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7 Japanese Clothing Brands I Love

7 Japanese Clothing Brands I Love

Looking for the best Japanese clothing brands? Start here.

Cortis Loukes
Cortis Loukes

I love these Japanese brands.

The following Japanese brands excel at making standout clothing.  They display  high levels of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and, above all, personality.

Japanese Crafsmanship Meets American Style

Many of these designers have taken design cues from the best elements of classic Americana, while using newly developed techniques to infuse their product with updated levels of texture and quality.

Here's a list of some current Japanese brands I covet, with links to buy them, and some of the standout pieces I love the most.

Visvim

An apex brand which is respected by many and most.  The results of Visvim's pursuit of "future vintage" must to seen, felt, and worn to be believed. Taking old-world techniques from yesteryear and oftentimes engineering fabrics and re-engineering production methods from the ground up, Visvim is at the forefront of casual luxury.

Responsible for one of the most iconic sneaker/shoe hybrids (The FBT), Visvim is helmed by founder Hiroki Nakamura.

Visvim is also the most expensive of these brands, (which is saying something indeed) demanding high prices for everything from hand-dyed t-shirts to trucker hats to footwear. But resale value is also high– think of your Visvim as an investment.

Favorite Pieces: Virgil Boots, 101 Denim Jacket, Iris Liner Jacket

Where you can buy Visvim Online:

Buy Visvim from Haven: Vancouver & Toronto

VISVIM | HAVEN
visvim® has been synonymous with quality since its first appearance in the Japanese street-wear scene in 2001. Designed and directed by Hiroki Nakamura, the brand began it’s operations producing footwear, which still remains highly sought after in the Japanese fashion landscape. As the brand continu…

Buy Visvim from Notre: Chicago

visvim at Notre
Founded in 2001 by Japanese designer Hiroki Nakamura, visvim has grown from an independent sneaker brand into one of the most influential forces behind Ametora (“American traditional”) style on the planet. Born in Kofu, Japan, Nakamura grew up in 1980s Tokyo where he developed a fascination with Ame…

Buy Visvim from End Clothing

Visvim | END.
Shop the latest Visvim at END. - the leading destination for style, sneakers, luxury, life. New Products added daily

Kapital

Kapital are masters of individuality and make some truly unique pieces. Irreverrent & tongue-in-cheek, Kapital is just fun to wear and makes you feel like a free spirit. This brand pioneered the catalogue-as-lifestyle-journal with their outrageous and strange yearly publications-- but the soul of the brand truly is in the denim.  Kapital produces some of the most unique jeans in the world in Japan's "Capital of denim."

Hence, the name.

For a time, you could only find Kapital in the most specialty of stores, starting with the hidden gem Cotton Sheep in San Francisco and later shops like Union in Los Angeles and Independence in Chicago.

Luckily for us, those days are over. Nowadays, it's tough to find a serious mens shop that doesn't carry Kapital right alongside stalwarts like Stone Island and Engineered Garments. In fact, stick to those three brands and you'll be sailing.

Favorite Kapital Pieces: Old Man and The Sea Cap, Kesa Cardigan, Ringoman Pants

Where You Can Buy Kapital Online:

Buy Kapital at Mannahatta NYC

KAPITAL - Mannahatta NYC
Authorized Dealer of Kapital Global. Exclusive Patchwork Jeans and Trucker Caps available online. Kapital SS21, Kapital Kountry SS21 available at Mannahatta NYC located in NYC.

Buy Kapital at Cotton Sheep

Cotton Sheep
Cotton Sheep

Buy Kapital at Blue In Green Soho

Blue In Green Soho

Cottle

Photo: Cottle

Founded in 2015, Cottle is a fairly new brand that is quickly gaining a reputation for excellence. Using high-quality fabrics and textures to create clothing meant to be worn for years, Cottle is quickly becoming a cult favorite.

Right now, you can get Cottle at only a handful of places online, but IMO this brand is going to blow up proper, so get some Cottle gear and be the one to tell your friends about it!

Favorite Cottle Pieces: Waffle Shirts, Zen Jackets, Denim Jackets

Where You Can Buy Cottle Online

Buy Cottle at 180 The Store

Cottle
Introducing Cottle from Okayama, Japan, an area that has long thrived on producing some of the best textiles. Renovating a textile factory that was built over 120 years ago, Cottle begins with the highest quality fabrics and applying Japanese techniques such as natural indigo and persimmon dying tec…

Buy Cottle at cottle.jp

COTTLE WEB SHOP
COTTLE WEB SHOP

Monitaly

Led by Yuki Matsuda (founder of Meg Company, which also includes Yuketen, Chamula, and Epperson Mountaineering), Monitaly excels at modern heritage, with inspiration from American vintage, but with updated fits and first-rate materials.

This is another "fun" brand that takes chances with old military designs and puts an obvious sense of soul into their products. Also, Yuki is a great follow on Instagram!

Favorite Monitaly Pieces: Bucket Hats, Liner Jackets


Where You Can Buy Monitaly Online

Buy Monitaly at Today

MONITALY
Monitaly revitalizes classic American silhouettes through designer Yuki Matsuda’s unique vision. Standing on the shoulders of clothing artisans from the American past, they strive to both elevate once-casual garments and rejuvenate formal silhouettes through relentless re-evaluation and clever re-co…

Buy Monitaly at Kafka Mercantile

Kafka Mercantile
Kafka Mercantile Lookbook - Read our Curated Edits Articles today, who knows what useful information you might find.

Chimala

Designer Noriko Machida is renowned for her women's line, but Chimala's men's jeans are also fantastic, and not so easy to find.

If you can find them, and you do want to pony up, Chimala delivers. The incredible washes make it feel like you just scored the best vintage find in the history of the Universe, in a brand new pair of jeans.

And you don't have to worry about whose butt has been in them before yours.

Favorite Chimala pieces: Wide-leg jeans, chore jackets, western shirts


Buy Chimla at 180 The Store

Chimala Men
180 the Store, founded by Denise Williamson is a retail and event space showcasing brands, designers, and beautifully-crafted objects under one roof. 180 the Store changes its presentation on a rotating basis similar to an art gallery, offering the customer an ever-changing, shopping experience.

Buy Chimala at Halo

Mens Chimala
Chimala is an artisanal clothing company specializing in small-batch, high-quality clothing including highly sought after denim. Founded in Japan by Noriko Machida, the line draws inspiration from the 50s - 70s fashion including workwear, men’s military apparel and vintage sportswear. The unisex st…

Junya Watanabe Man

Watanabe's designs are for those who want to wear something unique that doesn't necessarily shout "I'm different" quite as loudly as Kapital.

He mixes and matches fabrics together in a way all his own, using classic pieces from brands such as North Face, Levi's, and New Balance to act as the canvases for his creativity.

Oftentimes the results are jackets that look and act extremely technical, or intricately-patched denim that feel like the ulimate examples of reconstructed vintage.

Favorite Junya Watanabe Pieces: Patchwork Levi's


Buy Junya Watanabe Man at Haven

JUNYA WATANABE MAN | HAVEN
Former protégé of COMME des GARÇONS designer Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe has forged a name for himself with his MAN collection. Extremely adept at mixing fabrics and materials, Watanabe’s MAN collection is both contemporary and timeless. Watanabe’s strength lies in taking standard pieces and reinve…

Buy Junya Watanabe Man at Haven

Sacai

Photo by Nelson Ndongala / Unsplash

Sacai is a wonderful brand headed by Japanese designer Chitose Abe, who makes incredible "hybridized" pieces that truly stand out from the crowd.

Sacai has recently gained a massive amount of well-deserved attention due to footwear collaborations with Nike.

Abe's military-infused sweatshirts and denim jackets are the kind of staples that will make heads turn, whether you are Lebron James walking from Range Rover to game or you are you walking from your bike to the coffee shop.

Favorite Sacai Pieces: M1-A1 Sweatshirts and Denim Jackets


Buy Sacai online at Feature

SACAI – Feature
Founded by Chitose Abe in 1999, Sacai has established itself as a high-end menswear and womenswear label based in Tokyo, Japan. Abe is known for being the prodigy of iconic designers, Junya Watanabe and Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo. Since its inception, Sacai has established itself as an interna…

Buy Sacai online from Dover Street Market New York

sacai — sacai Men’s
Concept and Direction by Rei KAWAKUBO -

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