In Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style, cultural historian W. David Marx examines the impact of Japanese designers on traditional American fashion. From high-end denim to oxford button-downs, Japanese companies like Uniqlo, Kamakura Shirts, Evisu, and Kapital have revived and revitalized classic American styles, known as ametora or “American traditional.” This phenomenon is part of a long history of exchange between Japanese and American fashion. In fact, many staples of the modern American wardrobe have been preserved and popularized by Japanese consumers and fashion enthusiasts.
Marx traces the Japanese assimilation of American fashion over the past 150 years, exploring how Japanese trendsetters and entrepreneurs have mimicked, adapted, imported, and ultimately perfected American style. The result has been a dramatic reshaping of both Japanese and American culture. If you’re a fan of fashion or interested in cultural exchange, Ametora is a must-read.