Harajuku Accessories Keep Tokyo’s Eccentric Fashion Spirit Alive

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TOKYO — Glitter platform shoes, hair clips formed like rabbit skeletons, rhinestone earrings that recall the wardrobe of a Jennifer Lopez excursion in 2001 — the add-ons have seen around Harajuku preserve the cosmic glow of a neighborhood that became once a global epicenter for experimental style but has because fallen upon more somber times.

Harajuku Accessories Keep Tokyo’s Eccentric Fashion Spirit Alive 1
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 worry about track, computer games, and art instead of fashion. Their interest has similarly diminished thanks to Harajuku’s developing roster of international brands, which 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 in.

“Maybe you may see on the road that there isn’t a whole lot of particular style right here amongst young human beings anymore. It’s distinct from 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. Still, they’re fast replaced via Japan’s influx of travelers (some 31 million in 2018, more than triple the variety five 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 dissatisfied because they’re no longer there anymore,” Koizumi remarked. At Gift, Tokyo’s streets are an interesting look juxtaposing a region’s Internet-borne recognition with reality. Fashion-conscious vacationers parade through 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 moved on from the cutesy patterns that had been famous in Japan some ten years in the past.

However, Harajuku’s add-ons overwhelm Chinese, Australian, Korean, and American vacationers with the influence that outlandish models are still alive. The footwear, luggage, jewelry, and hats available at stores like Nadia Corazon, Romantic Standard, Bubbles, and Pinna are souvenirs of an avant-garde Japan that are rapidly disappearing as the United States’ fashions assimilate with patterns that can be famous internationally — 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 broader audience — replacing “MTA” with “NYC.” In a single Laforet stall, jewelry 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 sometimes exceed 4 inches.

At Romantic Standard, statement earrings popularized by K-Pop stars layered oversized paillettes, cameos, rhinestone bows, and gemstones into massive chandeliers. 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.