Armani has earned praise for designing the uniforms for Olympic athletes over the years. But this time their uniform designs are causing a stir for all the wrong reasons. A public elementary school located in Tokyo’s high end Ginza neighborhood have mandated Armani uniforms for all their students. Families are expected to shell out $729 for Armani kidswear which is to serve as the uniform at Taimei Elementary School. The uniforms would also include other optional items from Armani.
Parents were informed of this decision through a letter last year, but the decision has not gone down well. While Taimei’s headmaster Toshitsugu Wada stated that he believed the designer uniforms would be more fitting for a school located in a prestigious neighborhood, Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso, stated that the uniform prices were too high. Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also said the matter should have been discussed with parents before the decision was made.
Exclusivity and high end uniforms are usually a card that private schools like to play, so it is disconcerting to see a public school introduce Armani uniforms. After receiving the criticism, headmaster Wada wrote this message for the school’s website, “With humility, I take the criticism that explanation has been insufficient and not well-timed. I will go on explaining carefully to those concerned.”