A yen for streetwear

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Earlier on in the year when I was in Asia, I heard from a local businessman that due to the market correction in prices and the drop in the value of the pound against the yen London was now the number one overseas destination for Japanese property investors.

In Japan factories are closing or making redundancies as demand for exports declined, this is exasperated by the rise of the Yen versus a number of other currencies. It’s no coincidence that BAPE has reduced its presence in London from a store to being distributed through the Nowhere pop-up store in Dover Street Market.

Luxury Japanese streetwear brand Neighbourhood had been dropped by The Hideout Store: according to the staff I spoke to, the brand was no longer stocked because changes in the currency exchange rate made Neighborhood product prohibitively expensive. The store still stocks desirable brands like Original Fake (from Japan, with involvement of American artist KAWS) and Supreme (from New York).

Given that Neighborhood and BAPE can sell their entire production several times over, I can’t see them worrying that much about the UK market. But what does it say about the economic state of the creative class in London?