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Men’s Beauty and Fashion Rising in Japan: Creating New Demand in a Mature Market

By Guest Contributor

10 Jul 2020

This month’s Fashion Friday podcast series by Euromonitor International explores the ageing population and the rise of men’s beauty and fashion in Japan.

Japan’s population is ageing and in decline. By 2030, nearly one-third of the population will be aged over 65. To move forward in this challenging environment, companies are keen to create new demand and expand their consumer base by tapping into this segment.

In the beauty and personal care industry, men’s beauty has started to go beyond just skincare. With Shiseido launching men’s BB cream in 2019, which became the first men’s colour cosmetics from a major brand, it quickly sold out in many stores. In April this year, ORBIS launched men’s nail polish from its ORBIS Mr.line, which offers a natural and clean impression with nude colour polish. Although these products are colour cosmetics, the concept is to trim one’s appearance rather than beautify, like in women’s colour cosmetics.

Due to the strong awareness of their appearance that Japanese consumers today hold, companies are seeing the potential in tapping into the men’s cosmetics market. According to Euromonitor International’s annual beauty survey in 2018, when asked what the definition of beauty is, the top answer among Japanese male respondents was “looking presentable”, which was selected by 40 percent. This is notably higher than the global average of 36 percent, which implies that Japanese consumers are highly conscious of their physical appearance.

Concerning the apparel industry, the menswear market in Japan is stagnating following the declining trend of apparel overall in Japan. However, worth noting is Mikimoto, a major pearl jewellery brand, which in February launched a pearl collection for men in collaboration with Comme Des Garcons that grew great attention from many in the fashion industry.

The two main drivers supporting the rise in men’s personal accessories and jewellery is personalisation and genderless fashion. This is gradually gaining acceptance among Japanese consumers.

Compared to women’s beauty and fashion, the men’s category is expected to remain small in Japan. However, men’s beauty and fashion is growing and has clear potential. In a mature and highly developed market like Japan, creating new demand and expanding niche demand is likely the key to growth in the future.

Written and created for FashionUnited by Euromonitor. Explore more fashion related podcasts by Euromonitor here.

Image: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels