Akiko Shigematsu, Sankei Shimbun, published in JAPAN Forward on April 28th, 2020

Seasonal changes that accompany the coming of spring are normally highly anticipated — in part, because of the fashion that goes with it.

However, with COVID-19 precautions becoming more stringent in Japan since the end of the March, this seasonal pleasure has gone out the window. Department stores and boutiques have been asked to close until May 6.

Air Closet,” a new project, aims to meet the need created by the “stay home” market gap. It allows one to enjoy fresh fashion and different clothes by renting them from the comfort and safety of home.

You apply online, and a box with your order comes straight to your door. This way, you can have a regular share of new clothes to brighten up your online meetings and provide a little extra positive influence in your life.

According to the company, monthly subscriptions at Air Closet increased by 2.8 times following the government’s requested temporary closure on March 29.

“This is a trend which doesn’t happen normally,” explained Satoshi Amanuma, CEO of the company based in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. Subscribers have been working from home since the government declared the state of emergency in April. As such, we are getting different types of requests, such as: “I would like more tops because they show in the online meetings.” To meet the demand, the company has been focusing more on sending blouses and knit sweaters in sets for this limited period of time.

The company’s main plan costs ¥9,800 JPY ($91 USD) per month. It gives you access to one set, always made up of three items, renewable as many times you want. You can choose from more than 100,000 items from 300 different brands presently found in department stores. Your selections are then shipped to you, after being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Subscribers to the plan surpassed 300,000 in February, with more than 90% of them working women ー especially mothers in their 30s and 40s who have little time and mental space to dedicate to fashion.

By - Ben K.