The current economic hard times are bringing some changes to Japan, especially in the area of fashion. In the past, the world’s most famous brands enjoyed a loyal following from Japanese consumers, who happily wrapped themselves in the latest offerings from Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada. With Japan’s export-dependant economy on the rocks, though, many customers have shifted away from these famous brands, embracing the new generation of more affordable “fast fashion” — the fast food of fashion, meaning inexpensive casual clothing. As a result, brands like Versace are pulling out of Japan while upstarts like Forever 21, Zara and H&M are moving up, even (in the case of Gap clone Uniqlo) into the posh Ginza district.
Cheap clothing brands like Uniqlo are booming these days.