Japanese Magazines

The Central Media for Fashion Consumption
14 August 2007
An introduction to the nature of Japanese fashion magazines and their influence.
CanCam, magazines
Without a doubt, familiarity with the nature of domestic fashion magazines is critical for understanding the Japanese fashion market. Magazines actively drive trends, introduce brands, and set the fashion standards for both distinct subcultures as well as mainstream society.

We should not, however, make the mistake of thinking Japanese fashion magazines are basically equivalent to their American and European counterparts — either in format or function. Japanese fashion magazines are not aspirational lifestyle guides. Japanese consumers do not curl up with a fashion magazine expecting to be swept off into fantasyland. Japanese fashion magazines are bibles, order catalogs, study guides, cheat sheets, instruction manuals, and authoritative texts. Young people, in particular, use the information to plan their shopping experience and hang on to every styling detail as a perfectly accurate reflection of social expectations. This is especially true for readers outside of the urban areas, who cannot view latest trends with their own eyes and thus must rely on magazine information to keep on top of style changes.

In order to give a sense of magazines’ purpose, use, and position in society, this tutorial examines the main attributes of fashion magazines.
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