Hit Habit Forecast: Art as fashion

Apr. 13, 2021
  • Viewpoints

Hit Habit Forecast is a regular column of the Hit Habit Makers, a group of young planners at Hakuhodo HQ that gamely stood up to say they were going to create hit habits—not hit products—as consumption shifts from purchasing things to purchasing experiences. Analyzing social media accounts and purchasing data of highly sophisticated users and conducting analysis on popular articles, etc. in a variety of media that have their fingers on the pulse of social trends, this is the bold, new challenge of forecasting hit habits that are about to break.


Hello. I’m Hikaru Uetsuki of the Hit Habit Makers.

I am preparing to move, so am checking out e-commerce sites every day in the hopes of updating my home decor. My new home will have a picture rail, so even though it’s not something I would normally do, I think I’ll display some art.

The topic this time is to do with such art. I’m calling it “art as fashion.”

“Art” has been thought of as something to look at, but I’d like to introduce a phenomenon whereby art is becoming something you wear. And I’ll give you some examples.

I imagine more than a few of you feel that art has become more approachable than it used to be. This is down to the fact a phenomenon that could be called the “democratization of art” is occurring, increasing the ways of incorporating art inside the home. In fact, the fine art market is growing as well.

Source: Japanese Art Industry Market Research Survey 2019 (Art Tokyo Association, Platform for Arts and Creativity)

Amidst this, a group of people that incorporate art in to their fashion has emerged.

One visible example is masks. Today, when wearing a mask is a fact of life, it is not rare to see people sporting fancy masks. One such type of mask is painted with famous works of art and sold in art museum gift shops and individually-owned stores.

Similarly, some people now wear art on their nails. Nails are a part of ourselves that is in our line of sight, so many people paint them to give themselves a buzz. For this reason, many are particular about their nails, which they can see while they work, even though we currently have fewer opportunities to go out. As for the designs, there are various ways of enjoying art on your nails, whether showing a manicurist a piece of art and having them reproduce it, or buying premade nails with art works on them.

Finally, I’d like to introduce a slightly off-beat example: art in underwear. One lingerie brand created underwear emblazoned with art motif-based designs as a limited-edition product. Underwear, unlike masks and nails, is not normally revealed in public, but what better way to enjoy your own tastes and preferences to your heart’s content than with this fashion item.

So why is art as fashion increasing?

I think there are two main reasons.

First, the popularization of art itself. Previously, art was enjoyed by just a few, as a luxury or an investment. But in recent years, touchpoints between art and sei-katsu-sha—Hakuhodo’s term for the holistic person—have been increasing, with various themed exhibitions and other events increasing opportunities to encounter art, and with art becoming something that people study as a refinement and something they display in their homes as part of the decor. No longer being an plaything of the handful goes a long way toward explaining the increase in wearable art.

Secondly, we have art as an expression of individuality. Because preferences in art depend on your aesthetics, the art you chose is itself a way of expressing yourself. If you want to reveal your individuality more fully (or to build it within yourself), perhaps the option of wearing—not just displaying—art becomes a possibility.

Finally, let’s consider some art as fashion business opportunities.

Examples of art as fashion business opportunities
■ Planning an “art makeup artistry” service that creates looks based on specific works of art
■ A costume jewelry store selling earrings with art motifs
■ Planning a styling service that chooses outfits for clients based on the names of works of art

I, myself, am still a novice when it comes to appreciating art, but while writing this article, I started to want to try art as fashion. Why don’t you try incorporating art in your life using an accessible method, too?


Hikaru Uetsuki
Member of the Hit Habit Makers
Integrated Planning & Creative Division
Hakuhodo Inc.
Hikaru Uetsuki joined Hakuhodo in 2017. In her fourth year in marketing, she is working hard to realize her dream of creating new trends in society while being buffeted by the tides of that same society. Despite thinking she should at least not turn a blind eye on the weight she’s putting on, she enjoys an ice-cream every day.
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