The clothing manufacturing industry in Japan has long been dominated by some major players who have built their reputations on quality and style. Japan is known worldwide for its fashion-forward street style and trendsetting brands. Behind these brands are large corporations with decades of experience in apparel production and retail.
While small boutique brands have certainly left their mark, Japan’s largest clothing companies have made the greatest impact globally thanks to their scale and reach. Many of these corporations are actually large general trading companies with divisions focused on apparel. Clothing manufacturing represents a major pillar of production and exports for Japan.
This article will count down the 10 largest clothing manufacturers in Japan by revenue. While fast fashion has disrupted the industry, these stalwart brands have adapted and continue to thrive. They have leveraged their size, capital, and expertise to strengthen their positions in the dynamic Japanese fashion marketplace. Read on for an inside look at the giants of Japanese clothing production.
#10 – Renown
Annual revenue: $1.3 billion
Founded in 1907 as a knitwear manufacturer, Renown has grown into one of Japan’s leading makers of men’s business attire. Its products include suits, business shirts, and casual menswear sold under brands like Renown and Hart. The company operates about 400 stores domestically and exports to 30 countries.
In addition to its core menswear line, Renown has brands specializing in golf apparel, yoga wear, and plus-size women’s clothing. The company benefits from its vertical integration, operating factories in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Renown aims to bring quality materials and skilled craftsmanship to its clothing lines.
#9 – World Co.
Annual revenue: $1.5 billion
World Co. oversees several apparel chains that cater to different demographics and styles. Its holdings include Shimamura retail stores targeting working-class consumers, the Sizes chain specializing in plus sizes, and the Mirione children’s clothing stores. World Co. imports many of its clothes directly from partner factories in China.
The company’s buying power, inventory management, and distribution networks represent key strengths in delivering affordable fashions. Through meticulous supply chain optimization, World Co. aims to offer low costs to customers while operating on strong margins. The company also engages in real estate management associated with its nearly 1,900 retail locations.
#8 – Edwin
Annual revenue: $1.6 billion
Specializing in denim apparel, Edwin got its start in Japan during the 1970s import boom and perfected the craft of quality jeans. Edwin has expanded from bases in Japan and the US to become a global lifestyle brand carried in specialty boutiques. The company pairs rigorous textile R&D with contemporary fashion sensibilities.
Edwin’s manufacturing occurs in Japan using vintage American-made selvedge looms to produce premium denim. Details like button-fly closure and chain-stitched hemming exemplify the dedication to craftsmanship. In addition to jeans, the brand offers a full range of casual apparel including jackets, t-shirts, and accessories. Edwin embodies sophistication and durability with its denim-centric fashions.
#7 – Aoki Holdings
Annual revenue: $1.9 billion
The Aoki brand is built on made-to-measure men’s suits of uncompromising quality. Aoki Holdings operates over 600 stores globally providing tailored business wear. Using techniques like canvas mounting and hand stitching, Aoki builds suits designed to be comfortable, durable, and stylish.
In addition to suits, Aoki produces custom shirts, ties, shoes and other men’s apparel. It also offers women’s clothing through its MeXXiQ label. Aoki represents an ambassador of bespoke Japanese workmanship, bringing its artisanal approach to markets worldwide. The brand promotes confidence through wardrobe essentials honed by generations of expertise.
#6 – Onward Holdings
Annual revenue: $2.1 billion
Onward Holdings oversees several prominent Japanese fashion labels including Onitsuka Tiger sneakers and the luxury clothing line Maison Kitsune. Onward Kashiyama is its core fabric R&D division developing innovative textile products. The company was an early pioneer bringing lifestyle brands and high-quality casualwear to Japan.
Onward’s retail holdings include brands like Ralph Lauren and Jil Sander through licensing deals and partnerships. The company pursues global growth with subsidiaries in Europe and Americas to extend its distribution networks. By fusing technology with design, Onward aims to bring premium Japanese fashion to consumers worldwide.
#5 – Fast Retailing (Uniqlo)
Annual revenue: $21 billion
Fast Retailing has built its reputation on affordable and functional basics through its chain of Uniqlo stores. Uniqlo pioneered accessible quality clothing using high-tech textiles and streamlined designs. The brand offers wardrobe essentials for men, women and children including jeans, underwear and popular Ultra Light Down jackets.
In addition to design and manufacturing, Fast Retailing’s cross-border supply chain provides major cost advantages that translate into lower retail prices. Under the leadership of Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing has grown at a breakneck pace with over 3,500 Uniqlo locations worldwide. The company aims to bring quality clothes within reach of all consumers.
#4 – Adastria
Annual revenue: $21.3 billion
Adastria is a retail conglomerate encompassing brands such as Muji and Theory. Muji is renowned for its minimalist designs and high-quality basics. Meanwhile, Theory brings sophisticated contemporary fashion to the global stage from its base in New York.
Through its retail subsidiaries, Adastria has created a stable of brands focused on different demographics and styles. Yet quality craftsmanship and attention to detail are consistent themes. The company manages nearly 1,400 stores spanning Greater China, Asia, Japan, Europe and America. With its international distribution network, Adastria brings its Japanese-inspired aesthetic worldwide.
#3 – Tokyu Department Store
Annual revenue: $24.5 billion
As one of Japan’s largest department store operators, Tokyu offers a vast selection of apparel and luxury goods. Its retail locations include the posh Shibuya Hikarie building in downtown Tokyo. Tokyu Department Store markets both international brands and homegrown labels showcasing Japanese craft.
The company’s apparel business includes its own private label brands along with carefully curated fashion collections. Tokyu Department Store is also a leader in high-end children’s clothing. By cultivating partnerships with top designers and brands, Tokyu provides a premier shopping experience featuring the best of Japanese style.
#2 – Itochu Corporation
Annual revenue: $112 billion
As one of the largest general trading companies in Japan, Itochu Corporation derives a substantial portion of its revenue from textiles and apparel. Its clothing businesses comprise well-known brands such as DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, and Converse. Itochu provides capital, logistics, and supply chain efficiencies to maximize brand growth and global reach.
In addition to Western brands, Itochu oversees prominent Japanese labels like Reira New York. With operations spanning upstream textile suppliers to retail distribution networks, Itochu represents an apparel powerhouse both in Japan and abroad. The company continues to enhance its position through new partnerships and strategic acquisitions.
#1 – Takashimaya
Annual revenue: $253 billion
As Japan’s preeminent department store, Takashimaya is a pillar of Japanese fashion and lifestyle branding. Its upscale stores offer premier shopping destinations showcasing local and global luxury brands. Takashimaya operates 21 locations domestically along with additional outposts in Asia.
The company’s buying power attracts prominent designers and labels to sell their collections through Takashimaya stores. Along with apparel, Takashimaya provides world-class retail environments with restaurants, event space and attentive amenities. For over a century, Takashimaya has served as a tastemaker introducing innovative lifestyle concepts and products to the Japanese market.
Japan’s largest apparel companies have achieved scale, longevity and influence through dedication to quality and craftsmanship. Many like Renown and Aoki Holdings uphold decades-long traditions of technique and attention to detail. Meanwhile, Fast Retailing and Adastria have pioneered new high-tech fabrics and innovative retail strategies.
These companies satisfy global demand while promoting quintessential Japanese fashion philosophy and sensibilities. By leveraging their resources and networks, Japan’s top clothing brands continue to clothe the world in style while inspiring future generations of designers and manufacturers. The quest for quality is woven into the fabric of Japanese fashion.