Custom-made suits are out of fashion, hosts and luxury accessories. ……The contents of Kabukicho’s “astonishing high-brand faith”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Custom-made suits are out of fashion, hosts and luxury accessories. ……The contents of Kabukicho’s “astonishing high-brand faith”.

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Starting this spring, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is considering tightening regulations on flamboyant advertising trucks. In the Kabukicho neighborhood, trucks advertising host clubs and other businesses, starting with the “Vanilla” sex job agency, are driving around with a shimmering light. The sides of the trucks are lined with the faces of hosts who have undergone similar plastic surgery and photo processing, and in fact, they are wearing almost identical clothing.

Kippei of the host club “CLUB ARCH” is one of the successful hosts who loves highbrows.

Kippei of the host club “CLUB ARCH” is one of the successful host who loves high-brass clothing. Louis Vuitton’ is undeniably popular, and ‘Gucci,’ ‘Balenciaga,’ and ‘Celine’ have also been popular for several years.

Arata (pseudonym, 23) says that when he first became a host, his seniors gave him a lot of brand-name clothes.

When you start out as a host, the first thing you do is spend a lot of money on your appearance. Girls don’t spend tens or hundreds of thousands of yen on guys who look like they are from around here and there. So they arm themselves with brand-name clothes and accessories to make it look like they have value. A host who is not successful wears a worn-out high-brand T-shirt from a few years ago all the time,” says Arata.

According to Arata, it is important to be recognizable as a high-brand host, so hosts prefer clothes and accessories with large logos and brand names.

Successful hosts buy a lot of new high-brand clothes at department stores, so they distribute the clothes they no longer need to their juniors. Some of them buy their own clothes and talk about how important it is for a host to look good, but they are all hand-me-downs from their seniors. Some of them sell them at thrift stores or on Mercari, and then buy secondhand brand-name clothes again.

For them, whether the clothes are really expensive or not is of secondary importance.

You can tell whether a host is good or bad by whether he knows the rank of a high bra.

Marika (pseudonym, 28), a lounge girl, also wears high-end accessories to host clubs.

She says, “I’m wearing a Harry Winston necklace that costs 2.8 million yen, but the guy who told me I was wearing a ‘Van Cleef & Arpels’ accessory said knowingly, ‘It’s the same four-leaf clover accessory, but it’s 2.4 million yen different! Even the same four-leaf clover-shaped accessory costs 2.4 million yen different! There are only a handful of hosts who know that much. I think successful hosts know what is expensive.

Not only are they blind to the ornaments of their customers, but many of the hosts themselves wear fake goods.

One of the hosts I once handpicked several times gave me a Tiffany & Co. necklace he was wearing. He said, ‘Next time, come to the store and wear it! He said, ‘Next time, come to the store and wear it! Later, I showed it to a pawn shop and wondered how much it was worth, but it was a fake (laughs).

The brand name was written in large letters on T-shirts and jackets, brooches, necklaces, and rings. …… Even Taisuke (pseudonym, 31), an in-house staff member at a host club, is fed up with the “Kabukicho fashion” of today.

A decade ago, custom-made suits were a kind of status. But the stores can’t afford to train hosts who can see the value in things that can only be obtained by paying real money, and the hosts want to make money as quickly as possible. Quick, low-cost, add-on decorations are popular. Hosts who say, ‘I’m not interested in high brands,’ are just interested in high fashion brands such as Yohji Yamamoto.

In Kabukicho, there is even an urban legend that a men’s department store was built at Isetan Shinjuku because too many hosts bought high brands. The poverty of the hosts has given rise to an abnormal “faith in high brands.

Chihuahua Sasaki
Born in Tokyo in 2000. After attending an integrated school in Tokyo from elementary school to high school, he went on to Keio University, where he has been living in Kabukicho since he was 15 years old. At university, he is studying the sociology of the downtown area, including Kabukicho. His book, ” Pien” to shakai” (“The Disease of ‘Pien’: Consumption and Approval of the SNS Generation”), is now on sale.

From the October 13-20 , 2023 issue of FRIDAY

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