Japanese school angers parents, lawmakers with Armani uniform
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Japanese school angers parents, lawmakers with Armani uniform

A PUBLIC school in Tokyo, Japan has angered parents and lawmakers by announcing its new uniform will be designed and produced by none other than luxury Italian designer label Giorgio Armani.

Starting in April, Taimei Elementary School in the upscale Tokyo neighbourhood of Ginza will dress its students in Armani in order to reflect its status as a “school of Ginza”, reported AP News.

The updated outfits are set to cost parents JPY80,000 (around US$730) – more than twice the cost of previous uniforms – consisting of just a navy blue jacket, matching pants or skirt and a long-sleeve shirt and hat.

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“With the intention of making a uniform for a ‘Ginza school,’ we visited department stores and Armani agreed to design it,” said school authorities as quoted by the Japan Times.

The decision has been widely unpopular, however. At least five separate parents have reportedly lodged complaints to the local school board, while parliamentarians raised the issue last week.

“Schools should be mindful of uniform prices so that parents won’t be overburdened,” Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters. “We also expect them to have sufficient discussions in the process with involved parties” like parents and students, he said as quoted by AP.

“Clearly it’s expensive. It would be tough if a student could not afford to pay for it,” said Finance Minister Taro Aso, according to the Japan Times.

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Naoki Ogi, a popular education blogger, wrote that: “Armani at a public elementary school? It’s like saying no to poor people and welcoming only those who take pride in Armani.”

The principal may yet back down, posting on the school’s website that “I made the decision thinking of the school’s future. I will humbly accept criticisms that there was not enough explanation.”