Japanese fashion is nothing if not innovative, and Japanese fashion magazines for women are paid close attention by the fashion discerning citizens of Tokyo and across Japan. These magazines are specifically tailored and curated for each possible target demographic you could think of and this, along with the beautifully coordinated outfits is the key reason for their huge success.
Covering the distinctive street styles, beauty focused magazines, and high-end fashion, here is our list of the top Japanese fashion magazines you need to know for 2021.
Top 10 Japanese Fashion Magazines
- 美人百花 (Bijin Hyaka)
- Elle Japan
1) 美人百花 (Bijin Hyaka)
Bijin-Hyakka (which translates into English as “beautiful hundred flowers”) is a monthly fashion magazine focusing on the “adult cute fashion” of the working Arasa lady. Since Arasa literally means “Around thirty”, Bijin-Hyakka’s target audience would be anyone from their late twenties to their early thirties, however they have readership even in the mid-twenties who are drawn to their elegant feminine styles and fashionable dressing coordination.
Readers love Bijin-Hyakka’s content and say they always use it for reference for both everyday fashion and when choosing outfits for special occasions.
Sweet is a top selling monthly fashion magazine in Japan that approaches fashion from a fun and casual perspective. They are aimed for readers in their late twenties and early thirties with the concept that regardless of age, you can still enjoy dressing in an “adult girly” style. In more specific terms, Sweet introduce cute, feminine, and elegant outfits which incorporate the latest trends.
Due to the magazine’s success, there is now even a “Suito-kei” (Sweet style) in Japan! Other aspects that their readers love about Sweet is their well-researched articles which they can trust when they are unsure on the right way to use current trends.
Another top Japanese fashion magazine is Vivi. The monthly magazine’s readership is made up of women in their late teens and twenties who love fashion and are not afraid to show their personalities. Vivi comes packed full of casual, girly, and street style fashion outfits with an emphasis on mixing and matching clothes to create unique looks. Special features in each issue cover beauty topics like makeup, cosmetics, skin care as well as seasonal fashion tips.
Vivi’s readers say the magazine has many types of outfits that are easy to imitate despite being in such a trendy magazine. They also find the models beautiful and inspire them to work harder on their fashion every month.
The magazine name derives from “voice” in Italian, and it has clearly taken the position as the voice of the beauty industry in Japan. Although VoCE is a beauty information magazine aimed at women in their twenties and thirties, it appeals to all ages with articles on skincare, makeup tips, hair treatment and niche topics written by experts and beauty professionals.
Along with up-to-date beauty techniques for those looking to experiment each month, VoCE’s January and August issues are particularly well known for being cosmetic special issues. Unsurprisingly, VoCE is dubbed the “beauty bible” among its readers who love the cosmetic recommendations and “how-to” make up sections.
Ray attracts women in their late teens and into their twenties as their target audience is college students who are searching for mainstream and “sweet” style fashion at prices they can afford. The monthly magazine sets itself apart with fashionable campus outfits and cute but trendy looks. Ray also makes it super easy to search for fashion information on their sites with outfit coordination keywords and hashtags.
Readers say they like Ray as they can catch the latest trends which they worry they may have missed out on. They also find the models cute and often imitate the outfits they see them wearing.
Maquia is a high-quality beauty magazine for sophisticated women in their mid-twenties and thirties who aspire to be beautiful. The magazine name comes from “Maquillage” which means make-up in French, and as you may imagine it covers the latest cosmetics, topical skin care, and articles solving problems related to beauty. In a similar way to VoCE, their January and August issues feature the best cosmetics each year and Maquia have special features each month on body care and diet.
The large appendix (usually cosmetic samples) that Maquia provide is particularly popular with its readers who like to try them out, and they also find the magazine content informative and helpful.
7) Elle Japan
As expected, this is the Japanese version of the world’s much loved fashion magazine Elle. The readers of Elle Japon are in their 20s and 30s, are often single, and hold a higher disposable income. By introducing unique and high-end fashion ahead of the times, Elle Japon keeps its trend-conscious audience well-informed, and also attracts independent female readers with engaging articles on celebrity lifestyles, interior design, and art.
Recently there is increased coverage on overseas culture and brands, but this is seen as a plus by Elle Japon subscribers who enjoy the sophisticated articles and find the information provided on couture designers indispensable to anticipate future trends.
Jelly (derived from Jelly Bean) is the only bimonthly magazine on our list. It is geared towards an audience in their late teens and early twenties, and while it was previously associated with “Gyaru” subculture (think bleached blond hair and going against the dominant cute fashion mode), the current magazine style remains “casual and cool”. Jelly achieves this by introducing fashionable casual outfits, using trending but affordable brands, and occasionally incorporating vintage-like fashion.
Subscribers of Jelly love the magazine’s appendix which often includes cosmetic collaborations with brands like Emoda, and also has extensive tutorials which allow readers to hone their make-up skills.
Recently celebrating their fortieth year in the business this year, Non-no has been reliably introducing the latest fashion news and trends since 1971. The monthly magazine has kept its popularity with female college students and new graduates by focusing on simple yet elegant feminine outfits that can be used on campus or in the office. In addition to fashion coordination for girls who are busy with work or study, Non-no gives special attention to hair styling, new cosmetics lines, and general beauty tips.
Non-no’s audience say the magazine is easy to follow and shows them how to mix and match fashion items. Some readers even subscribe later in life as they find the magazine nostalgic of their younger days!
Oggi is a monthly fashion magazine for working women that proposes fashion should be intelligent, tasteful and of Oggi, which means “today” in Italian. Their concept is based on casual style and office attire, so it focuses on feminine outfits with elegant but modern accents that balances between these two main ideas. Oggi is known for its sophisticated spreads which incorporate chic seasonal items as well as covering relevant beauty and lifestyle content.
Office commuters are big fans as they use Oggi to search for fashion items online, and many find the magazine extremely helpful when coordinating tricky winter and spring outfits.
This rounds up our list of the Japanese fashion magazines you should know, however there are so many more that cover each demographic and fashion subculture. If you are interested in finding out which magazine might be best for your next Japanese campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact us.