At the heart of Kansai is Osaka, one of the largest cities in Japan only surpassed by Tokyo. My trip here wasn’t about finding any historical or cultural attractions, but instead to find one of the greatest impacts that Japan has on the world: fashion. When most people think of trendy cities London and Paris are the first to come to most minds, but where do these fashion forward cities look for their inspiration, Japan. Due to time constrictions I wasn’t able to make it to Tokyo; the fashion mecca of the world, but instead I was able to go to Osaka and find view something that I’ve waited a life time to see, Tokyo Street Fashion.
In the late nineties a new form of fashion started to appear in the Harajuku district of Tokyo. Teens began to rebel against the norms of society that was placed upon them; there method of speaking out was through their clothing. This imaginative style combines designer brands such as Louie Vuitton, with local brands like Milk and Super Lovers, with handmade items. Although Tokyo is still the main hub of Street Fashion, Osaka is the second best place to view this fashion.
I headed off to Amerkia-Maura (American Village), where I was told by some locals the best shopping was to be found. Although it is meant to be a place where kids can live out the "American myth" there is nothing American about this place. Everywhere I looked trendy shops sold the most unusual, but very Street Fashion looking clothing. If you plan on shopping here an unlimited budget is the best. One girl tried to sell me a hoodie for $900.
Although there were many people in just jeans and T-shirts I did spot several teens clothed in Lolita style clothing (very doll like), and others in a mishmash of clothing that in any other place would have looked like someone had just fallen out of their closet but somehow here it made sense.
Tokyo Street Fashion has a rich history that is often ignored by the average traveler, but this unique blend of fashion captures the Japanese spirit in every sense. It shows an undeniable sense of independence and an "I’ll do it my way" attitude mixed with influences of the past, but modernized to reflect the progressive spirit of today. It leaves the viewer to walk away with the sense that they just saw something uniquely Japanese. This isn’t Gwen Stefani’s version of Harajuku.