Japanese fashion trend 
boosts summer takings

The Japanese Shop at Harrogate Business Centre off Leeds Road in Harrogate supplies a wide variety of authentic gifts sourced directly from Japan. (S)
The Japanese Shop at Harrogate Business Centre off Leeds Road in Harrogate supplies a wide variety of authentic gifts sourced directly from Japan. (S)

A fashion trend that took off over the summer has helped a Harrogate shop experience growth of 50 per cent this year.

As the large chain-stores were selling short “fashion kimonos” by the truckload, The Japanese Shop saw a surge in sales of yukata – the more traditional, casual-style kimono often worn as loungewear in the UK.

Jez Willard, managing director at The Japanese Shop, which is at Harrogate Business Centre off Leeds Road, said kimono sales from Japan to Europe were at record levels.

“Our supplier has been struggling to keep pace with demand. The growth in European kimono sales coincides with a rising trend in Japan. The once-widespread garment has been declining in popularity since the Second World War, and until recently, it was only worn for formal occasions.

“Now the kimono is making a comeback, and undergoing something of a transformation in the process. Many young people in Japan have started mixing it up with western accessories like hats, trainers and parkas – a style statement that would once have been thought defiant.”