Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style by W David Marx
It’s well-established by this point that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of fashion: in particular, Japanese brands have been doing Americana better than American brands for quite some time. In particular, labels like visvim, Momotaro and NEIGHBORHOOD have seized upon a country-wide admiration of vintage American craftsmanship and style—dubbed Ametora — or “American traditional” in Japanese — and turned it into big business.
Cultural historian W. David Marx’s latest work traces the eponymous concept and the relationship between Japan and America over the past 150 years, from Harajuku’s souvenir sukajan jackets to the shuttle-looms salvaged from American factories that made the name of the Okayama synonymous with high quality selvedge denim. What emerges is an extensive cultural dialogue between Japanese and American fashion, charting the assimilation and integration of American fashion trends into the fabric of Japanese culture, as well as significant counter-flows in the realms of business and economics.