Thursday, December 11, 2008

UNIQLO Absorbs This Shirt

This shirt from UNIQLO was part of a line of flannel shirts this fall, which looked an awful lot like Pendleton shirts. Even the label looks like a Pendleton label. I particularly liked this one, so I bought it. It was inexpensive, soft and sweet; and it got me thinking again about Japan’s ability to take examples of things from other countries and make them their own by enhancing and perfecting them to a T.

Japan grabs a lot of influence from around the world, so much so that it can be disorienting. Say you’re an American at a French restaurant, for example, surrounded by French d├ęcor, reading a French menu and being helped by a Japanese waiter who speaks French. It’s easy to fumble over which language to speak, and you can almost forget that you’re in Asia. It might sound silly but it’s true. The people here are just so darn good at taking something foreign, perfecting it and recreating it in Japan. This type of inspiration is all over the place. Don’t get me wrong; Japan definitely has its own style (obviously). But I do think their high regard for other cultures is admirable. And with all of the access and options it generates for people, it surely makes for an enjoyable lifestyle.

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