In the globalization era, Asian markets accounted for an outlet for Western products. Today we see an opposite scenario in which we tend to value more and more the aesthetic features of the Far East. This phenomenon of counter-globalization brings many Asian brands to enter the Western market.
The Far East evokes a luxury made of details and sophistication. The Western signatures specifically mention the Eastern tradition through the use of decontextualized icons and dense ornamental textures. This creates a new elegance, cultured and international, where the East reinterprets itself renewing.
The imagery of colonialism abandons his historical debts and become a cosmopolitan glamour that celebrates the cult of hospitality and the Asian luxury. This trend exteriorizes in many different ways: from the interior design of the Mandarin Hotel in Bangkok to the liquor bottle of Domaine de Canton.
The Eastern concept of wellness has many sides: the holistic unity of being, the balance of male and female energies (yin and yang), respect of nature, meditation. Outer beauty is a reflection of inner well-being and the perfect balance of each element. Water is the original element, evocative of life, the fountain that restores contact with its essence and regenerates. The products that interpret this theme expresses a very simple and consistent language, offering a classic elegance, inspired by the reduction to the essentials. The cosmetics industry is the first choice of this philosophy of beauty.
Shiseido is a Japanese brand well known for the high quality of its products and its glamorous vocation. Suqqu, a brand born from the concept of poise and elegance (sukku-to = "postures with attitude"), adopts an even more severe and minimalist language far reaching an extreme reductions. The daily and accessible side of this trend is the new retail Starbucks in Fukuoka by Kengo Kuma, inspired by the themes of natural and feng shui, and by the new Bionsen just issued from a repositioning phase.
The cultural contamination generated young, fresh and irreverent languages. The instinctive approach of Western street culture, that found in the graffiti a medium of communication and aggregation are intertwined with the manga imaginery and generates a new cross-cultural synthesis, colorful and bold. Is the younger and accessible side of the meeting between East and West and offers a reshuffle of the codes of the past in a pop style. A near past and sometimes immediate, whose users interpret this style with a touch of irony and nostalgia.
Standard bearer of this language is the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Takashi Murakami, on which the manga version of the famous Parisian texture flowed out. In cultural terms, Gwen Stefani had a major role in turning this trend from underground to mainstream, thanks to video clips from Love. Angel. Music. Baby of 2004 with Harajuku girls through the brand Harajuku Lovers of 2005.
The Italian Simone Legno is the creator of Tokidoki brand, and in 2010 has created a makeup line in partnership with Sephora, a sign of longevity of this trend still in vogue.