s to the 1960s. While Beams' influence has predominantly been felt within Japan, its foray into the American market through Beams Plus has garnered attention in the Western fashion industry, signaling a new chapter in the brand's global expansion.

11. CDG

Comme des Garçons website

CDG, or Comme des Garçons, helmed by Junya Watanabe, stands as a towering presence in the fashion landscape, particularly within hip-hop culture. Renowned for its innovative spirit and unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries, CDG remains a beacon of avant-garde design and creativity. 

With a legacy spanning decades, Junya Watanabe continues to captivate audiences with his ability to anticipate and shape trends rather than merely follow them. CDG exemplifies a brand ethos centered on fearless experimentation and groundbreaking innovation, setting the standard for visionary fashion worldwide.

12. Asics

Asics website

Founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka, ASICS has ascended to prominence as a global leader in sportswear, particularly renowned for its footwear offerings. The brand's name derives from the Latin phrase "anima sana in corpore sano," translating to "healthy soul in a healthy body," underscoring ASICS' commitment to promoting physical well-being through sports. ASICS' running trainers stand as a cornerstone of the brand, consistently ranking among the top models favored by athletes and enthusiasts alike.

In recent years, ASICS has expanded its reach beyond sports performance to penetrate the lifestyle market, leveraging iconic silhouettes like the 360 Quantum and Gel Lyte 3. These models have served as canvases for high-profile collaborations with industry luminaries such as Ronnie Fieg, Afew, and Atmos. With a shifting consumer preference towards utilitarian, running, and hiking-inspired styles, ASICS is poised to dominate both technical and lifestyle markets in the years ahead, reaffirming its status as a powerhouse in athletic footwear and beyond.

13. South2 West8

South2 West8 website

South2 West8 has carved a distinctive niche in the realm of outdoor fashion with its playful utilitarian aesthetic, maintaining its unique identity amidst a crowded market. Renowned for its inventive and functional pieces, the brand effortlessly bridges the gap between urban streetwear and wilderness attire. 

Each garment is meticulously crafted to blend purposeful design with stylish flair, catering to the needs of both the urban commuter and the outdoor enthusiast. With a growing fan base extending beyond Japan, South2 West8 continues to captivate audiences with its utilitarian-chic approach, reaffirming its status as a trailblazer in contemporary fashion.

14. Nanamica

Nanamica

Nanamica epitomizes the growing influence of techwear within the dynamic landscape of streetwear, seamlessly blending technical functionality with a cohesive aesthetic inspired by outdoor wear, Japanese streetwear, and elements of Americana. Renowned for its innovative approach, Nanamica's pieces boast technical prowess while maintaining a distinct urban sophistication. The brand's NYC shop offers a captivating experience, showcasing its exceptional range of garments that embody a harmonious fusion of style and utility.

15. WTAPS

WTAPS website

WTAPS, founded by Tetsu Nishiyama, affectionately known as TET, emerged from the DIY ethos of punk and anarchic movements in the early '90s. Inspired by the military concept of "double-taps," symbolizing two shots at the same target in rapid succession, WTAPS fuses authentic military designs with streetwear sensibilities and contemporary perspectives to produce some of the most coveted pieces in Japanese streetwear.

Renowned for its Jungle Stock cargo pants and M-65 jackets, WTAPS commands a status akin to streetwear royalty in Japan, with release days often marked by long lines and rapid sell-outs, rivaling even Supreme in notoriety.

16. Y-3

Y-3 website

For two decades, Y-3 has been at the forefront of redefining the boundaries between high fashion and streetwear through its audacious collaboration between Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and sportswear titan adidas. Beyond mere clothing, Y-3's iconic pieces serve as design statements that have left an indelible mark on the industry, epitomizing a synthesis of sportswear, streetwear, and luxury.

Memorable creations like the futuristic Y-3 PureBOOST, Y-3 Run Boost, and avant-garde Y-3 4D Runner encapsulate the brand's essence, showcasing its innovative approach to lifestyle footwear and athleisure-wear. Despite shifting trends, Y-3 continues to push boundaries and make strides in the fashion landscape, cementing its status as a trailblazer in the intersection of sports, style, and sophistication.

17. Suicoke

Suicoke website

Suicoke has surged in popularity in recent years, propelled by high-profile endorsements and its innovative take on sandals. Offering a visually captivating alternative to traditional slip-ons like Birkenstocks, Suicoke has garnered acclaim for its distinct designs and collaborations.

Embracing the evolving culture of slip-ons and sandals, Suicoke has carved a niche for itself, attracting a diverse audience drawn to its unique aesthetic and commitment to quality craftsmanship.

18. Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe website

Junya Watanabe, one of the foremost contemporary menswear designers globally, honed his craft under the tutelage of Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons before establishing his eponymous label within the CdG family in the early '90s. Renowned for bold reconfigurations of classic menswear, Watanabe explores cuts, textiles, and form with avant-garde flair, echoing the ethos of COMME des GARÇONS as a pioneer of Japanese avant-garde fashion.

In recent years, the brand has gained recognition for its innovative use of multiple fabrics in patchwork designs, particularly through collaborations with Levi's. However, at the core of Watanabe's work lies a fascination with diverse clothing styles and their transformative potential for the wearer. Workwear staples undergo modern reinterpretations, elaborately decorated jackets boast reversible designs, and traditional pieces like suits and overcoats are imbued with unexpected touches and textures.

While Kawakubo's avant-garde disrupts the visual elements of fashion, Watanabe's creations challenge the functional aspects, offering denim jackets and other staples that defy convention while remaining inherently wearable. Junya Watanabe's oeuvre represents a seamless fusion of innovation, craftsmanship, and sartorial exploration, pushing the boundaries of menswear into uncharted territory.

19. Needles

Needles website

Renowned for its distinct interpretation of American style infused with a flashy Japanese twist, Needles draws inspiration from cultural icons like Miles Davis and Steve McQueen. Under the creative helm of Keizo Shimizu, the brand's repertoire encompasses loose-fitting blazers, lightweight floral shirts, and billowing BDU pants, each exuding a unique charm that seamlessly blends into the overarching Needles narrative.

Shimizu's collections are meticulously curated around specific inspirations each season, resulting in garments that range from resembling vintage army surplus finds to wardrobe staples reminiscent of a 70s chemistry teacher. Whether it's simple suits, military-style outerwear, or luxurious loungewear, Needles epitomizes an ethos of ease and coolness that resonates throughout its diverse offerings.

20. Evisu

Evisu website

Evisu rose to prominence in the early 2000s, becoming a staple in streetwear and a favorite among rappers and fashion enthusiasts alike. While its heyday may have passed, the brand continues to captivate audiences with its vintage-inspired collections, maintaining its cultural relevance.

With one of the most recognizable logos in streetwear, Evisu pays homage to its heritage while embracing contemporary trends, ensuring its enduring appeal in the ever-evolving landscape of fashion.

21. Auralee

Auralee website

Auralee embodies a refined approach to fashion, celebrating subtlety and understated elegance. Eschewing ostentatious brand narratives and flashy designs, this Japanese label embraces the essence of minimalism, evolving traditional notions of style with grace. Each garment is meticulously crafted with a focus on comfort and sophistication, characterized by gentle color palettes and thoughtful details.

Collections are streamlined, featuring only the most essential pieces, with textiles taking center stage. From consciously sourced wools to sumptuous cottons, Auralee's offerings, including earthy winter coats, fluffy knitwear, and versatile oversized trousers, effortlessly integrate into any wardrobe, quickly becoming staples in your rotation.

22. WACKO MARIA

WACKO MARIA website

In Tokyo's diverse streetwear scene, WACKO MARIA stands out as a reigning force. The brand is renowned for its lettered and embroidered apparel, featuring phrases like "PARADISE TOKYO" and "GUILTY PARTIES."

With a distinctive fusion of cultural and artistic influences, WACKO MARIA appeals to both dedicated streetwear aficionados and casual enthusiasts alike. Whether you're exploring the streets of Tokyo or making a statement globally, WACKO MARIA offers a unique style experience that demands attention.

23. Mishka

Mishka website

Mishka, a longstanding fixture in the indie rap scene, has carved its niche by flirting with anime-inspired designs and elements of Japanese style. While not a Japanese brand itself, Mishka draws inspiration from the vibrant world of anime and other aspects of Japanese culture.

Recent collections have boldly incorporated imagery from both obscure and beloved video games and cartoons, featuring box art from PlayStation classics like Final Fantasy 7 and Silent Hill adorned with the Mishka logo. In a realm where subtlety takes a backseat to the profound adoration for beloved media, Mishka's bold designs resonate deeply with enthusiasts worldwide.

24. Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto website

Yohji Yamamoto stands as one of the most illustrious Japanese fashion designers of the 20th century, rivaled only by Rei Kawakubo in influence and renown. Rooted in a fusion of traditional Japanese design and contemporary perspectives, Yamamoto's eponymous label has consistently produced breathtaking pieces over its 35-year history.

What sets Yamamoto's work apart is its profound impact on broader fashion trends. Many of his signature elements, from extended silhouettes to asymmetric design and draped, layered styles, have become ubiquitous in the industry. Yet, amidst this evolution, one constant remains: the color black, which Yamamoto describes as a statement of mutual respect—"I don't bother you—don't bother me."

Beyond his eponymous label, Yamamoto's collaboration with adidas Originals on the Y-3 line stands as a testament to his enduring creativity. The line birthed iconic designs like the Qasa sneaker, achieving unprecedented success in the realm of fashion footwear. With decades of craftsmanship and a timeless appeal, Yohji Yamamoto's legacy continues to captivate and inspire like no other.

25. Public Space

Public Space website

Public Space rose to prominence during the height of vaporwave's influence, although its popularity has somewhat waned since then. Nevertheless, the brand's nostalgic clothing, celebrating the aesthetic of Web 1.0, continues to captivate enthusiasts with its enduring charm.

Evoking a sense of nostalgia, Public Space's clothing features evocative and moody designs inspired by iconic franchises like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh, elevating them above the offerings found at conventional stores. The color gradients reminiscent of the MS Paint and Word Art era add a unique touch, enhancing the overall retro vibe of the garments. While some designs evoke a strange melancholy, others, like the campy Kool-Aid onesie, inject a playful and whimsical element into the mix.

26. MIYAGIHIDETAKA

MIYAGIHIDETAKA website

Miyagi Hidetaka, the visionary behind MIYAGIHIDETAKA, maintains a rather enigmatic presence online, but his dedication to quality-first fashion speaks volumes. Preferring to keep a low profile, he focuses on creating garments that resonate with himself and his peers, eschewing the traditional model of seasonal collections.

MIYAGIHIDETAKA embraces Japanese fashion's enduring fascination with the paisley bandana, a symbol rich in history and subcultural significance. Hidetaka's design journey began with Mythography, a footwear brand established in 2012, where his penchant for the paisley print first emerged. In 2016, this beloved motif made its debut on his footwear creations, marking the inception of MIYAGIHIDETAKA's distinctive aesthetic.

Since then, the brand has expanded its repertoire, adorning a wide range of apparel with the iconic bandana print. From sandals and shoes to puffer jackets, pants, vests, and shirts, MIYAGIHIDETAKA seamlessly integrates this timeless pattern into every facet of its collection, epitomizing a harmonious blend of heritage and contemporary style.

27. HVY BLK

HVY BLK website

HVY BLK boldly redefines beloved characters from iconic series like Sailor Moon, transforming them into superheroic figures with a BDSM-inspired twist, portraying them as daring bank robbers. This radical reinterpretation offers a thought-provoking commentary on women's liberation, challenging conventional perceptions of these characters and the narratives they represent.

The incorporation of anti-fascist imagery aligns seamlessly with the overtly feminist themes found in the original shows that inspired the designs, further emphasizing the brand's commitment to social commentary and empowerment. HVY BLK's innovative approach to fashion transcends traditional boundaries, sparking dialogue and provoking thought on complex societal issues within the realm of pop culture.

28. Sotogang

Sotogang website

Sotogang emerges as a unique fusion of art and fashion, driven by the distinctive drawings of tattoo artist Manuela Soto. Rising to fame through her captivating illustrations of curvaceous anime women, Soto's work quickly became her hallmark on Instagram. Drawing inspiration from a diverse array of subcultures, including hentai graffiti, nu-metal, skate culture, and rave aesthetics, her style exudes a bold and unapologetic energy.

Now, Sotogang offers a range of apparel featuring Soto's signature drawings, including hoodies, shirts, and sweatpants. These pieces serve as a canvas for her evocative artwork, bringing her captivating creations to life in the realm of fashion. With her artwork adorning apparel, Soto's influence extends beyond the realm of tattoos, making waves in the world of social media and influencing fashion trends embraced by a myriad of social media influencers and enthusiasts alike.

29. mastermind JAPAN

mastermind JAPAN website

mastermind JAPAN, founded by designer Masaaki Honma in 1997, epitomizes timeless cool from a Japanese perspective. With its iconic Skull & Crossbones logo and a penchant for the color black, mastermind JAPAN has solidified its status as one of the most iconic Japanese clothing brands to date. Despite its seemingly limited elements, the brand showcases boundless creativity, pushing the boundaries of streetwear fashion.

Drawing inspiration from punk and goth aesthetics, mastermind JAPAN incorporates highly technical production techniques, including form-hugging silhouettes and Swarovski® crystal detailing, to create garments that exude a sense of streetwear luxury. Renowned for its closely guarded operations and the scarcity of leaked information, mastermind JAPAN commands attention with its aura of exclusivity.

The brand's influence extends beyond streetwear circles, garnering admiration from industry titans like Karl Lagerfeld, who hailed mastermind JAPAN as one of his favorite labels. Notably, mastermind JAPAN has collaborated with prestigious brands such as Maison Goyard, showcasing its ability to transcend traditional boundaries. Although Honma closed the brand in 2013 after 15 successful years, mastermind JAPAN has recently made a comeback with modest collections and sought-after collaborations, reaffirming its enduring legacy in the world of fashion.

30. Adidas x Dragon Ball

Adidas x Dragon Ball- Sole website

The collaboration between Adidas and Dragon Ball, a seminal sci-fantasy series, pays homage to the iconic anime's profound influence on the shonen sub-genre. Renowned for its captivating storyline of magical fighters protecting the earth from alien threats while forging enduring friendships and rivalries, Dragon Ball has left an indelible mark on generations of anime enthusiasts.

Adidas' collection of sneakers draws inspiration from the vibrant color palettes of the series' main characters, offering a smartly understated tribute to the beloved cartoon. By incorporating elements of Dragon Ball's distinctive aesthetic into footwear design, Adidas honors the show's cultural significance and resonates with legions of fans who grew up immersed in its fantastical world.

The collaboration between Adidas and Dragon Ball represents a seamless fusion of sportswear and pop culture, capturing the imagination of both sneaker aficionados and anime enthusiasts alike. With its subtle yet unmistakable references to the iconic series, this collaboration celebrates the enduring legacy of Dragon Ball and its enduring appeal across generations.

31. Kikillo

Kikillo website

Kikillo channels the spirit of Takashi Murakami's visionary approach by abstracting anime tropes into surrealistic artistry adorning crewnecks, sweatpants, and pillowcases. Following Murakami's footsteps, Kikillo reinterprets familiar characters, warping and distorting them into glitchy, melting forms that defy conventional boundaries.

The brand's creations evoke a sense of Warholian sensibility through repeated imagery, inviting viewers to explore the depths of their designs. Each garment becomes a canvas of dizzying yet undeniably stylish expressions, blurring the lines between art and fashion. With Kikillo's homage to Murakami's genius, the brand continues to push the envelope of creativity, offering a unique blend of surrealism and streetwear that captivates the imagination.

32. TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist

TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist website

TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist, launched in 2010, serves as a natural progression of Miyashita's earlier work, albeit with a name that hints at a deeper exploration of the designer's personal viewpoints. Retaining Miyashita's distinctive style, The Soloist exudes a refined and matured aesthetic compared to his previous venture, NUMBER (N)INE.

Inspired by cultural icons like Oasis, David Bowie, and Country & Western, The Soloist's collections reflect Miyashita's unparalleled ability to evolve and elevate each subject matter. With an unwavering commitment to craftsmanship and innovation, the brand continues to captivate audiences with its introspective designs and timeless appeal.

33. Wet

Wet, helmed by designer Lee Kobayashi, presents a departure from the bombastic and colorful aesthetics prevalent in many brands featured on this list. Instead, Kobayashi's minimalist designs evoke elements of eroticism and grotesquery reminiscent of anime motifs.

While the brand's medical-themed looks make a bold statement, its soft and boyish Akira designs offer a nuanced take on the source material, sidestepping the overt violence often associated with it. With a subdued yet impactful approach, Wet offers a unique blend of sophistication and introspection that resonates with discerning fashion enthusiasts.

34. Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake webite

Issey Miyake stands among fashion's true revolutionaries, alongside contemporaries like Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. While Kawakubo introduced avant-garde concepts and Yamamoto merged tradition with progress, Miyake brought forth the power of technology and technical innovation to the forefront of fashion.

His creations are marked by groundbreaking techniques, such as pleated garments designed to "remember" their folds through washes, and the iconic prism handbag adorned with geometric panels that mimic the fluidity of pixels in a computer game. Miyake's designs embody a profound understanding of fashion as functional art, aimed at enhancing the wearer's quality of life.

This ethos resonated beyond the fashion world, earning Miyake a place in the wardrobe of tech visionary Steve Jobs. The production of numerous black turtleneck sweaters for Jobs solidified Miyake's legacy, intertwining his brand with the legend of a visionary whose impact transcended industries.

35. Dumbgood

Dumbgood website

Dumbgood has flooded social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook with a barrage of sponsored posts, ensuring that their '90s and '00s pop culture-inspired apparel is virtually unavoidable. Their design approach may not be particularly sophisticated, often consisting of simply slapping a screenshot onto a T-shirt and calling it a day. However, their offerings evoke undeniable pangs of nostalgia, tapping into a collective yearning for the past.

Despite the lack of intricacy in their designs, there's a certain unapologetic boldness in Dumbgood's approach to lazy pandering that's almost commendable. While much of their clothing draws inspiration from horror themes, they've also ventured into capsule collections featuring artwork from beloved anime series like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop. This blend of nostalgia and brashness has earned Dumbgood a dedicated following among fans of retro pop culture.

36. fragment design

fragment design, the brainchild of Japanese streetwear icon Hiroshi Fujiwara, stands as a quintessential representation of his profound influence on the fashion world. With a lightning bolt logo that has become synonymous with the brand, fragment design has collaborated with a myriad of renowned brands, elevating iconic pieces with subtle yet impactful modifications.

Fujiwara's approach, often involving simple upgrades and logo placements, embodies an aesthetic Occam's Razor, emphasizing the power of minimalism and effectiveness in design. While not every release may resonate, fragment design's ability to infuse pieces with timeless coolness ensures its enduring appeal among fashion enthusiasts worldwide.

37. Blue Blue Japan

Blue Blue Japan website

Blue Blue Japan, originating in 1996 as the in-house brand of Tokyo's Okura boutique, swiftly outgrew its initial confines to achieve global recognition in its own right. Drawing inspiration from classic workwear aesthetics and employing traditional indigo dyeing techniques, Blue Blue Japan has carved a niche for itself in the fashion world.

True to its name, Blue Blue Japan is renowned for its faithful adherence to the use of indigo. This deep blue hue, derived from ancient indigo dyeing practices (Aizome), imbues all of the brand's garments with a sense of timeless elegance and cultural heritage.

In each seasonal collection, Blue Blue Japan pays homage to its native Japan's rich history by offering understated yet sophisticated workwear styles. Free from ostentatious branding, the brand's pieces emphasize the intricate patterns and hues associated with Japanese tradition, appealing to discerning fashion enthusiasts worldwide. 

38. Supreme x Akira

Supreme x Akira website

The collaboration between Supreme and Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo's monumental manga, delved into the dystopian depths of post-nuclear Japan depicted in the series. Otomo's sprawling 6,000-page narrative, which culminated in a critically acclaimed 1988 animated film, remains a cornerstone of Japanese culture, reflecting on societal anxieties and the impact of youth culture in the face of devastation.

Supreme's capsule collection with Akira marked a departure from its usual playful pop art aesthetic, opting instead for isolated frames capturing the series' stark and often violent imagery. Despite Supreme's association with hype-driven consumerism, this collaboration offered a poignant exploration of the darker themes explored in Otomo's masterpiece, resonating deeply with fans of both streetwear and Japanese animation alike.

39. Sacai

Sacai website homepage

Sacai, established in Tokyo in 1999 by Chitose Abe, embodies a fusion of formal and casual attire, a concept Abe honed during her tenure at renowned Japanese labels Junya Watanabe and COMME des GARÇONS. Renowned for its gender-blurring designs and meticulous attention to detail, Sacai quickly gained acclaim in both high-fashion and streetwear circles.

Abe's expertise in crafting androgynous silhouettes with subtle yet impactful design elements defines Sacai's main collections, while its collaborations often veer towards streetwear aesthetics. Notably, Sacai's partnership with Nike on the LD Waffle silhouette garnered significant attention, showcasing the brand's versatility and appeal across diverse fashion landscapes.

With luxury and streetwear increasingly converging, Sacai's strategic positioning ensures its continued relevance and appeal to fashion enthusiasts across the spectrum, promising an exciting trajectory for the brand's future endeavors.

40. Sasquatchfabrix

Sasquatchfabrix website homepage

Sasquatchfabrix, born from the Tokyo design collective Wonder Wonker Guerrilla Band (WWGB), is the brainchild of Hiromichi Ochiai and Daisuke Yokoyama. Infused with a distinctive 90s skate aesthetic and a touch of avant-garde flair, each collection embodies a blend of experimental design and accessible streetwear sensibilities.

Drawing inspiration from skate and graffiti subcultures, Sasquatchfabrix's designs resonate with street style enthusiasts while also transcending conventional boundaries. The brand's multidisciplinary approach, rooted in a diverse creative collective, results in collections that seamlessly merge traditional Asian motifs with modern graphics, technical fabrics, and workwear silhouettes.

By weaving together various cultural references and design elements, Sasquatchfabrix has carved out a unique niche in the fashion landscape, offering a refreshing perspective that defies categorization and captivates fashion aficionados seeking innovative and eclectic styles.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the landscape of Japanese streetwear brands continues to evolve and captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide. From iconic labels like BAPE and Undercover to emerging names like and wander and Kapital, each brand brings its unique blend of craftsmanship, innovation, and cultural influence to the forefront. 

Whether drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese motifs, Americana culture, or futuristic dystopias, these brands push the boundaries of style and creativity. With a rich tapestry of influences and a commitment to quality, Japanese streetwear brands are not only shaping the fashion industry but also inspiring a global community of trendsetters and aficionados. As we look ahead, the legacy of these brands remains bright, promising exciting new chapters in the ever-evolving story of Japanese streetwear.

FAQs

What is the most popular Japanese streetwear brand?

Determining the "most popular" Japanese streetwear brand can be subjective, as popularity can vary based on factors like region, demographics, and trends. However, one brand often cited for its global recognition and influence is BAPE (A Bathing Ape). Founded in the '90s by Nigo, BAPE is renowned for its iconic camo patterns, signature shark hoodies, and collaborations with artists and celebrities. With its roots deeply embedded in street culture and a loyal following among fashion enthusiasts worldwide, BAPE consistently ranks among the top Japanese streetwear brands in terms of recognition and impact.

What is Japanese streetwear called?

Japanese streetwear is commonly referred to as "J-streetwear" or simply "J-fashion." It encompasses a diverse range of styles influenced by urban youth culture, fashion subcultures, and traditional Japanese aesthetics. Often characterized by bold graphics, unique silhouettes, and innovative design techniques, Japanese streetwear brands like BAPE, Undercover, and NEIGHBORHOOD have gained international acclaim for their cutting-edge designs and cultural impact. The term "Harajuku fashion" is also used to describe Japanese streetwear, as Harajuku, a district in Tokyo, has long been a hub for avant-garde fashion and creative expression, influencing trends both locally and globally.

What is a popular clothing brand in Japan?

arrow down

One of the most popular clothing brands in Japan is Uniqlo. Known for its high-quality basics, innovative fabrics, and affordable prices, Uniqlo has gained a strong following both domestically and internationally. With a wide range of products spanning from everyday essentials like T-shirts and jeans to specialized items like heattech innerwear and ultra-light down jackets, Uniqlo appeals to a diverse audience seeking functional and stylish clothing. Its collaborations with designers and artists, along with its commitment to sustainability, further contribute to its popularity and reputation as a leading fashion brand in Japan.

What is the Japanese military streetwear brand?

The Japanese military streetwear brand is WTAPS (pronounced "double taps"). Founded by Tetsu Nishiyama in 1996, WTAPS draws inspiration from authentic military designs and infuses them with streetwear sensibilities. The brand's collections feature a blend of rugged utility and contemporary style, often incorporating military-inspired garments like cargo pants, field jackets, and graphic tees. With its emphasis on quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, WTAPS has gained a dedicated following both in Japan and internationally, cementing its reputation as a leading force in the world of military-inspired streetwear.

What is Otome fashion?

Otome fashion is a style trend originating in Japan, primarily targeted towards young women. It emphasizes a romantic and feminine aesthetic, often characterized by elaborate dresses, frills, lace, and bows. Otome fashion draws inspiration from various sources, including historical European fashion, fairy tales, and Victorian-era clothing. It typically features modest silhouettes with an emphasis on elegance and gracefulness. Popular substyles within Otome fashion include Lolita, Princess, and Classic. Overall, Otome fashion provides a whimsical and dreamy look, appealing to those who seek a blend of nostalgia, fantasy, and sophistication in their attire.

What is Tokyo fashion called?

Tokyo fashion encompasses a diverse range of styles and subcultures that reflect the city's vibrant and ever-evolving fashion scene. It is characterized by its eclectic mix of influences, including traditional Japanese attire, Western fashion trends, and avant-garde designs. Tokyo fashion is known for its creativity, experimentation, and fearless approach to self-expression. From the streetwear mecca of Harajuku to the high-end boutiques of Ginza, Tokyo offers something for every fashion enthusiast. Whether it's the bold street styles of youth subcultures or the elegant minimalism of high fashion, Tokyo fashion continues to inspire and influence trends globally.

About the author

The Unparalleled shopping Experience

Everything you need for that ultimate stylish wardrobe, GoFynd has got it!
fyndlogo

About The Closet

The Closet is a curated blog dedicated to exploring the world of Streetwear, Athleisure & Sustainable Clothing. We offer a fresh perspective on the ever-evolving fashion & cultural landscape.
a
Share this Article