The upcoming product arose out of a collaboration between two University of Tokyo students and a Japanese fashion designer.
There’s a certain status that comes with attending one of the world’s elite universities. Whether it’s Oxford, Harvard, or the handful of other crème de la crème institutions that are consistently ranked among the top worldwide, many students want to display their pride at having been accepted to such selective institutions without overtly bragging about it.
One such famous institution is the University of Tokyo, located in the heart of Japan’s capital city. Often abbreviated as “Todai” (from “Tokyo Daigaku,” as the school is called in Japanese), the University of Tokyo is one of East Asia’s most prestigious research universities. While gaining admission is often an aspiration of many high school seniors in the throes of exam season (not to mention many a desperate anime character), students who do reach that significant milestone have found an unexpected climate waiting for them as Todai students.
According to two current Todai students, many of their peers nowadays actually dislike mentioning where they go to school to others because it often leads to them being stereotypically labeled or plastered with unwanted attention and ideals. These two students began searching for a way to unobtrusively show their school pride in a more discreet manner, and eventually teamed up with young fashion designer Keisuke Yoshida to create the “College Blouson Project” under the mantras of “For you who can’t boast that you’re a Todai student” and “LOVE Own Background.”
▼ Two models (not the Todai students) wearing the newly created jacket, which was designed to be appropriate for both slightly formal and casual situations.
The blouson comes with two breast pen pockets and its overall highlight, which is a special pocket where Todai students can store their student IDs to display at the ready without having to speak a single word.
▼ Tokyo University buttons add a classy touch.
▼ The hoods are fully detachable and may also be worn as shown below.
The College Blouson Project is seeking funds through fashion crowdfunding site CLOSS through March 31st. Super-early preorders, limited to the first 30 people and still available at the time of this writing, will get you one blouson for 20,000 yen (US$175). Similarly, early preorders, limited to an additional 70 people, will get you one jacket for 25,000 yen. After that, the price moves to the regular sum of 30,000 yen per blouson. In addition, you can also order a ten-set with customized embroidery for 350,000 yen; these jackets could be perfect for members of Todai university extracurricular clubs.
For those who want to support the project but don’t wan’t to shell out the money for a jacket, the two Todai students are also offering other more affordable products, such as a “Todai and other little-known nearby spots guide” and either one or four hours of tutoring and study skills coaching for younger students with big dreams.