Apparel makers, department stores and other fashion-sensitive businesses are striving to attract women in their 40s and 50s as they remain active consumers regardless of economic conditions.
"When we were university students, we had part-time jobs and spent our money on brand-name dresses and bags," says a 47-year-old planning manager at a company in Tokyo's Ginza shopping and entertainment district. "Those in our generation have a feeling we're always the main characters in society."
After returning to Japan from an overseas assignment, she got married and now has two children who are in the second and sixth grades in elementary school. Although busy with both parenting and working, she still pays attention to fashion trends and cosmetics.