How Japan Saved American Style
Basic Books, 9780465059737, 296pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Look closely at any typically "American" article of clothing these days, and you may be surprised to see a Japanese label inside. From high-end denim to oxford button-downs, Japanese designers have taken the classic American look-known as ametora, or "American traditional"-and turned it into a huge business for companies like Uniqlo, Kamakura Shirts, Evisu, and Kapital. This phenomenon is part of a long dialogue between Japanese and American fashion; in fact, many of the basic items and traditions of the modern American wardrobe are alive and well today thanks to the stewardship of Japanese consumers and fashion cognoscenti, who ritualized and preserved these American styles during periods when they were out of vogue in their native land. In Ametora, cultural historian W. David Marx traces the Japanese assimilation of American fashion over the past hundred and fifty years, showing how Japanese trendsetters and entrepreneurs mimicked, adapted, imported, and ultimately perfected American style, dramatically reshaping not only Japan's culture but also our own in the process.
About the Author
W. David Marx is a writer on Japanese fashion, music, and culture. A former editor of the Tokyo-New York street culture magazine Tokion, his articles have appeared in GQ, Harper's, The Fader, and Nylon. He holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard in East Asian Studies and a master's degree in business and commerce from Keio University. He lives in Tokyo.