|By MYNIPPON Team
(with contribution from Kurt Hahn of Pacific Edge)
Continued from previous page:
the fashion forerunners of the generation, today, the majority of Dankai
Generation have only a marginal appreciation of fashion brands
particularly compared to their counterparts in Europe and the US.
Accordingly, there are effectively no representative brands in Japan that
specifically target this segment today.
DC (Designer & Character) Generation: 40-50 years
the success of world-class Japanese designers, the late 70s and early 80s
saw the emergence of the DC Generation and the birth of the modern fashion
industry in Japan. A host of Japanese fashion companies (called DC
brands), taking styling cues from Europe, brought fashion to the masses.
This period saw the emergence of fashion buildings (e.g. Marui,
Parco, etc.) and free-standing single-brand boutiques. The trend-setting
youth of this period have a keen sense of fashion even today.
While many western women have opted for a more casual look,
Japanese women in this age group still tend to choose a more formal
Hanako Generation: 35-40 years
the 1980s, the Hanako Generation (particularly single women in their 20s)
benefiting from the strong Yen began to travel en masse to Europe
to purchase fashion brands. (Hanako is the name of a popular fashion
magazine which catered to these international shoppers). The bubble
economy allowed these women to take long, expensive vacations in Europe
it is reported that some employees got bonus equivalent to 6-months
salary. It was during those
years that Japanese women started to use only branded products and over a
period of time, it became an inherent part of Japanese society.
Concurrently, many European luxury brands entered Japan to better
reach these customers. Despite
the economic downturn in Japan, almost all major European and American
luxury fashion houses derive a major portion of their revenue from
Japanese consumers (interestingly almost all these companies have
operations in Japan but they also cater to Japanese consumers who travel
overseas especially to Hong Kong and Singapore by providing
Japanese or Japanese-speaking sales assistants and lower prices).
Cesar de la Parra)
than their predecessors, the Hanako Generation today (and those which
followed) have tastes with a bias for European luxury brands and similar
upscale Japanese brands that feature (imitate) European styling cues and
high-quality fabrics and craftsmanship/tailoring.
Junior Generation: 25-35 years
the 1990s, the children of the Dankai Generation and DC Generation entered
adulthood having inherited a strong fashion sense from their parents. At
one extreme, the Dankai Junior (second generation baby boomers) include
the Chanel-ers and other fanatics who covet European brands,
particularly handbags and accessories.
Dankai Junior represent the first generation of consumers in Japan who
share the same perception of clothing as fashion, in a general sense, with
their parents. As seen over the past decade, brands that target the Dankai
Junior segment benefit from cross-over purchases by their parents
particularly in basic fashions (both men and women). The extent of this
cross-over buying may be more significant than in the US and Europe.
the successful entrance of The Gap into Japan from 1995 introduced this
generation to the notion of American casual fashion and, in a broader
sense, the potential of family brands and integrated supply chain business
models, which many Japanese fashion companies today try to emulate. Comme
ça du Mode (Five Foxes) is the most successful Japanese brand in this
is still early to predict how far the casual style will go in Japan
considering the fact that Japan is such an uptight, formal society (it is
not uncommon to see men in
formal business suits during the weekend).
Some Japanese companies have declared Fridays as casual days and a
lot of men had to restock their wardrobes.
But again, while American companies have to continuously issue new
guidelines on what is not acceptable (summer dresses with spaghetti straps
worn braless were banned recently in several companies, Japanese
workers are simply taking their ties off or leaving behind their jackets
Recommended links: The
Japanese print club or purikura generation
for work at home moms
What is the future of Japan
Transition of Japanese society and business
Changes in Japanese companies