What’s in a Brand? – Our Top 3 Inspirations

When we embarked on this journey of setting up Yuugen, we weren’t initially sure of the direction we wanted to take with the brand image and styling. However, we knew we wanted to stand out from the crowded infant/toddler market, which currently has a huge focus on beige and pastel clothing.

Being Japanese teachers and lovers of Japan at heart, we wanted to capture the essence of the country and culture through Yuugen and our clothes.  There were two things we were sure of when deciding how we would establish our image. We knew that a) our brand had to have some Japanese influence SOMEWHERE, and b) we wanted to capture the atmosphere and vibe of walking through the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

Combining these two elements seems somewhat easy, but ensuring the balance is right is also a little tricky. As Yuugen is a kidswear brand (at the moment…we have big ambitions!), contrasting that against the modern, often grungy, in-your-face feel of a bustling Japanese city street is a bit of a juggling act!

In establishing Yuugen, we decided to focus primarily on the following three inspirations.


1. Red tones found in Japanese culture.

Red is a common colour found throughout Japanese culture. It represents peace and prosperity.


The first inspiration for Yuugen is the colour red. This colour is synonymous with Japanese culture and permeates so much of the country; from the red torii gates outside of a Shinto shrine, to the red of the Japanese flag, and even Tokyo Tower (Japan’s answer to the Eiffel Tower) When travelling or living in Japan, you just cannot escape the colour red! It really is everywhere. In Japan, red represents peace and prosperity. For us, it adds the punchy contrast we were looking for against the monochrome tones of our logo and other branding.


2. Hidden streets of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto

Japanese streets are often full of interesting little finds!


If you have ever been to Japan, you will know that leaving the main tourist thoroughfares and making a beeline for some of the narrow back streets of the cities leads to some amazing discoveries! Whether than be a funky little restaurant, a quaint little park or even a massive shrine or temple, tucked away unbeknownst amongst houses and apartments, Japanese streets are actually really interesting! As we are a streetwear brand, incorporating this into our branding and imagery is a perfect way to capture the atmosphere and vibe of these streets!


3. Traditional Japanese fabric designs and patterns

Traditional Japanese patterns were originally used for clothing like kimonos.


Not only do we want our brand to have Japanese flair, we also want to carry that through to the style of our clothing. Our range of kids tees have been inspired by traditional Japanese fabric patterns that have been used on kimonos for hundreds our years. One of these key designs is the wave or ‘seigaiha’ pattern; although our renditions have a funky modern twist. Traditionally these patterns were often made in darker muted colours such as blue, violet, navy.

There you have it – our top 3 inspirations

Naturally, there were so many other inspirations we could have taken from Japan in setting up Yuugen. Trying to narrow down such an amazing, complex, traditional yet modern, beautiful country and culture into just three points is no mean feat!

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