The Japanese Menswear Brands You Need To Know

From avant-garde to streetwear, Japanese menswear is leading the way.
Sam Brady

Regarding fashion, Japan has always been at the forefront of creativity and innovation. Over the years, the country has given us some of the industry's most iconic and highly-regarded brands. From traditional and luxurious to avant-garde and streetwear, Japanese menswear has something for everyone. Here's a look at the top Japanese menswear brands to have on your radar.

The Rich History of Japanese Menswear

Japanese menswear has a long and rich history rooted in the country's cultural heritage. For centuries, traditional garments such as the kimono and hakama were worn by men in Japan. These sophisticated pieces were crafted with intricate detailing and made from high-quality materials. They symbolised elegance, refinement, and a deep respect for tradition.

The kimono, in particular, was originally worn by both men and women but evolved over time to become a symbol of masculinity. Made from silk or cotton, kimonos were often decorated with exquisite patterns and designs that reflected the wearer's social status. Samurai warriors, for example, would wear kimonos with bold geometric patterns to show their strength and power.

The Influence of Traditional Japanese Clothing

Traditional Japanese clothing has had a lasting impact on modern fashion, particularly in menswear. Brands like Visvim and Yohji Yamamoto have incorporated traditional techniques and materials into their collections, creating a unique blend of old and new. The use of natural dyes, hand-woven fabrics, and intricate embroidery all pay homage to Japan's cultural legacy.

Visvim, was founded by Hiroki Nakamura in 2000. The brand's collections often feature traditional Japanese fabrics, such as indigo-dyed denim and hand-woven textiles. While on the other hand, Yohji Yamamoto is famous for his avant-garde designs that blend traditional Japanese aesthetics with contemporary fashion. The result is collections that include oversized silhouettes, asymmetrical cuts, and a monochromatic colour palette.

The Emergence of Japanese Streetwear

Japanese streetwear emerged in the 1990s and quickly gained popularity around the world. Brands like A Bathing Ape (BAPE) and Neighborhood were at the forefront of this movement, offering edgy, bold designs that reflected the rebellious spirit of the times. Today, Japanese streetwear continues to evolve and inspire, with WTAPS and Undercover leading the way.

WTAPS, founded by Tetsu Nishiyama in 1996, is known for its military-inspired designs and use of utilitarian fabrics. Undercover, founded by Jun Takahashi in 1994, is famous for its punk-inspired designs with bold graphics and slogans. Both brands have gained a cult following among fashion enthusiasts and streetwear fans.

The Fusion of Western and Japanese Styles

Many Japanese menswear brands have successfully blended traditional Japanese aesthetics with Western influences. Comme des Garçons and Issey Miyake are perfect examples, offering collections combining avant-garde designs with classic tailoring. Junya Watanabe, a protégé of Commes des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo, creates innovative, cutting-edge pieces that merge the two styles.

Comme des Garçons, founded by Rei Kawakubo in 1969, is known for its unconventional designs and use of deconstructed silhouettes. Issey Miyake, founded by the eponymous designer in 1970, is famous for his innovative use of pleats and geometric shapes. Junya Watanabe, who has been designing for Comme des Garçons since 1992, is known for his avant-garde designs that often feature unexpected materials and textures.

Japanese menswear is a testament to the country's rich cultural heritage and innovative spirit. From traditional garments like the kimono to cutting-edge designs from brands like Comme des Garçons and WTAPS, Japanese menswear continues to inspire and influence fashion worldwide.

Top 5 Luxury Japanese Menswear Brands

Japan has long been known for its innovative and cutting-edge fashion, and its menswear brands are no exception. Here are five of the top luxury Japanese menswear brands that are making waves in the fashion world:


Founded by designer Hiroki Nakamura, Visvim is a luxury menswear brand focusing on high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Traditional Japanese garments inspire the brand's collections but feature modern twists and luxurious details.

Visvim's pieces are built to last and are highly sought after by fashion enthusiasts worldwide. The brand's jackets, for example, are made from premium materials like GORE-TEX and feature intricate detailing like hand-stitched seams and custom hardware. Visvim's leather boots are also highly coveted, with their rugged construction and unique design details.

Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto is an iconic designer known for his avant-garde and innovative designs. His menswear line is no exception, offering bold and daring pieces that challenge conventional menswear ideas.

Yamamoto's collections often feature oversized silhouettes, asymmetrical cuts, and unexpected pairings of fabrics and textures. The designer is known for his use of black and other dark colours, which give his pieces a sleek and sophisticated look. Yamamoto's designs are perfect for the fashion-forward man who isn't afraid to take risks.

Comme des Garçons

Founded in 1969 by Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons is a fashion house known for its sometimes unconventional approach to fashion. The brand's menswear collections offer a mix of classic tailoring and experimental cuts and silhouettes.

Comme des Garçons always tries to include a mix of bold colours, unusual fabrics, and unexpected design elements. The brand's signature heart logo has become an iconic symbol of modern Japanese fashion, appearing on everything from t-shirts to sneakers. Comme des Garçons is perfect for the man who wants to make a statement with his clothing.

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake is a renowned designer known for his innovative use of materials and techniques. His menswear collections notably have bold prints, geometric shapes, and unusual fabrics.

Miyake's designs blur the boundaries between art and fashion, resulting in wearable and visually stunning pieces. For example, the designer's use of pleating techniques has become a signature element of his work. Miyake's designs are perfect for a man who isn't afraid to stand out.

Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe is a designer who began his career at Comme des Garçons before launching his own label. His menswear collections combine innovative fabrics, intricate detailing, and unexpected cuts and shapes.

Watanabe's designs perfectly mix traditional Japanese aesthetics and modern Western influences. The designer is known for his use of denim, which he often combines with other fabrics like leather and wool. His designs are perfect for the man who wants to add a touch of edginess to his wardrobe.

Best Japanese Streetwear Brands

A Bathing Ape (BAPE)

A Bathing Ape, or BAPE for short, is a streetwear brand that has gained cult status in fashion circles worldwide. Known for its bold designs and signature camo prints, the brand's collections are a mix of edgy and playful. BAPE has collaborated with a number of high-profile brands and celebrities, cementing its status as a streetwear icon.


Neighborhood is a streetwear brand inspired by biker culture, military style, and Japanese aesthetics. The brand's collections feature rugged denim, heavy leather jackets, and bold graphics. Neighborhood is known for its attention to detail and emphasis on quality materials.


WTAPS is a streetwear brand that combines military-inspired designs with Japanese street style. The brand's collections will typically feature utilitarian fabrics and graphics paired with bold accessories like combat boots and backpacks. WTAPS has a strong following among fashion enthusiasts and urban trendsetters.


Undercover is a streetwear brand combining punk and Japanese aesthetics to create edgy and daring designs. The brand's collections nearly always have dark graphics, prints, and unexpected cuts and shapes. Undercover has launched and collaborated with a number of high-profile brands and designers, solidifying its place in the world of streetwear.

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