The Yomiuri Shimbun The principal of an elementary school in Tokyo’s Ginza district said he still intends to introduce a voluntary student uniform designed by Italian luxury brand Armani, following an uproar over the proposal.
“I have no plans to cancel adopting [the uniform],” Toshitsugu Wada, the principal of Taimei Elementary School in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, said at a press conference at the ward government office building on Friday. The voluntary uniform costs up to about ¥80,000.
Wada, 62, added, “I regret not providing a sufficient explanation,” clarifying that he would seek understanding from guardians and other concerned parties.
According to the principal, the school began consultations on the uniform’s design about three years ago with Chanel, Hermes and other overseas luxury brands. Armani was the only designer to respond positively to the overtures, prompting Wada to continue talks with the company.
Though he “felt [the price] wasn’t cheap” when presented with cost estimates last autumn, Wada said: “The guardians of students at our school will somehow be able to afford them. In order to make progress in Ginza, I thought turning to an influential foreign brand could be one approach.”
According to the store selling the uniform, 41 of the 60 children expected to enroll in the school in April have already had their measurements taken and completed payment. However, the ward board of education has received complaints that “the financial burden is large.”
“The high prices will encourage a mentality of treating the uniforms more carefully, which should also strengthen the unique culture at Taimei. We’ll continue our efforts to obtain their understanding,” Wada said.Speech