Dressing Japan's schoolkids gets dearer as wool prices spike
Nikkei -- Mar 17
Prices of school uniforms are on the rise in Japan, due to sharply climbing wool prices and changing fashion trends in neighboring China.

When Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo's fashionable Ginza district adopted new uniforms designed by the Italian luxury brand Armani, and the move sparked a nationwide uproar. The new uniforms for boys and girls carry price tags of over 80,000 yen ($754) each, including suggested accessories such as a matching bag.

The parents at the public elementary school were not alone in complaining about spiking prices of school uniforms in Japan.

In a country that has struggled with deflation for many years, prices for school uniforms are rising sharply, though not usually as high as the Ginza school's.

Uniforms in Japan averaged 32,000 yen to 33,000 yen in the fiscal year ended March 2017, a roughly 18% increase from a decade ago, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

One reason for the higher prices is the added fashion element of school uniforms, inspired by the all-girl Nogizaka46 idol group, whose members perform in uniform-like costumes. Schools with cuter uniforms tend to attract more students, which has driven schools to pursue uniforms of a higher caliber. Limited production results in higher bills.

One reason for the higher prices is the added fashion element of school uniforms, inspired by the all-girl Nogizaka46 idol group, whose members perform in uniform-like costumes. Schools with cuter uniforms tend to attract more students, which has driven schools to pursue uniforms of a higher caliber. Limited production results in higher bills.

School uniform prices in Japan rose by about 5,000 yen on average in the nine years between fiscal 2007 and 2016.

News source: Nikkei
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