As has been discussed time and time again (and again, and again, and again, and again, and again) on this site, there are some big things happening in Japan right now. Yes, we all know that Japanese designers take inspiration from America, but the fact of the matter is, we really can’t compete with the level of excitement (and honestly the amount of money) that is fueling Japan’s budding menswear community at this moment. Some brands, such as Haversack, Nanamica, Journal Standard, and N. Hoolywood have made an international impact, but many companies, especially those that are only a few collections in, remain virtually unknown here in America.
A large part of this has to do with the tendency of Japanese designers to pick really terrible brand names. No offense to Rulezpeepz or Foot the Coacher, but Japanese brands really do have an uncanny knack for unfortunate monikers. Despite their head scratching names these brands are still creating some incredible pieces, and in many ways are guiding what men are wearing, not just in Japan, but around the world. Therefore we decided to lean into the confusion and bring you the best young Japanese brands, with the worst names.
Weirdness of Name: Low, yet annoyingly difficult to search for online.
Availability: Their site lists zero American stockists, although one pair of shorts is currently up on Toronto’s Blue Button Shop
Style: Prohibition era prisoner meets down on his luck Gold-rush prospector.
Weirdness of Name: Low, yet a little too mythological for comfort.
Style: Dip-dyed bike commuter in Thom Browne proportions.
Weirdness of Name: Medium by brand standards. High by religious standards.
Style: Off season Montauk tourist meets 1960’s Berkeley undergrad.
Weirdness of Name: Off the charts.
Availability: Blue Button
Style: Boatnecked barista who obsesses over vintage French workwear.
Weirdness of Name: Low and Loamy. And yes, they actually don’t have a website.
Style: Suburban gardener on an afternoon beer break.
Weirdness of Name: High and hard to explain
Style: Neo in the #Menswear matrix
Weirdness of Name: Well beyond comprehension
Availability: Nowhere in America yet
Style: Twin Peaks reruns on LSD