Posts Tagged ‘hats’

Disaster preparation with a difference

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Emergency koala biscuits from Lotte

Disaster gear tends to be, well, a little frumpy, or, in the case of Japan’s rather weird disaster hats, just downright ludicrous looking. So what’re trend-conscious Tokyo-types to do when the ground starts shaking for the trillionth time? Some are turning to Danish brand Yakkay for the answer. Their trendy hard hats have been selling like hot cakes since the quake hit, according to Tokyo Walker. Though they’re aimed at cyclists, the hats on sale at Rotator Store, Marui’s specialist bicycle store, have been worn elsewhere. Marui’s PR manager points out that they have been spotted on train passengers as they make their commute to the office.

So what other funky disaster-related products are out there? Here are but a few:

  • Silver Hello Kitty disaster kit: Though this kit does contain the dreaded quilted disaster hood, it also has a funky pink Hello Kitty bandana inside to don once the tremors have subsided, allowing kids to regain their street cred. Also inside are a blanket, torch, pillow and pouch. Demand appears to be high. At the time of writing this item is sold out on Jishin Bousai Netto (Earthquake Disaster Prevention Net) and Amazon.
  • Black rhino disaster kit: Again for kids, but we think adults could get away with sporting this funky matte-black rhino-shaped bag. Contents include: a whistle, a torch, aluminum sheet, tissues, pen and memo pad, cotton gloves and hand towel.
  • Silver disaster jacket for dogs: Dogs need to stay safe too. This stylish coat can double as a stretcher for injured dogs and is waterproof in case it pours down. Inside its pockets are items that humans will find useful in an emergency.
  • Lotte Koala Biscuits: If you’re forced to eat boring old dry biscuits, you might as well have them in funky shapes. This five-can set of emergency treats will do nicely.
  • Blue jumpsuit: Politicians wearing this stunning sky-blue item will be able to show that they’ve really taken charge in an emergency. The suit also signifies that they are working hard alongside the common man to bring an end to a crisis. Supposedly, anyway. Watch out for grumpy movie directors who might sneer at your stylish threads. They’re just jealous!

Yes, you can kankan: boater hats go with everything

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Boater hats of all stripes fill a shop shelf

Boater hats of all stripes fill a shop shelf

Once upon a time in America, men traded their felt winter hats for boaters on National Straw Hat Day every May and thus marked the unofficial start of summer. This year, in the coldest April in recent Tokyo history, the boaters are a season early, and it’s the women who are wearing them.

While grown-up headwear, from square fedoras and berets to flowery katyusha hairbands and whimsical head-perching mini-hats, are all responsible for upgrading the era of hip-hop’s baseball cap, it is the boater that is getting dressed up and down Tokyo. The Japanese name, kankan-bou (カンカン帽), like many fashion terms used in Japanese, comes from the hat’s French name, the canotier.  A classic straw version with a simple, solid wide ribbon gets top billing on the pages of online hat retailer CA4LA.com, but simple is just the beginning.

In addition to the standard wheat straw and other natural materials such as sweet-smelling cypress and raffia, the hats come in a range of styles and fabric. Would you like that in linen, denim and cotton printed with tiny flowers? Even animal prints are prowling the spring streets. The band is endlessly customizable, showing up in sequins, nautical stripes and black and white polka dots. In step with the decofuku (decorated clothing), trend, people are adding bows,  flowers or bouquets of buttons.

Continue reading about kankan-bou →

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