Would you buy this Armani uniform for your kids?
Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo’s affluent Ginza district made headlines around the world recently. And the reason is not the extraordinary educational achievements, as you may think. The primary school is facing criticism over its plan to adopt uniforms designed by Italian luxury label Giorgio Armani.
The new uniform should reflect the school’s status as a “landmark” in Ginza, which the school explained in a letter to parents.
The current standard school wear costs just over 17,000 yen ($155) for boys and 19,000 yen for girls - for a set of jacket, pants or skirt, shirt or blouse, and hat.
From the next school year, starting in April, the parents of 60 first-graders have to pay a whopping 80,000 ($742) yen for the luxury set. The existing students can continue wearing their current attire. But sooner or later they’ll be forced to join this impromptu fashion show in the school corridors. According to the principal, the current school clothing is no longer being produced.
A funny coincidence: Armani’s Japan head office, located in Ginza, is just 200 meters away from the grade school.
Given that Taimei Elementary School is a state-funded institution, it’s not surprising that many parents are not ready to dip into their pockets to support this ‘landmark status’.
The idea of identity with fashion district sounds cool until you remember how quickly kid’s sizes change and how often children come back with dirty jackets and torn pants from the playground.
It was rumored, that the issue even reached the meeting of the House of Representatives' Budget Committee.
But it seems that the school's principal Toshitsugu Wada is confident in his decision. On Feb. 8, he posted a statement on the school's website.
I made the decision for the future of Taimei Elementary School,” Wada wrote. “I was humbled by the complaints about the lack of explanation and the belated announcement, and I will put my best effort to properly explain it (to gain understanding).
What do you think? Is it still OK when school uniforms are more expensive than some adults' business suits?