Move over Gucci. Here comes Forever 21. Trend-conscious Japan is outgrowing its longtime love affair with luxury brands and turning to a new passion: Fast fashion.
The star brand of American mall-style clothing — reputed for delivering runway looks at cheap prices — opened Thursday in Matsuzakaya department store in Tokyo’s upscale glitzy Ginza district.
In a move symbolic of the shift to bargain hunting in slowdown-struck Japan, Forever 21 is replacing what was a Gucci boutique, packing five floors with colorful racks of 350 yen ($4) tank tops and 1,580 yen ($17) frilly skirts.
“It’s a surprise to find good bargains in a department store,” said Fusako Suzuki, one of the first customers, clutching her purchase of eight items, including socks and summer tunics, adding up to a thrifty 10,000 yen ($100).
“I used to go to expensive brands when I was single but not any more, now that I’m married,” the 33-year-old pharmacist said of former favorites like Burberry.
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