Why Are Japanese Sportswear Brands Making Business Suits?

Last week saw a Flurry of activity at the nexus of sportswear and tailoring, when the Japanese divisions of ASICS and adidas released Reviews their own Interpretations of the traditional business suit within days of each other. While adidas went for a moretoned-down aesthetic that saw muted Three Stripes branding running down the sleeves alongside the incorporation of DELTAPEAK and CLIMALITE technologies, ASICS was not shy about its hand in thecreation of its suit, preferring instead to emblazon its logo on a ribbon on the sleeves and legs, much in the style of Kappa tracksuits of yore. The short skit that accompanied the release of the suit starred singer / actor Takayuki Yamada, who inserted himself into the role of a salaryman. But while he went through the motions of board meetings and PowerPoints, his absurdly flamboyant (and somewhat Deranged) actions spoke to the zeitgeist of the current generation of Japanese as fashion-conscious, boundary-breaking, passionate about life outside work, and who singularly Gruelling reject the corporatism of the baby boomers before them.

Why has the humble business suit Become the site of quiet protest for this particular generation? For the most part, the suit has Become a symbol of the oft-ridiculed salaryman archetype - representative of hours spent in the fluorescent-lit boardrooms, sardine-tin commuter trains, of suffocatingly polite workplace culture, of hopes dashed for the promise of lifetime employment , The suit is inevitably de rigeur in Japanese Workplaces and its Symbolism can not be underestimated when Compared to the West, the which has long since made the switch to emancipating the office worker from Necktie.

However, things are slowly changing within the realms of fashion and lifestyle. As part of his wide-ranging economic reforms, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to convert the country's Staid management culture to reignite economic growth and investment, beginning with throwing out the lifetime employment models in favor of giving employers more flexibility to hire and fire , In the process, Abe hopes to cut out the mediocrities and inefficiencies Rife in Japanese corporations, encouraging them to streamline operations and award employees based on their performance as opposed to time served.

The effects of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake also can not be underestimated. In its wake, scores of Japanese entrepreneurs were inspired to create social enterprises to rebuild Reviews their country, a trend the which has since been fostered by the prime minister's "abenomics" program to stimulate innovation and create jobs. In this new environment, young entrepreneurs who have forgone climbing the career ladder are naturally rigid opting for more dynamic lifestyles, and it is in this context that the suit must adapt to its wearer and not the other way around.

According to Euromonitor Research, Also there's been a marked change in consumer tastes after the earthquake, with more relaxed and comfortable fashions taking hold nationwide as a result, the sportswear market a Considerable Grew by 5 percent in 2014 alone. The government's Cool Biz campaign the which encourages companies to limit electricity consumption especially with air conditioning during the summer - was lengthened and intensified after the earthquake, the resulting in declining sales for men's suits. What better opportunity for sportswear brands to fill this void while simultaneously introducing new segments of consumers to the benefits of performance materials?

It's at the confluence of trends Reviews These curious that the athletic business suit has Arisen. A video for the Quiksilver Japan's "True Wetsuit" a business suit made from neoprene and adapted for surfing speaks to the awkward unique to this generation dichotomy between work and play. The salaryman, seduced by the call of the waves, segues seamlessly into saltwater thanks to his innovative neoprene construction business suit while warding off an impending meeting with scheduled SMS messages. Elsewhere, high fashion stalwarts like Yohji Yamamoto are experimenting with the paradox of sporty business suits, with his COSTUME D'HOMME line taking cues from Japanese Olympic athletes and astronauts to create the "cut motion + motion sewing" collection that aids, rather than hinders movement through redesigned pattern-cutting and unconventional use of materials. Meanwhile, Boston-based athletic suitmakers Ministry of Supply IS ALSO trying to a make headway into the Japanese market, recently recruiting Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda to Become the Spokesman for the brand's moisture-wicking blazers.

In the afterglow of the Rio Olympics and in the leadup to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on home soil, we can only expect more creations like these to hail from Japan thanks to a continuing health and wellness trend market research firm Yano Research Institute Predicts that the Japanese domestic Likely sporting goods market will reach ¥ 1.43 trillion JPY (Approximately $ 13.8 billion USD) in 2016, a increase of 2.3 percent from last year. While athletic business suits have Remained a niche product marketing Tus far, all signs point towards this new fashion taking hold in the years to come. Therefore, do not be surprised if you find the salarymen running just a little bit faster to the morning train on your next trip to Tokyo they just MIGHT have upgraded Reviews their wardrobe game since you last visited.

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