There are those who associate the words ‘Japanese Fashion’ with a Kimono. There are those who would associate the words with Issey Miyake or Yohji Yamamoto, the two well known Japanese fashion designers, and there are those who would come up with the Harajuku Girls phenomena. All associations are true and valid
The Japanese women might be the only ones for whom the world’s most prestigious fashion designers have opened stores in Japan and designed special collections to fit their slim figures and their exquisite taste in Fashion. In the last decade, the number of working women in the age group of 35-45 is only growing stronger, due to the increase in employment opportunities for women and the changes in gender perception. These women are working longer hours, earn more and they want to promote and develop not only their career, but also themselves. They worship everything that has to do with luxury brands and their quality, and they invest a lot of effort, time and money in their appearance. A so-called consumer society.
One of the most influential Fashion companies in Japan, which has a great impact on how the Japanese woman will look, is H.P France. Don’t let the French name fool you; The company was originated in Japan and is now one of the major corporations that imports clothing, shoes, jewelry and fashion accessories of designers from Europe, North and Latin America as well as representing some local Japanese designers.
A brief History: The company was founded in Tokyo in 1984 and opened its first boutique, Lamp in Harajuku. Lamp was a combination of a clothing store and a gallery, showing Art works of young Japanese artists. (This combination was actually the beginning of a concept that combines Art and Fashion together and supports Art projects in various galleries. including the Art gallery in New York and Tokyo under the name HPgrp Gallery). In 1989 the company started working with buyers and fashion designers in France and right after opened an office in Paris, dealing mainly with importing clothes by young designers from France to Japan. A few years later, the company expanded its areas of operations to sell fashion accessories and jewelry and was able to create a buzz among Japanese women.
In 2001 a representative office was opened in New York and the company opened a special department of imported jeans. Among other things, the company began to import brands and young designers clothing from Argentina and Brazil and opened a public relations department to manage its own marketing, which focuses on marketing planning, graphic design, store and window design and maintenance of the company’s Web sites.
H.P France is currently employing approximately 600 employees and represents approximately 40 brands from around the world. It has 54 clothing stores only in Tokyo and additional 34 stores in other areas of Japan, Paris and New York
In addition, H.P. France is responsible for the establishment of a professional guide for manufacturers of fashion and exhibition. It is a great supporter of the Arts and has two galleries (New York and Tokyo) and for the last two years has launched and stood behind Shibuya Fashion Festival, which is the equivalent of Fashion Week in New York, Paris and Milan.
There is a big chance that in one of your subsequent visits to Tokyo, you will come across at least once, one of the 54 stores of H.P France, which are spectacular and inviting. Each boutique has its own unique identity and design. Only the words H.P France below the logo of the store, divulge the origin of the store. Beside the clothing, H.P France has a very popular line of accessories and accessories stores spread across the city. There is also a designated store for the Home, called H.P. Deco, which includes furniture, table ware, pillows, lamps, rugs, you name it.
Fashion Trends: While I was having a guided tour at the company’s headquarters and showroom in Harajuku, where I was walking among countless clothing racks, hangers, and shoes, it felt as discovering a magical treasure of the upcoming Spring-Summer collection, and I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the upcoming Fashion trends: There is no doubt. It is going to be a quite colorful season or as described by one of the staff, ‘there will be many surprises in terms of combinations of colors, and it will not be boring, for sure’
Bold Pastels: There will be a great use of pink, yellow and turquoise blue colors, as well as lilac purple, mandarine orange, light peach and mint green.
Romantic- Modern style: A combination of classic elements such as floral lace, floral prints, fabrics with rounded trims with waves and geometric patterns together. The trend is to wear only one item or one print of bright color or floral print to create maximum performance.
Retro prints: Such as large flowers, geometric shapes, bright colors and airy patterns. Relaxed and fit
Pleats and pleated fabrics: Mostly skirts and dresses and the use of airy fabrics like chiffon or silk
High Waist: Pants or skirts will be waist high or above the waist, causing the small Japanese women to look taller
Gloss and shiny: A combination of one shiny color item to upgrade and complete the look
It is definitely going to be an interesting Spring and Summer season in Tokyo and I can’t wait to take more pictures.