Overseas Insight|How will Japan's lingerie industry be in 2023?



Over the past few years, the development of new social media, new consumption patterns and new lifestyles inspired by the epidemic have influenced our industry and future trends.

The cross-border mixing of lingerie with sports, fashion and health has given birth to new areas such as casual sportswear and outerwear homewear.

On the show floor at 2023, Japanese brands "Hazy Tokyo" and "K+1%" were selected for the 4th Young Lable Awards Asia Pacific Emerging Brands Grand Prix, competing for the chance to exhibit for free at the world's intimate apparel hall of fame, Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris.

After the show, INTERFILIÈRE & CURVE Shanghai invited Ms. Yoshie Kawahara, an industry insider in Japan's intimate fashion industry, to interview the directors of the brands "Hazy Tokyo" and "K+1%". Ms. Yoshie Kawahara, an insider in the Japanese intimate apparel industry, interviewed the brand managers of "Hazy Tokyo" and "K+1%". In this article, we will present the conversation between Yoshie and "Hazy Tokyo", read on for more details.


Q: What is the brand concept of "Hazy Tokyo"?

The concept is "More than just innerwear".

It's a brand that offers underwear and comfortable wear that can be worn with an outfit feel.

I studied fashion at BUNKA FASHION COLLEGE and worked as a fashion designer at three apparel manufacturers.

While primarily working on my own brand, "Hazy Tokyo", I also do design work for another apparel brand.

The desire to create something that bridges fashion and underwear, underwear that can be coordinated as part of a fashion, led me to establish "Hazy Tokyo" in 2020.

Q: Where is "Hazy Tokyo" sold?

I main sales channel is our online shop.

I regularly hold POP UP EVENTS to give our customers a place to physically experience the products and to create opportunities for us to meet new customers. 

We've also held two POP UP EVENTS at ISETAN SHINJUKU, Japan's most fashion-sensitive department store, in March and October 2023.

Q: Could you share a bit about your background with us?

I graduated from BUNKA FASHION COLLEGE with a degree in Men’s wear Design Course, Apparel Design Department, and worked for three apparel companies, gaining experience as a designer in three different companies.My work as a designer involved various tasks such as not only designing but also exploring factories, fabric suppliers, material market, etc., designing shop displays and exhibition, directing Look-shooting. What I experienced taught me much more.

Some of the companies valued their designer's inspiration, allowing me to travel to places like Morocco and India on business trip, which was a great experience.

I also had the experience of starting a brand from scratch at those companies, which greatly helped me when establishing "Hazy Tokyo".

After leaving the third company, I studied English in New Zealand for three months from January to April 2020. However, upon returning home, the world had been in COVID-19 pandemic. During my time at home, I conceived and refined the concept for "Hazy Tokyo", made preparations, and held the first exhibition at the “sequence MIYASHITA PARK” hotel in Shibuya in November 2020.

Q: Why did you participate in "YLA2023"?

The most significant reason was that if I placed within the top three, I would gain the opportunity to exhibit at the "Salon international de la Lingerie".

The second reason was my interest in China. 

I would like to sell "Hazy Tokyo" in Asian countries outside Japan in the near future.

Such as Shanghai and Seoul, cities a penchant for fashion.

I thought participating in "YLA2023" would allow me to find out how people in China perceive and view "Hazy Tokyo".

Q: What was the theme of the collection you submitted to "YLA2023"?

There is no specific collection theme, but we selected items that express the brand concept of "More than just innerwear (underwear)".

The "Back conscious camisole" is a representative item of "Hazy Tokyo", featuring a deeply open back and incorporating a modish design. Items like a sheer pullover and shorts set or tulle bloomer pants worn peeking out from the waist of the bottom represent a fusion of clothing and underwear, embodying the essence of "Hazy Tokyo".All of them are made in Japan, featuring high-quality materials. I think that not only the innovative design but also the meticulous Japanese craftsmanship is what makes the essence of "Hazy Tokyo".


 Q: What do you perceive from the lingerie industry today?

Globally, there's an increasing trend toward independent designer brands, providing more degrees of freedom.

In the past, lin gerie might have been primarily for body shaping or to please men. Now, however, women are the primary decision-makers, using lingerie as a tool for self-expression.

This shift is fantastic.

Independent brands are growing in Japan too, and I find it inspiring.

However, there's a concern worries me. It’s about the decreasing number of sewing factories in Japan. "Hazy Tokyo" currently produces everything domestically in Japan, but the number of sewing factories is decreasing, which is making the situation hard. And because sewing overseas requires larger lots, it is difficult for smaller brands.

Japan values "Made in JAPAN," yet there's not much government support. To protect Japan's manufacturing skills, more support for producers is necessary.

While "Hazy Tokyo" is currently receiving help from Japanese factories, and is in developing, but it will grow and be in a position to support Japanese factories.

Q: What are your goals for the future?

While regularly holding POP UP EVENTS, I've been limited to Tokyo. Next year, we would like to hold POP UP EVENTS in other cities besides Tokyo, such as OSAKA, NAGOYA, and FUKUOKA.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm also looking to hold POP UP EVENTS overseas in cities like Shanghai and Seoul, seeking partners for relationships.

Lingerie evolves according to women's sensibilities, values, and ethics. Thoughts on exposing the skin may be will change in the same way. And now, they are about to change drastically. I believe the same can be said for women not only in Japan but also in many other Asian countries.

"Hazy Tokyo" aims to continue proposing new items that give confidence and elevate mood of those who wear them, while aligning with these changes in women's minds.

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