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"Mу interest in fashion stems from the way people express themselves through the clothes they wear. It doesn't matter what kind of clothes individual designers make. What is important are one's thoughts and the ability to express them, one's life and its relationship to the environment. When such elements are combined they create a sculpture. This sculpture I call street fashion.
Western clothing has only been around as a mainstream fashion in Japan for about fifty years and for a long time was considered very conservative. The average Japanese person's perception of their own traditional kimono culture was of an avant-garde and unconventional medium - adventurous bright and colorful. Therefore the introduction of Western fashion and modes of dressing (e.g. the suit) seemed, by contrast, drab and limiting.
In the 1980s attitudes changed. Japanese fashion and culture became recognized internationally for the first time, led initially by Rei Kawakubo and the Japanese fashion house Comme des Garcons. To begin with the Japanese public's acceptance of designer fashion was mostly passive. They were happy to accept the designer's view of the world and buy fashions off the peg, or faithfully recreate the designs they could see in shop windows. By 1996 this submissive acceptance of designer style was undermined, especially among a group of teenagers who regularly hung out in the Harajuku district of Tokyo. They viewed fashion as a direct means of expressing themselves and transformed their everyday attire into a fashion statement or personalized artwork."

Shoichi Aoki