Around last October a group of 14 Japanese fashion brands opened or shop in Singapore in the name of “Harajuku street style” aiming to spread the influence of Harajuku to Asian youngsters.
But actually there is nothing special or new with the Harajuku, but the street fashion of teenagers shows, that the change of old fashion turned to be a new form of industry, starting with fast fashion until Haute Couture. It sounds strange, that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) supports these mentioned projects. The question is, what influenced the well-known METI, which formerly only gave importance to automotive industry, electronic parts and machines for more than 10 years, to change his mind and to show interest to odd teenager fashion on Tokyo’s streets? Do they believe that this sector will change and recover Japanese’s image and economy? The answer is obvious, Japan’s main products and industry struggles on the international market competing with China and Korea.
Also the tsunami crisis forced Japan to stand up and do something to create a new policy to stimulate the economy by fashion, music and anime called. “The cool Japan promotion strategy program” was established in METI with the goal to export innovative products with a total value of at least 140 billion US-Dollars until 2020. This campaign is also a part of the meetings of The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Tokyo.
The oddness of Harajuku and the meeting activities of IMF are quite exciting. But let’s look back at the happenings that METI has to face. It may be not a big difference to the worldwide capitalistic industry system, which is currently cornered. Why then would fashion, music and art have no choice to be marvelous and free anymore and gasp for air in production industry?
Just try to listen to the strange accents, which once has been annoying and awful. Now they turned to be awesome and cool. Anti-social Hip-Hop rapping, spitting and graffiti spraying become now fresh new thoughts to open mind and get used to strangeness. A new popular way of life in a new generation is born.
The fashion culture of Harajuku expresses clearly the pain by strikes of social rejection and reoccurring pressure by the industrial world. This influences the beauty and greatness of the fashion significant.