Ever since the world economy entered a major slump back in 2008, the Japanese fashion industry – like fashion industries in other countries – has been feeling the repercussions. Several Japanese brands have shut down in the last few years, and Tokyo has certainly seen its fair share of store closures. The latest casualty isn’t a physical store, but a well-known international web shop based in Tokyo. Last week, MARUI Web Channel (previously known as MARUI One) official closed down their international operations.
Launched back in 2007 (a year before the world economic crash) MARUI One International made a big splash by offering authentic fashion from numerous Japanese fashion brands not previously available online overseas. The roster of brands that MARUI carried over the nearly four years the site was active included 6%DOKIDOKI, Angelic Pretty, Super Lovers, Sexy Dynamite London, Black Peace Now, H Naoto, Algonquins, and many more.
MARUI One was best known for their Gothic and Lolita brands (largely because of their association with Kera Magazine and appearances at various international gothic-friendly events), but they also carried many mainstream Shibuya 109 and girly street fashion brands. Some of the popular non-gothic brands included Snidel, Jayro, Liz Lisa, Alba Rosa, Murua, Smacky Glam, Apuweiser-Riche, and LipStar.
Though we’re sad to see MARUI’s international web store close, we realize that the internet has changed a lot since 2007. Most – or perhaps all – of the Japanese fashion brands that MARUI One carried are now available internationally through other sources. Rakuten has been rapidly increasing the selection of Japanese fashion at their international web shop. They – along with various independent stores – will fill the hole left by MARUI’s closure.
Also, please be aware that MARUI is only closing their international online shop. Their Japanese business operations remain in tact. This means you can still buy all of the same Japanese fashion brands from MARUI. You just have to fly to Japan and visit their department stores in Shinjuku or other areas of Tokyo to do so!
In remembrance of MARUI One International (1997-2011, RIP), here are a few screen captures of their website from better days.
The official MARUI Web Channel website will go offline on August 31, 2011.