Ank Rouge is a new mid-range gyaru brand that debuted back in June of this year. Besides some magazine press, it also enjoyed some runway exposure at the beginning of August thanks to the Pop Matsuri, an event put together by Popteen and Popsister magazines. The face—and presumably— the brain behind the brand is popular Popteen model Rie Matsuoka, more affectionately known as Okarie. From what I could glean from the brand description on Girls Walker, Ank Rouge is pushing a “neo-vintage” style that’s both “bold, sexy and luxurious.” Whatever that might mean, this is a brand that’s definitely been making waves on my radar. Interested so far? Then follow me…
Over the knee socks—OTK’s for short—are nothing new, but seem to be showing up with a vengeance again this fall. brad-t's previous post about Zara’s new fall collection featured an example or two, so here are some more from various Japanese magazines, plus a couple product picks from yours truly.
As I have said before Tornado Mart clearly has a bit of a split personality. Sometimes they put out a pair of jeans that blows my proverbial socks of and sometimes I just yawn. You only have to go to what a OIOI stockists keeps and what they have in their Harajuku flagship to see that the former plays it safe for the mainstream and the latter caters for those who want to stop traffic. As a brand they clearly enjoy the image of an edgy fashion forward rock-star and use this to add cool to their duller items. As in the picture above they are a brand torn between a market who will only wear Tornado Mart when they have cast off their suits for the weekend and the crowd who lives the lifestyle.
I really couldn’t agree with what Samuel wrote here more, which is quite unfortunate for me as Marui OIOI is the only real stockist for Tornado Mart online. I see loads of stuff posted on blogs etc. that will never be available outside of the brick-and-mortar stores and it sucks. Marui often skips stocking a lot of really cool items, and sometimes Tornado Mart itself simply decides to limit items to certain locations.
I just think the ever expanding TM might like to consider the possibility of splitting the brand along this all ready very evident division. A Tornado Mart Deluxe line if you will (any name suggestions anyone?).
I just think that branding disparate clothing lines as the same devalues the relationship that people want to have with a brand.
It’s worth nothing that Tornado Mart’s parent company, Spic International, already has a “higher class” line named High Street; however, it’s too “classic” for even Tornado Mart’s tamer pieces to be appropriate.
He sums up the situation fairly well in his closing paragraph:
Still at the end of the day this is a very minor point that only occurs to me as a big fan of the brand. For the TM virgins out there the simpler designs are all the more wearable and less intimidating, but you can be sure that you will end up addicted to the hard stuff eventually …
Tornado Mart is really a brand that has carved out its own niche in the Japanese streetwear scene. It truly exists outside of the confines of the onii-kei and gyaru-o peers that are generally delegated to Shibuya 109-2. Tornado Mart can command the premium pricing it does because they have no real competitors in terms of their styling. There is nowhere to go for a “cheaper” Tornado Mart look.
As always, Tokyo Telephone’s writing is incredible and I strongly urge any of you that aren’t following their blog to check them out.