Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Japanese school under fire over Armani uniform

Armani uniform at Tokyo public elementary school spurs parents' complaints This primary school in Japan is forcing children to wear Armani uniforms every day
Faye Gross | 10 February, 2018, 05:29

A school in Japan has made headlines for its new policy on school uniforms, announcing children at the primary school will soon be forced into wearing $936 Armani uniforms to school.

Finance Minister Taro Aso said that the prices seemed expensive for elementary school uniforms. However, when their costs were released a year ago, parents balked. The Armani-designed uniforms will cost about two and a half times as much.

Parents of students criticised the plan, explaining that it was too expensive for their children to wear uniforms which are priced at over 80,000 yen ($730, £500) each and include a hat and a bag.

Japan has a reputation for some of the trendiest school uniforms in the world - with some schools actively encouraging pupils to be as stylish and fashionable as possible.

After the ward government received complaints, its board of education held a press conference on the same day.

School uniforms have been around for about 150 years and are not only seen as a symbol of youth but also play an important role in the country's culture, reported. Adopting an Armani uniform is like saying "no to poor people" or that "only those children who take pride in Armani should come", wrote well-known education personality Naoki Ogi, also known as Ogi-Mama, on his blog.

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The school, which is situated in the luxury shopping district Ginza, tied up with the brand to create a look that reflected its prestigious location for the sake of "the school's future".

"There are many brand shops in Ginza and I wondered if it is an option to borrow the strength of one of the brands" in order to further develop the school, Wada told reporters.

Education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said that the school should have discussed the matter with parents before making the decision.

The backlash has brought unwanted attention to Taimei Elementary School, which dates its history to the late 19th century and whose well-known ivy-covered school building is just blocks away from Tokyo's most expensive real estate. In November, the school distributed a document authorized by principal Toshitsugu Wada about the change, explaining that the "uniform is more befitting of a school located in Ginza" among other reasons. The Armani design is scheduled to be introduced in April.

The principal said the current school clothing is no longer being produced, leading the board to conclude that the changeover could not be postponed.

Wada acknowledged the new uniform would cost more, but considered it worth it.

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