TOKYO — Glitter platform shoes, hair clips formed like rabbit skeletons, rhinestone earrings that recalls the wardrobe of a Jennifer Lopez excursion in 2001 — the add-ons seen round Harajuku preserve the cosmic glow of a neighborhood that becomes once a global epicenter for experimental style but has due to the fact that fallen upon more somber times.
Fashion is no longer one of the pinnacle interests for Japanese teens, many of whom experience it uncool to spend immoderate time on their appearance — contributing to what WWD has reported over the past few years as a slowdown in Harajuku. According to observers, younger purchasers now spend their time worried on track, computer games, and art instead of fashion. Their interest has similarly diminished thanks to Harajuku’s developing roster of international brands, all of that has limitless shops in essential worldwide towns. Corporate money’s new tenancy in Harajuku has spiked rents there — making it hard for the impartial shops that made the place well-known to live on.

“Maybe you may see on the road that there isn’t a whole lot particular style right here amongst young human beings anymore, it’s distinct than 10 years ago,” Tokyo-primarily based dressmaker and breakout style megastar Tomo Koizumi informed WWD. “Younger people don’t put money into clothes these days in Japan, they spend it on iPhone games or they spend money more in lifestyle stores buying dishes, cups and home accessories.”
Trendy teens can be disappearing from Harajuku’s streets, but they’re being fast replaced via Japan’s influx of travelers (some 31 million in 2018, extra than triple the variety 5 years prior) who meander through the location’s conflict of winding roads, attempting to find Lolitas and rockabillies as if they had been uncommon birds.
“I suppose foreigners assume that is Tokyo style, Gothic Lolitas and crazy boys or ladies in Harajuku. When [tourists] arrive, I think they’re the type of dissatisfied due to the fact they’re no longer there anymore,” Koizumi remarked.
At gift, Tokyo’s streets are an interesting take a look at that juxtaposes a region’s Internet-born recognition with reality. Fashion-conscious vacationers parade thru Tokyo’s streets wearing bunny ears, knee socks, and ruffles — sharing a sidewalk with local trendsetters whose shipment pants, bowl haircuts, and asymmetrical earrings indicate that they’ve clearly moved on from the cutesy patterns that had been famous in Japan some 10 years in the past.
Harajuku’s add-ons, however, provide the overwhelm of Chinese, Australian, Korean and American vacationers the influence that outlandish models there are still alive. The footwear, luggage, jewelry and hats available at stores like Nadia Corazon, Romantic Standard, Bubbles and Pinna are mementos of an avant-garde Japan that is rapidly disappearing, as the united states’ fashions assimilate with patterns which can be famous internationally — a runoff effect of worldwide Internet connectivity.
In the Laforet Harajuku mall, WWD spotted a progressive boot that hybridized Timberland’s lug soles with Ugg’s elephant extent. A fuzzy navy bucket hat featured embroidery that replicated the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s brand design but switched its monogram to suit a much broader audience — replacing “MTA” with “NYC.”
Jewelry in a single Laforet stall saw large, shiny yarn pom-poms suspended from resin flora, buttons, and hoops. Teva-type athletic sandals, rendered in fluorescent green and sequins, have been full-size — each anchored with the aid of systems that could, at times, exceed 4 inches.
At Romantic Standard, statement earrings popularized by K-Pop stars layered oversize paillettes, cameos, rhinestone bows, and gemstones into massive chandeliers.
And at Pinna, the Jingumae antique keep desired with the aid of Western celebrities traveling Tokyo and looking for a style acid experience (e.G., Kanye West, more than one Jenners and A$AP Rocky), the 1990s and early Aughts extra continues to make the rounds. Bejeweled choker necklaces and a backpack commemorating the 1996 movie “Space Jam” resided on shelves alongside rummaged Spice Girl DVDs and MC Hammer dolls.

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