We’ve become quite accustomed to (and obsessed with) taking style cues from Japan. In terms of cutting-edge designers, trend forecasting, and fostering unique fashion subcultures, the Far East has never left us disappointed. But the latest must-know from Japan is not just something to stick on a mood board or encourage you to toss away gendered dressing norms. It’s something that you (along with a preceding seven million others) download. Following nearly three years of success at home, street style app WEAR made its stateside debut this July. While the appeal of the easy-to-use, social media platform includes the ability to sift through the 7,000+ outfits added every day, that's really just where the fun starts. WEAR is also a place where users can find styling ideas for specific trends and items, and, for the most creative dressers, their own style stardom. Here’s how it works: Users upload their carefully curated ensembles, hashtag the trends they’re wearing, and tag the featured brands (sound familiar so far?). From there, WEAR organizes all of these posts so that the most popular looks get featured front and center on the app. Meanwhile, users can also discover different ways to wear styles in their closet that they may not have considered before. “It’s possible to search for a particular T-shirt and see how that exact item has been worn by different people,” explain Masahiro Ito and Tatsuya Kubota, CEO of Start Today Engineering (the app's parent company) and product manager of WEAR, respectively.
However, beyond helping users break out of an outfit rut, the app also works to connect them to obscure fashion labels. "It’s our opinion that once people get to know some of these indie brands and the creators behind them, fashion takes on a whole new dimension — one where style isn’t just skin deep but an expression of one’s life and individuality," say Ito and Kubota. This advanced form of an outfit-sharing app may be the new kid in town, but we predict WEAR could be the next tech trend among the most impassioned fashion fans (including R29 — we're launching our own WEAR account this August). Some will be won over by the ability to get love for their unique lewk. But for others, like us, it's the app's ability to bridge everything from global style communities to creative dressing tricks to up-and-coming designers that will have ‘em hooked.