A Tokyo public school has adopted Giorgio Armani uniforms for students, triggering criticism in a country where hefty school fees are already burdening young parents. Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo's upscale Ginza shopping district has announced plans to introduce the new uniform option, which costs more than $730 for a full set. Even a minimum set—a navy-blue jacket and matching trousers or a skirt, a long sleeve shirt, and a hat—would be more than twice the price of the current uniforms, per the AP. The Armani uniform, launching this April, is recommended, but not compulsory.
The school's principal, Toshitsugu Wada, told a news conference Friday that the top fashion brand would fit Taimei's identity as "a school of Ginza." He said he chose Armani because its boutique is near the school. Wada acknowledged the new uniform would cost more, but considered it worth it. "I thought Taimei can use the power of the foreign fashion brand to have its identity," he said. The decision is not sitting well with all, and the Armani uniform came under attack in parliament Thursday. "School uniforms are already more expensive than the business suits we wear," said Manabu Terata, an opposition lawmaker. "But these uniforms at Taimei Elementary School are especially questionable."