Kicking Off Women’s Sneakers
“Japan is an advanced country in terms of men’s sneaker fashion, but when it comes to women’s, that’s a whole other story – I would say it’s still developing,” observes Mr. Yuichi Sato, the spokesperson for atmos girls, a company of stores specializing in women’s sneakers. The sneaker industry in Japan seems to have neglected the women’s market for a long time, and responding to the flood of requests from fashion editors and stylists looking for cute sneakers for women, atmos girls opened its doors. The company is at the center of the recent rise of women’s sneaker fashion among girls in their late teens and early twenties, and it sets the trends.
What has accelerated the sudden rise in popularity of women’s sneakers is the variety and versatility of sneakers introduced to the market within a short period of time. The popular styles are colorful and cute with medium to high tops, which were not available before. As for materials, metallic leather and patent leather are most sought after. Those sneakers fit various styles––from outdoorsy and urban to Lolita and high fashion––and girls can add spice to their everyday look just by incorporating cute sneakers. For example, sneakers with black, lacy ribbons as shoelaces would complement Gosu-Lori fashions, and pink Nike high-tops would add a fun, sporty accent when paired with a dress.
According to Mr. Sato, atmos girls is promoting sneakers not as exercise and utilitarian items but as part of fashion; the concept and story behind each product is important. Under this belief, they plan collaborations with apparel brands and develop new lines for the market. Time to upgrade your running shoes and start accessorizing with sneakers.
——– Reported by Mark Minai
Photo courtesy of atmos girls. (www.atmos-tokyo.com)
Mark Minai resides in Japan and writes articles and books on cultural trends and fashion issues.