Japan has cultivated some of the most influential and innovative designers in fashion’s history, such as Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe and Issey Miyake, whose often dark and sculptural designs awed editors and critics upon their debuts on Western runways. Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College boasts an impressive roster of alumni, including Kenzo’s Kenzo Takada, A Bathing Ape’s NIGO and Undercover’s Jun Takahashi.

While many Japanese designers have achieved global recognition, there are those whose popularity remains largely domestic. While some of these designers have been producing for years (and are insider favorites), and others are relatively new—we think these brands are under the radar enough (for most people) that they deserve a little spotlight all their own. Below, we highlight a few of Japan’s talented contemporary designers whose labels may very soon become international household names.

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