When BEAMS started as a tiny shop in Harajuku, Tokyo in 1976, its store name was taglined American Life Shop BEAMS. The tides had turned after a gloomy era of depression and political turbulence, and the youth, influenced by images of American culture that they saw in movies and on TV, were hungry to get their hands on something other than army surplus. A small group of young men travelled to California and returned with bags full of American fashion and lifestyle products to sell – and that was the beginning of BEAMS. Styled to replicate a UCLA student dorm room, the shop was undoubtedly the first of its kind.
Currently directed by Hideki (Harry) Mizobata, BEAMS PLUS private label collections draw inspiration from America’s Golden Age, the mid-1940s to mid-60s, when the country came out of World War II as the victor and its economy was booming. Every business sector saw massive development, and dress codes, or uniforms, were defined for various lifestyles. Four main uniform categories were fostered in this era that are the basis of fashion thereafter: American trad, work, sports and military. BEAMS PLUS sees timeless beauty in the functional designs of uniform fashion, and strives to honor such tradition in its modern interpretations.