As the fashion industry continues to alter and define the definition of ‘individual’ style for the consumer, it seems designers at the Spring ’14 shows have begun to speak more freely to their audience, not just with bold color or pattern statements, but with words.
In the past, a ‘style statement’ has always been somewhat of an indirect thing – wearing certain clothing, colors or styles to express oneself or the use of understated clothing as source of expression. But as people supposedly become more text-oriented and connected through social media, designers have decided to take this as an opportunity to broadcast messages through their own social medium – fashion.
From political statements to trendy slang, a variety of direct statements were made at Spring ’14, including Kenzo’s “No fish, no nothing” comment on overfishing and Mark Mcnairy’s bold “POP” baseball-inspired shirt for men. Graphic tees and ‘message’ shirts have always been popular with younger people, but now the not-so-subtle ’word wear’ is finding its way into high-fashion and maturing as a style.
Photo: Richard Bord / Getty Images
After Japan’s economy was hit hard by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami tragedy, it seems Japanese consumers are finally getting back to a steady cycle of luxury retail purchases, not just dictated by necessity or frugality. With the country’s successful win of the 2020 Olympics bid, a positive energy and hopeful attitude has begun to motivate the people and troubled economy of the nation. However, a recent increase in sales tax due to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new economic legislation, Japan’s recovering economy may hit an unfortunate roadblock.
As the yen continues to drop in value and the worldwide currency exchange rate becomes harder to handle, both international and domestic retailers in Japan may find themselves raising their sales, significantly. Though the new sales tax is relatively low compared to that of western consumer economies, the possible raise in prices could cause “consumers [to] hesitate buying expensive bags and clothes,” said Miyako Sekimoto, fashion director at Matsuya department store. In order to compete with prices abroad and to continue to purchase goods from western economies abroad, retailers will need to raise prices to keep business in check. President of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd, Tadashi Yanai, remarks,
“the economy is starting to improve. However, since the consumption tax will be raised, it’s cautious.”
Though troubling, evidence in the past points to a relatively low change in sales with increasing sales tax. Japan’s sales tax was last increased from 3% to only 5% in 1997, resulting in a lower, but unsubstantial decrease in consumer sales. The implementation of a higher tax may even raise consumer spending on luxury goods during the period before the change, as consumers choose to ‘stock up’ on goods before the price increase.
Consumer confidence in Japan is now higher in 2013 than it was a year ago in 2012, with a 45.7 on the consumer confidence index determined by the Japanese Cabinet Office, in comparison to 2012′s 40.4. Employment has also increased, with a surprising 52.1 compared to that of last year’s 38.2.
Japan is also experiencing a slow, but steady rise in tourism, something that was nearly halted after the 2011 earthquake. 1 million tourists from abroad visited Japan in July, 18.4% higher than the same month of last year. With the majority of visitors coming from other areas of Asia, such as South Korea, Taiwan and China, tourists are engaging in luxury brand shopping in Japan’s premiere fashion districts such as Ginza, Harajuku and areas of Tokyo.
International designers and retail companies are hoping Japan’s next economic boost will come from the upcoming 2020 Olympics, which will be hosted in Japan.
It’s been a long 4 years waiting for Star Trek: Into Darkness, the second installment in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek saga. After the success of the 2009 film caused thousands of young people to deem themselves “J.J. Trekkies”, one would hope that the second feature film would be able to cater to both old and new ‘Trek’ fans alike. Though the film packs enough action into its 2-hour special effects show to keep any millennial glued to their seat, Into Darkness will most likely be a disappointment for any die hard ‘classic’ Trek fan.
About a month ago, my local Grand Mart closed down due to loss of business However, me and some friends decided to go and see what interesting snacks we could find at the store before it closed down for good. Here is our review of all the food we got!
Also be sure to follow my sister Abbee on Twitter – @AbbeesKpopWorld
Concert Rating: 8.5/10
About a month ago (despite minor difficulties), I was miraculously able to secure tickets to B.A.P’s Washington D.C. concert. And a few weeks later on Tuesday, May 14th, I was able to experience my first K-pop concert (and my first general concert experience in a while). I honestly have so much to say about this concert that I don’t know where to start. I can say though, that despite the previous ticket troubles, B.A.P truly made their first performance (and visit) in D.C. a night to remember.
One of the hardest things about being a K-pop fan in America, is the lack of opportunities to see the korean pop idols perform live on stage. So whenever an event comes around like Verizon’s APAHM (Asian Pacific American Heritage Month) Tour, the anticipation and excitement in the fan community is truly something unique. After a successful APAHM tour run last year with Korean rapper and b-boy Jay Park, Verizon has brought the tour back again this year– featuring Korean pop group B.A.P (An acronym which stands for Best, Absolute, Perfect). Since Verizon announced the tour dates last week, fans everywhere (including me) have been patiently waiting for the tickets to go on sale for our chosen tour city. As I reside in the D.C. area, I was able to get tickets to see B.A.P live on May 14th at Warner Theater DC. However, these tickets were incredibly hard to allocate, mostly because of a huge ticket sales FAIL on the part of Verizon.