Fashion is an entity that knows no boundaries. From an outsider’s perspective, the industry can appear to be all about runway models and celebrity endorsements which are often uninspired but its counteracted by unbelievable talent, on-style trends and clothing so fashion-forward that we can’t help but jump on the bandwagon. Fashion superpowers Milan, London, New York and Paris have paved the way for the rest of the world to follow suit – pardon the pun – and now Asia is under the spotlight for new quirky trends that have the industry in awe. From the glittering street-style in Seoul to the outrageous anime outfits in Harajuku, cutting-edge clothing is found throughout this glorious continent. We’re here to give you the inside scoop on exactly why Asia is the new fashion superpower.
The Luxurious Styles in Dubai
The Middle East’s reputation as a fashion epicentre is unlimited and Dubai is undoubtedly in the middle of it all. This on-trend city has international trade at its core and also operates an impressive transportation centre with direct links to Europe and East Asia, making it an excellent hub for the global fashion industry. Everything about Dubai is luxurious, superlative and wildly over-the-top which is wonderfully reflected in the emirate’s fashion scene. A plethora of the city’s high-end establishments enforces a smart dress code thus what you wear becomes half the experience and with venues such as The Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates, fashionistas will most certainly be in their element. So, pick out a trendy outfit and strike a pose because fashion is the sure-fire way to fit in with the iconic Dubai backdrop.
The Fusion Fashion in Hong Kong
Ranked the fourth most fashionable city in Asia, Hong Kong’s fashion scene embraces authentic Chinese culture with an excellent fusion of Western styles for an on-trend experience that you’ll never forget. The shopping scene in Hong Kong will put every Westfield Centre to shame – think lively street markets selling silky Chinese cheongsams and high-end department stores offering items labeled with the world’s most recognisable names. Oh, and did we mention that all fashion articles in this stunning city are tax-free?
Like all major fashion cities, Hong Kong displays its gorgeous clothing during two yearly Fashion Weeks, showcasing the latest lines and incredible up-and-coming designers that are just waiting to take the industry by storm. The first shows of the year reveal the fall and winter lines while the seven-day event in July is allocated to spring and summer designs. Keep your eye out – who knows, maybe you’ll spot the latest trend and get ahead of the curve before the rest of the world catches on!
The Haute Couture in Shanghai
Nicknamed the Paris of the Far East, Shanghai is definitely a metropolis that knows its fashion. As the biggest city on the planet in terms of population and ranked the tenth most fashionable city in the world – yes, even ahead of Milan and Madrid – Shanghai doesn’t disappoint when it comes to all things couture. The Far East’s open market allows international brands to engage with the flux of luxury shoppers, making it a retail paradise for visitors who want to be in clothes and fashion heaven. Oh, and the newly introduced tax refunds for overseas tourists makes shopping an even better experience. Huaihai Road in Shanghai is known as the Champs-Élysées of Asia, boasting more than 400 affluent stores for all your couture needs.
The Outrageous Outfits in Tokyo
Where do we begin with Tokyo? A fashion capital within its own right, the Japanese superpower knows how to break out of the box in style when it comes to unusual clothing and out-there accessories. From geishas and cyberpunks to business men and trendy teenagers, every passer-by in the city will make you stop, stare and wonder “where can I get clothes like that?” The likes of vintage stores, denim shops and lively markets are found around every corner alongside high-end shopping malls for all your designer label desires. Tokyo is a city where everything and anything goes so even if you’re on the hunt for the most flamboyant outfit, districts such as Harajuku, Shibuya, Ginza and Yarakucho are where you’ll find them.
In Harajuku especially, fashion becomes more than clothing – it’s an act of self-expression. Japanese teenager tribes in this iconic district display a style-conscious variety of designs and cartoonish eccentricity combined with a fashion complexity that has to be seen to be believed. Expect bright block colours, outlandish make-up, texture and pattern layering and dramatically bleached hair. The quirky clothing is an ideological phenomenon and the stylistic expression of the Harajuku subcultures becomes a reflection of their norms and beliefs and are often viewed as an act of rebellion. So even if the fashion scene is a bit much for you to emulate, Harajuku is certainly worth a visit just for sheer admiration of the unconventional trends that are found around every corner.
The K-pop clothing in Seoul
Although Seoul isn’t considered your typical holiday destination, this underrated Korean beauty has so much to offer. This is the place where you’ll find brave and stylish souls who are not afraid to combine high street fashion with high-end lines, an industry no-no that Seoul defies with utter sophistication. Shopping in Seoul is somewhat of a religious experience, from the iconic House of Dior to the Rare Market where you’ll spot a few celebrities if you’re lucky. The fashion-conscious tourist will adore Lucky Chouette, known for its individualistic designs that Seoul locals adore – here you’ll gain your street cred in no time. Oh, and you’ll be thoroughly impressed by the reasonable price points of some of Korea’s best brands meaning you don’t have to break the bank to look a million dollars.
Despite the plethora of designer stores in the city, fashion in Seoul very much revolves around eclectic streetwear that’s incredibly trend-driven and influenced by K-pop stars and K-entertainment. The vibrancy and excitement of the city itself is a bold inspiration for current, up-and-coming and even aspiring designers. Seoul’s fashion scene is unique in the way it focuses on the inclusivity of the individual rather than looking to impress high-end industry influencers and gain media attention.
So which of these fashion havens have piqued your interest? Let us know in the comments below!