The Best Japanese Brands With The Worst Names.


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.

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Founded: 2011

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.



Founded: 2003

Weirdness of Name: Low, yet a little too mythological for comfort.

Availability: Haven and Blue Button Shop

Style: Dip-dyed bike commuter in Thom Browne proportions.

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Founded: 1994

Weirdness of Name: Medium by brand standards. High by religious standards.

Availability: The Bureau and Blue Owl

Style: Off season Montauk tourist meets 1960’s Berkeley undergrad.


Tigre Brocante

Founded: 1998

Weirdness of Name: Off the charts.

Availability: Blue Button

Style: Boatnecked barista who obsesses over vintage French workwear.



Founded: 2004

Weirdness of Name: Low and Loamy. And yes, they actually don’t have a website.

Availability: Inventory

Style: Suburban gardener on an afternoon beer break.


Cav Empt

Founded: 2011

Weirdness of Name: High and hard to explain

Availability: Bodega, Haven, RSVP and Oki-Ni

Style: Neo in the #Menswear matrix

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Black Weirdos

Founded: 2013

Weirdness of Name: Well beyond comprehension

Availability: Nowhere in America yet

Style: Twin Peaks reruns on LSD


Comments on “The Best Japanese Brands With The Worst Names.

    Dirk on November 18, 2014 2:10 PM:

    How could you miss “Pearly Gates,” a manufacturer of fashionable golfwear?

    Ola on November 18, 2014 2:24 PM:

    Best post in a while! Funny and insightful. This should be a recurring theme.

    Zhurui on November 18, 2014 2:37 PM:

    My favorite label name was a womens line/label at Uniqlo called PLUMPYNUTS. I also seen a girls clothing line named GILFY, kind a makes me think of milfy…

    Mr Brown on November 18, 2014 3:40 PM:

    Renowned for their tight shrubs and tidy perennials it’s no surprise the boys at Oi Polloi are stocking Sassafras…

    Murray on November 18, 2014 4:26 PM:

    ..and don’t forget “Mr. Gentleman”
    the amazing Aoyama-based “if-Wes Anderson-made-menswear” brand

    Amrita on November 18, 2014 6:17 PM:

    Cav Empt…maybe a shortened version of Caveat Emptor?

    CWW on November 18, 2014 6:31 PM:

    None of these names are any weirder than any US or European brand names.

    Ian on November 18, 2014 7:47 PM:

    Cav Empt is probably short for Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware

    Jordy on November 18, 2014 10:07 PM:

    I’ve recently seen the omnigod oxford shirting at Blue Owl — amazing quality.

    Steve on November 19, 2014 2:33 PM:

    Ha! Hilarious! I’ve always wondered if it’s all intentional or a bit “lost in translation”

    Bebe on November 19, 2014 6:57 PM:

    Great to see again some interesting labels from Japan. I have to say,though, most of these company names make perfect sense in Japanese. Some are intentionally hilarious: try walking around Harajuku in Tokyo to “get it.” One example from your list: Black Weirdos. Since ACL is an American blog, I’m sure this name was immediately branded as shockingly racist. Black Weirdos comes very close to “buraku uidosu” (the “su” is elided as an “s” and the “ui” is sounds a bit like the “sooey” pig call), which is how Japanese pronounce the English “black widows.” The names often have layered meanings.

    I picked up a Black Weirdos sweater last year in Tokyo. Some quirk is good now and then: I liked the yin-yang symbol. And it’s also good for Americans to remember the world doesn’t revolve around them.

    zyxwvutsr on November 20, 2014 8:01 PM:

    I’m wearing an Omnigod codpiece right now. Size XL, but it’s still really tight.

    Highly recommended!

    Eh on November 23, 2014 4:03 PM:

    As has been stated by other commenters, these names aren’t weirder than any other clothing company around the world.

    It was probably not done intentionally, but you really ought to check with his editor about stereotyping non-American (and in this case, things that are Japanese) products as “weird” or “other.” It’s an off-putting and antiquated attitude towards other cultures.

    Furthermore, how does it follow from your assessment of their names as “terrible” and weird, that Americans don’t know their names? Did you ever think that maybe Americans are just ignorant about Japanese culture in general? I doubt Japanese people, even those interested in male fashion, know obscure American brands.

    At best this article was illogical, at worst, reeks of American supremacy.

    Carlos on November 25, 2014 11:46 PM:

    Eh, unless I’m mistaken, the names weren’t translated into English, they were chosen in English. At best your rebuttal reeks of silliness.

    Ninja Weapons on December 7, 2014 10:30 AM:

    The Japanese manufacturing quality seems to be split depending on the industry. Cars, swords, and electronics are perceived to be high quality while toys and clothing are unfortunately labeled lower quality due to the perception that Japan being an Asian culture may produce products as poor quality as China.

    Mr Brown on December 8, 2014 5:53 AM:

    Mr Weapons… catch up sunshine; have you been in clink or something for the last 35 years or so?

Comments are closed.