Often what takes place in major Japanese retailers is an indication of where things are changing and how U.S. retailers may need to react in the future. With the expansion and revamp now of the popular Shibuya-2 store for young men”, two whole new floors have been revamped to offer up high-end street fashion styles for the growing marketplace of rock-inspired men’s styles. Leather jackets tattoo-art-inspired T-shirt graphics belts, fedoras, heavy jewelry and rings, among other items are now available in stores such as Buffalo Bob’s or Kingdom for guys looking for a unique shopping experience.

What’s interesting is that while Shibuya 109 is well known as a shopping haven for young women, the growing market of men looking for street styles has even eclipsed one whole floor that used to be dedicated to women’s cosmetics, indicating the changing tide of fashion for men in Japan.

Noting this expansion is important in many ways because new concepts in shopping and retail globally often start in Japan”, including the advent of pop-up retail, the popularity of fast-fashion “no-brand” stores such as Uniqlo, artist T-shirt boutiques such as Beams, vintage on the backstreets of Shinjuku and now “genderless” boutiques featuring apparel that can cross boundaries, among other concepts.

As we reported last month in “Tokyo’s Top Retailers Harajuku La Foret Shibuya 109 Get Overhauled with New Online Avatar Features, Additional Boutiques -Label Networks’ Japan Data Reveals Favorite Retail among Youth Culture Where Changes Could Capture Marketshare,” and again in “Japan’s Retail Warrior Uniqlo Steps-up Its Digital Shopping Integration on Its Way to Becoming “The New Gap but Different” -Label Networks Profile, Data on the Store/Retailer Quantifies How Success Came to Be” such overhauls and new campaigns indicate that markets are changing and the concept of shopping and retail in general, is under dynamic market shifts.

Which brings us to Label Networks’ Japan Youth Culture Study and favorite retail stores among 15-30-year-old guys. Last Fall”, based on a representative sampling of 15-30-year-olds in Japan when asked “Which store do you like to shop in the most?” males named stores such as Diesel, Last Bandit, and United Arrows among favorite locations to shop. Perhaps taking a lead from these locations, Shibuya 109-2 has stepped up its features, including the stores themselves with cool lighting, music videos, and workers that are styled to reflect the growing marketplace of music-inspired streetwear fashion including hair which we call rocker or indie inspired and they call “wolf hair.” Vests, assorted denim, button-downs, buffalo plaids, hoodies, and pointed shoes are also featured items within the Onii-kei movement (meaning Big Brother). Interestingly, the call-out to fashion within this genre has many crossovers with Visual Kei Bands and their increasing popularity around the world -not only for their music, but just as importantly for their fashion sensibility.

It can be said that with this revamp of Shibuya 109-2, the competition will be tighter for stores that originally captured the upper street fashion style. And if this is any indication, as it often is, you can expect more retailers in the U.S. to cater to the new generation of young male shoppers with street fashion brands, styles, and store themes that reflect this growing genre.

For more information about Label Networks’ Japan Youth Culture Study, Japan Fashion Reports, including Harajuku Girls, contact info@labelnetworks.com; (323) 630-4000 about the Premium Global Youth Culture Subscription.

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