Advances in Applied Sociology
2012. Vol.2, No.4, 260-267
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes .
Habitual Difference in Fashion Behavior of Female College
Students between Japan and Thailand
Aliyaapon Jiratanatiteenun1, Chiyomi Mizutani2, Saori Kitaguchi3, Tetsuya Sato3,
Kanji Kajiwara 4
1Department of Engineering Design, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan
2Department of Textile and Clothing, Otsuma Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan
3The Center for Fiber and Textile Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan
4Fibre Innovation I ncubator, Shinshu Un i v ersity, Nagano, Japan
Email: cindy_emailbox@
Received September 28th, 2012; re v i s ed O ct o be r 30th, 2012; accepted November 13th, 2012
The purpose of this study is to elucidate a role of the street fashion as a habitual communication tool for
the youth through the comparative study on the habitual behavior of the Japanese and Thai youths. The
questionnaires concerning the fashion behavior were submitted to a total of 363 female college students in
Japan and Thailand in 2011. The results revealed the significant differences in fashion behavior between
the two countries, which were affected by the climate, personal income, and traditional lifestyle. The
Japanese youths care much about their personal surroundings and adapt fashion as a communication tool
for social networking to be accepted in a group. The Thai youths care less about fashion and seek for
other tools for social networking. By the time of the survey, the Japanese street fashion has been already
matured as a communication tool with a variety of expression ways and is transfiguring spontaneously by
repeated diversification and integration of several fashion elements. On the other hand, Thai street fashion
is in the early stage and has not yet fully developed to affect a way of personal communication. However,
the Thai youths have been increasing interest in fashion as confirmed by the increasing popularity of do-
mestic fashion magazines, and provide a potential for Thai street fashion to develop.
Keywords: Street Fashion; Thai Youth; Japanese Youth; Habitual Behavior; Youth Communication
Thai garment and textile industry had been supported by the
government since 1955 and the industry had significantly
grown in 1971. By 1990, Thailand was placed in the top ten for
world exporters of garments. In 2002, the Thai government
initiated the Bangkok Fashion City project under the Ministry
of Industry of Thailand in order to establish Bangkok as a re-
gional fashion hub and to promote the Thai fashion in the in-
ternational market (Pasukvanich, 2003). In addition, the gov-
ernment has supported young designers in the international
arena, at present there are several Thai brands such as
AB-Normal, Curated, and Painkillers that are known in the
international markets (Nethin, 2012). Further, the success of
Thakoon Panichgul’s clothes in 2008, the most well known
Thai-born fashion designer who designs clothes for Michelle
Obama and other celebrities, has significantly influenced Thai
fashion industry (Chirapongse, 2010). He was invited by the
government for holding a workshop to incubate new designers
and create exotic fashions. At the moment, the government
seems to emphasize heavily on Thai luxury brands for the
global market rather than the domestic market.
The emergence of Thai fashion in the international arena has
increased awareness of fashion in Thai people, especially
within the younger generation. Although Thai luxury brands
have gained their reputation internationally and caught attention
from domestic customers, the prices of these brands are too
high for young people to afford. Foreign fashions from Western
and Asian countries have significantly influenced Thai fashion
where many teenagers imitated or adapted these fashions to
their personal styles. International fast fashion brands such as
Zara and Uniqlo are more popular among Thai youths than the
domestic brands. These brands provided quality products rep-
resenting a trendy lifestyle with affordable price.
In September 2007, Japan and Thailand celebrated the 120th
Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations
and now Japan is one of Thailand’s foremost economic partners
(Embassy of Japan in Thailand, 2012). Since then, two nations
have conducted varieties of cultural exchanges on traditional
and youth cultures. “Manga (comics)” and “anime (animation
films)” were the first Japanese popular youth culture that at-
tracted Thai youths in the 1980s, followed by other youth cul-
tures including pop music, soap opera, and street fashion which
have become popular among Thai teens. Japanese street fashion
was introduced to Thailand in the late 1990s (Rakprayoon,
2002) and became one of the factors that generated a street
fashion concept among Thai teens and the youth fashion indus-
try (Sanook Campus, 2009). The street fashion in Thailand is
characterized by small street shops owned by a designer or
fashion producer. The design was mainly a copy from foreign
fashion magazines, but gradually improved its quality to satisfy
the customers. Since manga and anime were enthusiastically
accepted by Thai youths at the early stage of the cultural ex-
change, Cosplay and Lolita fashions inspired the young Thai
designers. However, Thai society is too conservative to allow
such costumes on the street, so these fashions were not devel-
oped into street fashion in Thailand but established as specific
costumes for young people at fun parties. These fun parties
have become popular entertainment for Thai youths, and often
organized by special companies or the boutiques themselves.
Thailand is a tropical country where heat and humidity are
high almost all year round. Most of the schools and colleges in
Bangkok specify their uniform and the students are obliged to
wear this every day. The situation was similar in Japan until the
1980s and it took almost 20 years for the Japanese to enjoy
fashion as a tool of self-expression. In this context, the street
fashion in Thailand is still immature, and could follow as in the
footsteps of Japan. The aim of this study is to explore the fash-
ion attitudes and fashion styles in a cross-cultural context in
order to understand the differences and similarities of youth
fashions between the two countries.
Fashion and Young People
In contemporary culture, fashion became a tool of personal
identity and seems to attract people of all ages, especially teen-
agers. In Japan, street fashion provides an abundant vocabulary
for inter-group communication. According to Koester and May
(1985), teenagers seem to value fashion more than any other
age group. Clothes are the most purchased items in the teenage
consumer spending habits (MRI, 2003) and teenagers around
the world spend a considerable sum on fashion items. For ex-
ample American teenagers spent 33% of their earning and al-
lowance on clothing (Holdsworth, 2005), and Japanese high
school girls spent approximately 275 USD monthly on clothing
which was three times larger than the national average (Drake,
Japan is one of the countries where people are actively en-
gaged in fashion. Japanese youth fashion or street fashion be-
came a public phenomenon in the late 1980s when Kogal (liter-
ally meaning “little girl”) and Lolita were often mentioned in
newspapers and other mass media (Miller, 2004). Those fash-
ions emerged from rather isolated teenage girls from society in
order to protect their identity. Both Kogal and Lolita are the
symbolic styles of a school girl and a girl from a good family,
respectively. The Kogal style was inspired by the high school
uniform, while Lolita fashion was inspired by European court
fashions such as Rococo, Victoria and Edwardian fashions
(Kawamura, 2006; Neko, 2008). Cosplay was a kind of play to
connect the players (mostly young female) to the virtual world
by wearing the costumes of comic or anime characters. Cosplay
and Lolita are the major components in the otaku culture and
were two of the most characteristic fashions in Japan which
have influenced other fashion styles (Jiratanatiteenun et al.,
2010). Since the lack of verbal communication skill excluded
otaku people from a general youth society, Lolita or Kogal
fashion as well as Cosplay served as a communication tool for
them to form a new society for themselves. In addition, these
Japanese subcultures have caught national and global main-
stream attentions, they have disseminated to other countries
such as Thailand.
Although the early development of Thai’s Cosplay has fol-
lowed a Japanese model, Thai’s Cosplay has expanded its ac-
tivity in a different way. For example, Lolita fashion is re-
garded as a part of Cosplay activity. The Coplay events are
financially supported by private companies as a commercial
event for youths. Although Cosplay is getting more popular in
Thailand and presently there are over thirty Cosplay events held
annually, neither Cosplay nor Lolita have influence on Thai
fashion. In addition, Korean fashion is popular among young
people. In the early 2000s, Korea popular cultures such as pop
music, video games, movies, TV dramas, and fashion have
become popular in Thailand (Park, 2008; Ngamchitcharung,
2005). The Korean pop cultures have more influence on Thai
youths, and have taken over the popularity of the Japanese pop
culture in Thailand. Now a K-pop cover contest is more popular
than the original Japanese Cosplay.
The purpose of this study is to examine the differences of
fashion behaviors, fashion consciousness, and fashion styles
among female college students in two countries. In order to
explore a cross-cultural study, the survey questionnaires were
submitted to the total of 363 respondents from two countries,
aged 18-23. The survey questionnaire was prepared in Japanese
and then translated into English before being translated into
Thai. Japanese respondents included 265 undergraduate female
students in Tokyo, Japan, while Thai respondents included 98
undergraduate students in Bangkok, Thailand.
In order to collect detailed information on fashion styles
from the respondents, the questionnaire was separated into two
sections. The first section of the questionnaire consists of 83
questions which were divided into 4 main sub-sections con-
ce rnin g 1 ) fa shion information sources; 2) purch asing factors; 3)
shopping places; and 4) fashion consciousness and consump-
tion behaviors. Here the respondents were asked to answer by
marking a five-point scale from “Not at all” = 1 to “Very” = 5.
The second section concerns the personal fashion interest of the
respondents such as their fashion styles and their favorite fash-
ion magazines. All respondents were photographed in order to
observe their fashion appearances and to make a comparison
between Japan and Thailand. The popular fashion magazines in
each country were surveyed to examine the fashion lifestyle of
the youths.
Results and Discussion
Sources of Fashio n I nfo rmation
The mean value of the dependence on each fashion source is
displayed in Figure 1. Here the point 5 denotes the source
which the respondents rely heavily on, the point 3 the average
dependence, and the point 1 no dependence.
The dependence of the fashion information source reflects
the lifestyle and habitual behavior. Figure 1 indicates that the
Thai youths are less influenced by other people’s fashion phi-
losophies compared to the Japanese youths. The results were
further analyzed to confirm significant statistical differences by
using Independent Samples t-Test. The statistical significance
was found in all sources between Japanese and Thais (p < .05)
except for “artists” and “family members” (p > .05).
The Japanese respondents received fashion information from
more varieties of sources including “fashion magazines”,
“fashion shops”, “show windows”, “passers-by”, “shop staffs”,
and “friends” than the Thai respondents. The Japanese rely
traditionally more on the real information sources such as
“fashion magazines”, “fashion shops”, “passers-by” and “show
windows” than the virtual information such as the “Internet”
and “movies”. These real sources are basically composed of the
fashion styles directly provided by the fashion industry, but
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 261
Figure 1.
The dependence mean value of the fashion information source: Solid
line indicates Japanese, dashed line indicates Thais.
slightly modified/coordinated by wearers. Fashion magazines
played an influential role in young Japanese women where they
use the magazines for dress-up guidelines or copy the styles
from the magazines (Luo, 2008). Since the Japanese youths are
sensitive to their surrounding atmosphere, they tend to imitate
and modify unintentionally the fashion of “passers-by”, and to
follow the advice from “shop staffs” and “friends”. In conse-
quence, they create their own styles rather spontaneously and
feedback the influence anonymously to the fellow youths.
Conversely, the Thai respondents received more information
from the sources such as the “Internet”, “TV”, “newspa-
pers/general magazines”, and “movies” than the Japanese.
Among these sources, the Thai youths rely more on the infor-
mation from indirect sources such as the “Internet”, “artists”,
and “TV”. The styles from these sources cannot be applied
directly and should be modified by the wearers outside of the
fashion industry. It is not surprising that the Thai teenagers
observe fashion through these sources as they spend consider-
able hours watching TV (average 5.7 hours per day) and surfing
the internet (average 3.1 hours per day) (Thai Post, 2010).
The mean values of “shop staffs” were very different be-
tween the two countries. In Japan, the shop staffs play an im-
portant role in setting new trends for teens, as many girls rely
on their advice and would buy the same outfit that the shop
staffs wear or recommends (Kawamura, 2006). Since the Thai
shop staffs are obliged to wear uniforms, they cannot be a fore-
runner in setting the trends.
The influences from the “artists” and “family members”
upon Japanese and Thai respondents were found to have a
similar tendency with no statistical significance. Although in
both countries the teenagers are moderately influenced by the
“artists”, artists in Japan are usually referred to J-pop singers,
while in Thailand the artists are referred to the people who
work in the entertainment and fashion businesses. The diversity
of the artists in Thailand could have influenced the respondents
in a larger extent than in Japan and the artists were one of the
most influential sources in Thailand.
Purchasing Factors
The mean values of the purchasing factors follow a similar
trend in Japan and Thailand (Figure 2). The lower mean values
in Thailand could indicate the shopping frequency is less. The
data were further analyzed to confirm the statistical significance
Figure 2.
The mean value of the purchasing factors: Solid line indicates Japanese,
dashed line indicates Thais.
by the Independent Samples t-Test. The indicators of buying
factors were found to have all statistical significant differences
between both countries (p < .05).
The “designs/shapes”, “colors”, and “sizes” were important
factors for purchasing fashion articles in both countries. Al-
though the Thai youths rely more on information from TV, the
information has less impact on the actual purchasing behavior.
This tendency indicates that the Thai youths enjoy the TV
fashion but consider not as a real fashion. In fact the average
mean value 2.09 (less than 3) confirms that the “features in
TV/magazines” play almost no role in actual shopping.
Monthly allowance could affect their buying behaviors, since
the average monthly allowance for the Thai respondents was
around 220 USD which is much lower than the prices of the
fashion articles presented in the magazines/TV. The fashion
articles appeared in those magazines/TV are imported brands or
local luxury brands.
In Thailand, the western fashion magazines such as ELLE
and Vogue are more popular than the local magazines. These
magazines present western fashion styles with brand products.
However, the styles presented in these magazines are not suit-
able for tropical climate in Thailand. Recently, many local
fashion magazines such as Knock Knock appeared and intro-
duce inexpensive exotic Thai fashions from local brands. These
brands are becoming popular in the youth market, and indicate
that inexpensive local brands will gain their market share in the
near future as the Thai street fashion will mature.
Shopping Places
The respondents were asked to indicate their shopping places,
in order to explore the similarities and differences of shopping
habits in both countries. The mean values of each place are
shown in Figure 3. The Independent Samples t-Test was em-
ployed in order to further examine the statistical significant
The statistical significances (p < .05) were found in all ques-
tions except for “receive from others” (p > .05). Based on the
results, the differences between the shopping places were ob-
served. Three most popular shopping places were “outlet malls”,
“UNIQLO/GAP”, and “select shops” for the Japanese respon-
dents. “Department stores”, “flea markets”, and “luxury fashion
boutiques” were the most popular shopping places among the
Thai respondents.
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s .
Figure 3.
The mean value of the shopping places: Solid line indicates Japanese,
dashed line indicates Thais.
A first outlet mall opened in Japan in the 1990s (Coughlan &
Sobeman, 2004) and became popular among Japanese consum-
ers of all ages. At present, there are over 30 outlet malls oper-
ating in Japan, where they sell local and global brand products
at reasonable prices. On the other hand, a first outlet mall
opened in Thailand in the 2000s by local fashion retailer and
manufacturer (Pena House, 2007). Nowadays, there are over 10
outlet malls operating in Thailand but they are popular only to a
particular group of people. In addition, “Uniqlo”, “Gap”, and
“select shops” were popular among the Japanese. Uniqlo and
Gap are famous for quality products with affordable price, and
the economic recession in 2007 (Abe, 2010) have increased the
popularity of these brands among Japanese teens.
Select shops are small boutiques that sell fashion items from
different brands selected by shop owners. Select shops, espe-
cially in Ura-hara (a back side of Harajuku), Tokyo, have been
popular among Japanese teens since the 1990s because of their
characteristic collections distinct from any mainstream fashions
(Kawamura, 2006). In Thailand, select shops are referred to as
small boutiques that sell selected items or boutiques that sell
limited items designed by shop owners. Many select shops with
various fashion styles are located in Siam Square in the center
of Bangkok as shown in Figure 4. Siam Square is famous for
shopping places and tutoring schools, where teens from secon-
dary school to college gather before and after classes. Recently,
the fashion prices here have significantly increased due to the
renting fee for shops in the area. In addition, the quality of
fashion products here is not as high as those sold in the depart-
ment stores. As the result, teens tend to shop in the “department
stores” and “flea markets” that sell quality fashion items at a
reasonable price.
Department stores were the most popular shopping places
among the Thai respondents. Department stores first opened in
1956 in Bangkok (Wigglesworth & Brotan, 1966) and were at
their peak of influence in the retail trade in the 1990s after
forming part of shopping centre complexes (Mandhachitara &
Lockshin, 2004; Blair et al., 2003). At present, there are over 60
department stores operating in Thailand. These stores are
equipped with full-air conditioning and provide a comfortable
atmosphere for the customers to spend their time idly in the
stores. In addition, they sell quality products and promote sales
frequently to keep the customers. In consequence, the depart-
ment stores have become the most popular shopping places in
Figure 4.
Example of select shop at Siam Square, Bangkok.
Flea markets have been with the Thai society for decades.
Jatujak market (Wongvittayapanich, 2011) is the most famous
flea market in Thailand where a variety of products such as
hand crafts, animals, and affordable fashion items are available.
Jatujak market is popular among foreign and Thai customers of
all ages, especially young people. Apart from Jatujak market,
there are other flea markets in Bangkok such as Wang Lang and
Major Ratchayothin market which are popular among Thai
teens. Luxury products, especially handbags and sunglasses,
from imported brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci have
became popular among Thai people year by year. In 2011, this
luxury market has grown 37.70% from 2010 (Thansettakij,
2012). Although the average monthly income per household for
Thai stood at 2800 USD (National Statistical Office, 2011) and
a majority of youths receive their monthly allowances from
their parents, these brands are popular among them. Thus, in
order to own these products, many youths save their allowances
to buy or ask for a gift from their parents.
It was found that there was no statistical significance on “re-
ceive from others” (p > .05) among the respondents from Japan
and Thailand. In either country, the respondents prefer to buy
the fashion items by themselves according to their taste.
Fashion Cons c io usn es s and Consumption
The differences of the mean values on fashion consciousness
and consumption behaviors between two countries are shown in
Figure 5. The t-Test results confirmed that the Thai and Japa-
nese youths have a different attitude to fashion (p < .05), except
for two items “I have my favorite color” and “I wear trendy
clothes even when I do not like them” where the statistical sig-
nificances were .474 and .724, respectively.
Japanese youths exhibited in general higher mean values in
most questions except for the two questions mentioned above
as the t-Test indicates a similar behavior in both countries. A
marked difference is observed in the engagement in shopping.
The shopping seemed to be an important factor in the daily life
in Japan and spent a considerable time for shopping including
window shopping. The Japanese youths decide what to buy
after visiting several shops, while the Thai youths know what to
buy in advance and spend less time in shopping. Here the Thai
youths seem to be more confident in their appearance and know
what styles would suit them without asking for advice from
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 263
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s .
Figure 5.
The mean value of fashion c onsciousness and buying behaviors: S o lid line indicates Japanese, dashed line indicates Thais.
Table 1.
The three most popular fashion styles between Japa n and Thailand.
others. The Thai youths prefer not to be outstanding as indi-
cated by the less positive answers to the questions; “I like
sporty clothes”, “I like sexy clothes”, “I am interested in nail
arts”, “I change my hair style often”, and “I accessorize myself”.
The different attitude to shopping may be due to the climate
and the mode of the youth life style. Simply-spending time with
friends is an important element in life for the Japanese youths,
whereas the Thai youths require more action for a certain con-
crete purpose including eating together.
Fashion styles Japan Thailand
1 Casual Casual
2 Girly Vintage
3 Onei Street
Monthly allowances were found to be little different in two
countries. Thai respondents receive around 220 USD, while
Japanese respondents receive around 300 USD per month.
However, they spend money in different ways. Thai youths
spend money more for eating with friends or chattering through
mobile phone. In this context, fashion is not a primary concern
for the Thai youths at present.
Fashion Styles and Fashion Magazines
The respondents were asked to indicate their fashion styles
and favorite fashion magazines in order to make a comparison
between two countries. The popular fashion styles in two coun-
tries are summarized in Table 1, while the examples of each
style are shown in Figures 6 and 7. Casual Girl Onei
The results showed that each country has their distinctive
styles but casual is referred to in a similar way. However, the
Japanese fashion types are more specifically addressed accord-
ing to the lifestyle of the wearers, whereas a general term is
used to describe the fashion type in Thailand. Japanese youth
fashions are known for their uniqueness. Each style has its spe-
cific name, and is being transfigured consistently by the wear-
ers. A tendency is observed that a group is formed by wearing a
similar fashion style, and confirms the street fashion function-
ing as a communication tool, which is always being modified
Figure 6.
Fashion styles among the Japanese respondents.
through a daily interaction in a group. A brief description of
each style: Casual style is simple, non-distinctive, relaxed, and
informal appearance. Girly is one of Casual sub-styles, with
more feminine casual clothes that emphasized a cute concept.
Onei costume is extremely feminine and affords a matured
looking, but maintains the cuteness (kawaii concept) by deco-
rating with lace and ribbon.
Casual Vintage Street
Figure 7.
Fashion styles among the Thai respondents.
In contrast, Thai youth fashion is simple and less distinctive.
A brief descriptive of each style: Casual style is simple, non-
distinctive, relaxed, and informal appearance. Vintage clothing
is inspired from fashion in the 1960-1980s. Street style is cre-
ated by anonymous wearers but not by the fashion industry.
Although Thai fashions have different names and evolution, all
styles look similar with no distinctive characteristics. In addi-
tion, all of them consist of two main elements which are a
t-shirt and any kind of bottom. A personal income (or monthly
allowance) and the climate may restrict the diversity of fashion
styles. The average of monthly income per household in Japan
stood at 5200 USD (Statistics Bureau, 2012), while it is 1.8
times less in Thailand and may cast some limit for the dress-
ing-up and the choice of fashion styles. In addition, the tropical
climate in Thailand allows only the fashion styles to be simple
and not sophisticated. Thus, the Thai fashions are less diverse
than Japanese. Further, the definition of vintage style was found
to be different between Japan and Thailand. Vintage style is
referred to as second hand clothes in Japan, while it is referred
to fashion inspired from the 1960-1980s in Thailand.
The five most popular fashion magazines are listed in Table
2 for each country.
Table 2 indicates that the local Japanese fashion magazines
were popular among the Japanese. These magazines are owned
by local publishers, and the fashion styles and beauty tips in
these magazines are created by Japanese stylists.
As shown in the magazine ranking, two of Thai’s local
magazines (Cheeze and Knock Knock) are popular among the
Thai respondents. However, the western magazines such as
Seventeen, ELLE, and CLEO are also popular among them.
Cheeze published the first issue in May 2004, after the trend of
street fashion has disseminated to Thailand and the magazine
was inspired mainly by the Japanese street fashion. Although
Cheeze is relatively new in the Thai magazine industry, it has
become significantly popular among the Thai youths, especially
during 2008 and 2009. When it was first published, Cheeze
contained with four sections which were Bangkok street fashion,
shopping guide, beauty tips, and interview with celebrities.
Cheeze now focuses mainly on the local street fashion i n Thai-
land. The number of street fashion pages has increased from 25
to 70 percent of the book, and Cheeze’s street target has ex-
panded from Bangkok to other cities in Thailand such as
Table 2.
The popular fashion magazines between Japan a n d Thailand.
Magazine ranking Japan Thailand
1 ViVi Cheeze
2 Non-no Seventeen
3 Seda ELLE
4 Ray Knock Knock
5 Sweet and Zipper CLEO
Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen. In addition, the influence of west-
ern fashion can be observed on Cheeze magazine, where many
non-professional models are inspired by unsophisticated west-
ern fashions with T-shirt and any kind of bottom, and dark
color. Knock Knock, first published in 2008 during the same
time at the rise of the popularity of Thai street fashion. Knock
Knock displays Thai fashions that are portrayed by young Thai
models and celebrities, and street fashion section is provided
with a small number of pages. On the other hand, the western
fashion magazines sold in Thailand are directly translated from
original editions, so that those magazines contain western fa sh-
ion styles and beauty tips, with little emphasis on Thai local
fashions. To summarize, it could be predicted from the popular-
ity of Cheeze and Knock Knock that Thai street fashion will
continue to grow and become more popular in the near future.
The contents of fashion magazines are also different between
two countries, indicating that the focus of youth interests is
different. In general Japanese fashion magazines contain sev-
eral fashion pages, local street fashion snap shots, and beauty
tips, while Thai fashion magazines have less fashion pages and
contain non-fashion columns such as interview with celebrities
health, and quizzes. The examples of fashion styles from the
magazines are shown in Figures 8 and 9.
Although western fashion magazines are popular among the
Thai respondents, these magazines seem to have no direct in-
fluence on the respondents’ fashion behavior. Due to monthly
income and the climate, the Thai respondents cannot adapt the
styles provided in western magazines. These magazines are
read just for entertainment purpose or to satisfy their fashion
adoration. The ranking of Cheeze magazine has implied the
interest of Thai youths in street fashion, and the potential of
maturing street fashion as the expression of the self-identity
among the Thai youths.
Global Influences
The comparison of the global fashion influences was carried
out in this paper. The respondents were asked to indicate the
city of their fashion inspirations. The results are shown in Ta-
ble 3.
Based on the results of the global influences, Paris has a
highest influence on the Japanese respondents. Paris is known
for one of the world’s fashion capitals, and its fashion has
highly impacted the global apparel business. France is much
influenced by the Japanese pop arts in the mid-19th century,
know as a Japonism, and in consequence a new art movement
was initiated. Since then, France and Japan have enjoyed the
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 265
Fashion style from ViVi magazine Fashion style from Non-no magazine
Figure 8.
Fashion styles from Japanese fashion magazines.
Fashion style from Cheeze magazine Fashion style from Knock Knock magazine
Figure 9.
Fashion styles from Thai fashion magazines.
Table 3.
The city of fashion inspiration.
City of inspiration Japan Thailand
1 Paris Bangkok
2 Tokyo Seoul
3 London London
cultural exchange to stimulate their traditional cultures. Fashion
is not an exception, and many Japanese fashion designers have
practiced their skill in Paris. Especially in 1920s, French cul-
tures including pure arts, fashion, and entertainment had the
highest impact on Japanese society (Slade, 2009). The eco-
nomic growth in the 1970s enabled Japanese consumers to
acquire French luxury goods, and the number of Japanese con-
sumers travelled to Paris to satisfy their taste for French luxury
brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel (Steele et al., 2010).
To date, both luxury and mainstream French fashions continue
to influence the Japanese.
On the other hand, Bangkok was ranked as the most influen-
tial cities by the Thai respondents. The Thai domestic fashion
business has been supported and promoted by the government
since 2002 (Puangmalai, 2011). “ELLE Bangkok Fashion
week”, the biggest fashion show in Thailand, started in 1999
(Kaewthong, 2012) in order to encourage Thai fashion design-
ers in the global market. The growth of Thai fashion industry
has drawn attention of Thai people on Bangkok fashions and
people are more aware of local styles. In addition, Thai people
became more concerned with street fashion as a tool for
self-expression. The Thai fashion industry is now realizing the
potential of the domestic consumers, and began to produce the
original fashion apparels for the domestic consumers. These
apparels are unique in style and identified as a Thai style. Apart
from Bangkok fashion, Thai teens also receive a lot of influ-
ences from Korea. Korean pop cultures such as movies, dramas,
foods, and fashions have become popular among Thai-middle
class youths since the early 2000s (Siriyuvasak & Hyunjoon,
2007). Korean fashion is especially popular among Thai teen-
agers, and they adapt the Korean styles for their personal fash-
ion style. The influence of Japanese youth culture including the
Japanese street fashion used to have a big influence on the Thai
youths in the early 1990s (Tidarat, 2002), but it is now replaced
by a Korean pop culture. A better supply chain (easy to access)
and less sophisticated fashion styles (easy to adapt) promoted
the popularity of Korean fashion in Thailand.
Although the Japanese youths care much about their personal
environment, they seem to attempt to be a little distinct from
others while maintaining a fundamental similarity in clothing to
indicate their dependency on a particular group. The Japanese
youths collect fashion information from various sources in-
cluding “fashion magazines”, “passers-by”, “shop staffs”,
“friends”, “fashion shops”, and “show windows”. The informa-
tion comprises the fashion information delivered directly from
the manufacturers and the fashion information modified by the
wearers. The shop staffs play an important role in Japan as a
fashion forerunner who creates a new trend by coordinating
various fashion items with new styles supplied from the apparel
The street fashion in Thailand is necessarily restricted by the
climate. The Thai youths are now interested in the fashion in-
formation, but rely more on the internet and TV/CM. The fash-
ion in Thailand is still in the state of dawn, but the dawn break-
ers are appearing as shown in the styles appearing in the maga-
zines such as “Cheeze” and “Knock Knock”. However, the
Thai youths spend more time and money on eating together and
chattering through mobile phones, and the street fashion is not
yet functioning as a social networking tool.
Shopping reflects the habitual behavior in both countries.
The shopping frequency is low in Thailand, suggesting their
time is more allocated to spending with friends and families for
eating and chattering. The department store seems to their fa-
vorite place for shopping, because the department store in
Thailand is well air-conditioned and provides the goods of rea-
sonable quality with reasonable price. The Japa nese de partmen t
store tends to promote more luxury goods of a good quality.
The quality assurance is an important business factor for the
Japanese department stores, and the prices are necessarily high.
Thus the Japanese youths shop more frequently at “outlet
malls”, “Uniqlo”, “Gap”, and “select shops”.
The street fashion in Japan offers a diversity of styles char-
acteristic to each street in Tokyo. The wearers arrange their
style according to their personal surroundings and modify
slightly according to their individuality. Naturally the street
fashion in Japan transfigures co nsistently on the personal level,
and in the end creates a new trend. On the other hand, Thai
fashion styles were less characteristic and simple which could
be resulted from the tropical weather, lower income, and life-
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s .
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 267
There are so many fashion magazines available in Japan,
which introduce a new trend not only for fashion but also for a
lifestyle. Here each magazine has its own concept of fashion
and lifestyle, and the Japanese youths can choose the fashion
magazines according to their personal surroundings. A variety
of street fashions available in town correspond to a diversified
way of chattering among the Japanese youths.
Both western and local fashion magazines are popular in
Thailand. The fashion magazines in Thailand serve more for
entertaining individuals and no direct influence on Thai street
fashion. The Thai youths are less engaged in fashion and the
street fashion in Thailand is still immature. However, the in-
creasing popularity of the local fashion magazines such as
“Cheeze” and “Knock Knock” indicates the increasing interest
in the street fashion and the change of the youth lifestyle.
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