Japanese Techwear Brands You’ll Love | CoolJapan

Think techwear clothing is dowdy? Japanese techwear brands will change your mind.

Techwear, short for “technical wear”, is known for prioritising functionality and comfort over fashion. Think bulky hiking jackets, baggy cargo pants, rugged high-performing sneakers, oversized backpacks and so on. These pieces are usually reinforced with special fabrics — such as Cordura or GORE-TEX — that are durable enough to withstand extreme conditions. Most come with a minimal design or feature a camouflage print from hunting brands like Realtree.

But techwear has been shedding its utilitarian reputation. Thanks to newer, sleeker designs, it’s now seen as trendy and hip especially among the streetstyle community. Pieces from Japanese techwear brands are particularly good at mastering the balance between form and function. So if you want to refresh your wardrobe, here are some of the best labels you should know.


Goldwin’s designs are a masterclass when it comes to elevating the signature simplicity of techwear. Instead of usual bulky cuts, this Japanese techwear brand uses new technology such as the KODENSHI®Down which has densely packed fibres that work to keep things toasty without the need for multiple layers. This allows for sleeker, understated looks that double as  fashion statements.

White Mountaineering

White Mountaineering goes beyond typical outdoor pieces. Aside from its formidable hiking jackets, it also offers casual clothing that you can wear as part of your everyday ensemble. The brand frequently collaborates with other lifestyle-centric brands — most recently with UNIQLO, adidas and Mizuno — to create more versatile pieces that are as stylish as they are comfortable. If you’re looking to sport techwear that’s easy to style, you can count on White Mountaineering to have what you’re looking for.

TROVE may be younger than the more established legacy brands on this list but it has already proven to be a worthy contender in the stylish techwear arena. Most of its pieces have a distinctly looser, flowy silhouette which makes them inclusive and comfortable. This aesthetic is inspired by wafuku, which refers to traditional Japanese clothing. At a glance, you can see the influences of kimono robes on its jackets such as this fleece jacket and nylon outerwear. Classic with a contemporary twist!


Love the traditional utilitarian style of techwear but want a more fashionable take? ARCHON may just be the brand you’re looking for. This youthful Japanese techwear brand doubles down on techwear’s bulky look but still keeps its designs fresh with bold, statement-making details. You’re sure to turn heads when you put on any of its pieces.


If understated athleisure is your style, you’ll love the techwear pieces by DISCOVERED. Jackets, coats and other outerwear from this brand can be seamlessly added to your cold-weather outfits. The brand also offers specific aesthetics for its seasonal collections, with the latest adopting a relaxed, country-side look.


Sleek and modern with a touch of grunge, CIVILIZED pieces are reminiscent of ninja outfits. This luxury Japanese techwear brand prides itself on sophisticated dressmaking that has a good balance of function and form. You can spot this design ethos in its elegant yet heavily reinforced warm outdoor pieces that are made for “urban survival”.


This collaboration between Yohji Yamamoto (Y) and adidas (3 for three stripes, the brand’s logo) is known for creating elevated sporty techwear pieces that help enhance performance and are conducive to quick movement. This means lightweight but durable clothing that’s resilient to the elements. Yohji Yamamoto’s signature drapey silhouette also dominates the brand’s overlook, making it a truly one-of-a-kind label.

Which of these Japanese techwear brands interested you the most?

(Cover photo from: @discovered_official)