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Parents protest over Tokyo school’s plan to introduce Armani uniforms

Italian designer Giorgio Armani.   REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Italian designer Giorgio Armani. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

A Tokyo school’s decision to introduce Armani uniforms has not gone down well with parents, who question why such a luxury brand has been picked for an elementary school uniform.

According to reports, the school located in upscale Ginza district wants to introduce uniforms made by Italian luxury label Giorgio Armani. Each uniform would cost more than 80,000 yen (£525). Quite a number of parents have complained saying it was unaffordable.

“This shouldn’t have been about designer brands or tradition. The officials should have thought about the children and made a decision after holding discussions,” one parent told national broadcaster NHK.

Another parent said his own suits were less pricey.

The Taimei Elementary School wanted to change their uniform to better reflect its status as a “landmark” in Ginza, reported Huffington Post.

People also took to social networking platforms to criticise the move.

“I heard that school uniforms were originally invented so kids from different income families wouldn’t face discrimination,” one person pointed out on Twitter. “Children are not aware of famous brands… Are you saying a child wearing Armani will be better developed than a child who doesn’t wear it?” another user asked.

Following the protests, the principal of the school is believed to have issued a statement promising to provide parents with sufficient explanation.

School uniforms are not compulsory in public schools in Japan, most students choose to wear them. In a 2016 study on parental attitudes about junior high uniforms by Asahi Shimbun Digital, quite a number of parents said they spent around 100,000 yen for the complete set of winter, summer, and athletic uniforms. However, the children don’t wear them for more than 12 months due to their growth spurt.

According to a report on Japan Today, schools don’t just dictate what kind of blazer or skirt the students should wear, they even recommend what styles of bag the students should use. Also, most clothing is required to have the school’s crest.