Some of the most exciting menswear in the world is being produced in Japan—and if you happen to be in Japan, that’s great news. Because for the rest of us, securing these coveted pieces can sometimes still mean a level of international rigmarole that would make some State Department employees faint.
“Until now, you were paying a guy in Japan to go to the store and buy something for you and shipping it to the U.S.,” said Mr Porter senior buyer Daniel Todd, referring to the sometimes wonky proxy services that style-starved Americans have used to get their hands on the country’s well-styled and well-crafted products.
But things are changing. This week, Mr Porter released The Japan Edit, a 122-piece collection filled with pieces from brands that the retailer has offered to its customers in the past (like Beams Plus and Kapital), to ones it’s working with for the first time. Todd wore a zebra-striped camp collar shirt from Wacko Maria during our interview, for example, and pointed to a handful of minimal and attractive pieces from Auralee.
“This is a brand I see a lot of in Tokyo, and it doesn’t have huge international distribution,” he said, pointing to a lightweight trench coat ideal for the back-and-forth swing of spring temperatures some northern cities are experiencing. “They’re actually a fabric mill and then they’ve gone and developed a ready-to-wear line from that. And I feel like you know this kind of crosses a lot of our demographic.”
Prices range from $20 for a bandana from Blue Blue Japan to $2,840 for a leather jacket from Blackmeans, and while some of the pieces lean a little to the wild side (not every guy can pull off a pink tracksuit with glittering accents), all are singularly well-made.
“What I’m always blown away by in Japan is attention to detail. Whether that’s fashion or buildings or retail. You can go to a bookstore and it’s like, this is the most amazing bookstore in the world,” Todd said. “What I didn’t want was just everyone creating the same thing. I think this sort of shows the spirit of Japanese fashion.”