One man’s abhorred commuting method is another man’s most stylish possession, or something like that. So we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the MTA is a huge hit in Japan, particularly among “Japanese hipsters” who “wear subway logos as part of a trend ‘somewhat similar to the hip-hop or punk fashion,'” according to Ket Matsuno, who teaches marketing at Babson. The New York Post reports that more than 20 percent of city transit merchandise sold in 2010 was purchased in Japan.
Of course, we’ve seen before that the MTA does not take using its logos lightly unless they’re getting a licensing cut. And in the case of Cosmo Japan, which licenses MTA gear there, $111,332 has been generated for the MTA from the sales. Everyone must be very happy.
Clothing is the most popular MTA branded item, though apparently cufflinks, jewelry, umbrellas, kayaks, and even hot sauce are available. MTA hot sauce. Punk.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 25, 2011