Vogue Hommes Japan in it's second issue covered the full range spectrum, from American tribal trends to hot colors for spring. The American influence is shown as well as the European, and it's mixed well with a Japanese aesthetic and some showcases on Japanese designers too. Also notable is Hedi Slimane's photography making the look one of high fashion and style. The back also has a great "Legends" sketch each issue, most recently being; River Phoenix.
Popeye has been around for a long time. The magazine shows a bit of runway, a bit of outfit overload spread, and they showcase a lot of trends(something huge in Japan) in everything from denim and what's in and what's selling, to the style of how people are wearing clothing and the Japanese art of mastering a monthly outfit guide and not wearing the same outfit twice in one month. From rolled pants to cropped pants, canvas shoes, headwear styles and more they show trends that are being seen all over and ones still to catch on. They also try to do editorials where you relate the brands and pieces to everyday use and wear. There's typically good designer editorials and a lot of glossy skinny young models which gives it a bit of the high fashion mix or the homoerotic fashion feel (you catch the drift, androgeny being such a theme these days). A good read on seeing what is out there and where the market is heading.
Men's Fudge has been creative enough to hit the streets in markets like New York, Paris, Milan, and London. In the current issue they visit some of the most progressive stores within New York and London and bring them head to head. They photograph the sales people on their style and ask them what's hot at the moment and what is really selling. It's like a monthly fashion blog so to say. They showcase trends on the streets, in the stores and in the runway shows. It's creative in serving up to the minute trends and what's really happening out there in a all genre's within the menswear game. They even interviewed the sales people at Rugby by Polo Ralph Lauren in New York City and shot pictures on their style in one of the recent issues. It's a great magazine to flip through and really sense what is happening at the moment.
Free & Easy, the classic on American values, Americana and the one with a grip on "being a man" in the old fashioned sense. This is definitley the most masculine mens magazine in Japan in regards to fashion and lifestyle and goes very far in depth. It takes the Japanese honor system and delves it into the old American and with some new to create an excellent niche that is sweeping the U.S. little by little and growing. Along with a love and obsession with Steve McQueen and all things American, Free & Easy stands out as a great one.
Mens Non-No... here's another good one. Along the lines of a Popeye or a Men's Fudge. Men's Non-No is a bit of both of those publications and shows clean menswear as well as some great Japanese designer showcases. Another one of the glossy magazines with young skinny models. They have some great exclusive issues with brands like Xampagne and John Lawrence Sullivan from Japan and a lot of European influence from editorials with Paul Smith, Dior, Gvenchy and more of the luxury menswear brands.
Leon magazine, while along the lines of a more sophisticated worldly consumer. Leon definitely draws it's inspiration from the European tailored menswear world, Milan in particular. It caters to a sophisticate along the range of say 25 to 55 who definitely has some money to throw around and wants the panache to prove it. Still a great read for tips on anything from pant cuffs and hems to how to tie your ascot.
Huge magazine is one of my favorites and very well done. each issue is practically curated with a theme then sections on films that relate and items to buy as well as stores to shop for those items and editorial spreads related. The current May "Outsiders" issue shows editorial spreads depicting 1950's beatniks in New York and relates films such as, Coppola's, "The Outsiders" and along with other American traditional "bad boy" influences. Huge is definitely one of the best.
2nd magazine is the ultimate in showcasing the American trends of preppy, nautical and camping... They show the best tote bags, the best camping packs, boots, boat shoes denim and more. The magazine is ahead of it's time and now America is catching on. Great collectible issues on denim and boots and more with guides and brands.
Japan is fanatical and very much ahead at the moment I feel in terms of creativity and retail within fashion and menswear. They've been taking American influence and classics and now a lot of European ones lately too, then recreating things in a way with quality and vibrance that is breathing new life into the old. these are just some of the magazines I suggest and the ones I've been on here in the states for I awhile. This has been shaping for some time now. You can really see the influence on things in the states and in fashion in general from what's coming on stronger and stronger all over. Don't sleep!