New gift selection, new city. After Los Angeles, Tokyo with Wut Berlin. The store, created by Yann in 2005 in Omotesando, showcases avant-garde designers from Europe and Asia. Wut is constant exploration of new territories regardless of what the commercial diktats are. Before discovering this new selection, read Yann’s interview about menswear in Japan.
Tell us more about your story: why did you move from Paris to Tokyo and how did you end up opening your own store?
I moved to Tokyo when I was 24 because I was excited to live in a country where people are “wearing” Fashion.
In Paris, there is a lot of big houses “making” fashion, but who is wearing it on the street (except their collaborations with H&M)?
So, I started to work in Osaka as a Fashion Design teacher for 2 years. Then, I entered a retail Japanese company called H.P. FRANCE who liked my ideas and produced my store.
Do you think being European influences your clients and makes you more relevant in a city like Tokyo where international brands are everywhere?
Well, definitely, my way of thinking is European and I often hear the comment that there is no other store like mine in Tokyo. Japanese customers feel like they are entering a shop in another country, not in Japan.
Is menswear really different in Japan compared to Europe? It seems sometimes more extreme?
Well, I don’t know which one is extreme… For me, European menswear is extremely boring!
Menswear is different for many reasons: Japanese men’s fashion is much more “androgynous” due to the skinny shape of their body. The separation between men’s and women’s fashion is less “official” than in Europe. It’s not surprising to find a young Japanese boy buying his clothes in a ladies shop, just because the shape of his body can permit it.
How do you see menswear evolving within the next 5 years?
Absolutely No Idea! Menswear is changing very fast from the designers point of view, but on the street, it is more or less just the same! At the moment, young Japanese boys are totally into basic and casual fashion, which sounds like a big step back in time. I think it is partly due to the economic recession and the recent tragic events in Japan. It is not time for “sparkling”. But, it always changes, so I’m not very worried..
This selection, mix of womenswear and menswear, reflects the androgynous japanese silhouette.