Naoto Hirooka, the founder of influential Japanese subculture fashion brand h.NAOTO, has announced that the brand will close all of its brick and mortar stores in Japan by the end of August. The brand – which closed its flagship Harajuku boutique last year – will remain active through its online store and social media.
Here is the full statement from Naoto Hirooka (translated into English by us):
h.NAOTO Stores – Store Closing Notice
Dear customers: I’d like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making use of the h.NAOTO stores.
However, effective July 31st, 2016, the h.NAOTO Shinjuku Marui Annex and the h.NAOTO Laforet Shinjuku stores will be closing.
My deepest thanks go out to the many people who have made h.NAOTO one of Tokyo’s major stores since our debut.
In addition, our flagship store in Kansai, h.NAOTO+ in Osaka will be ceasing operations as of August 28th, 2016 (Monday). It should be noted that starting July 10th (Sunday) and continuing until closing, the store will only be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for operational reasons.
It is with deep regret that I’ve decided to cease operations for these stores in anticipation of future trends, sales figures heading into the fall, and concern for the brand. I’m really sorry for any inconvenience this causes our customers, but I hope you understand.
After these stores are closed, the sale of h.NAOTO, Sixh., and GRAMM products will be consolidated in my online store, where I hope I can rely on your continued patronage.
Out of gratitude for years of support, I’ve organized store closing sales and other events. Since our staff members will be moving on to other things, it’s a good idea to take this opportunity to drop in and say hello. I hope you can come and enjoy yourselves before the stores close.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all. With grateful humility,
Managing Director Naoto Hirooka
h.NAOTO is popular in a number of Japanese fashion subcultures including Gothic and Lolita, Punk, Visual Kei, and Steam Punk. The brand was founded in 1999 Naoto Hirooka and has been influential on younger Japanese designers as well as in the street fashion scene.
The brand’s store closings are the latest signs of the accelerating decline of Japanese fashion subcultures in a world where fast fashion and social media drive trends worldwide.