Cher (シェル) (pronounced "shell") is a Japanese women's fashion brand most famous for their blue and red logo print eco bag which became the must-have item for fashion conscious Tokyo girls in early 2008. The brand's founder is influenced by surf culture and the target audience for the clothing and accessories is fashionable Japanese girls in their twenties.
The Cher brand was created by Yoshiko Yamazaki in 1995. Yamazaki first opened the Cher shop as an import shop carrying foreign brands, but would eventually, around 1997, start designing her own clothes. As a designer, Yamazaki takes inspiration from California beach culture and Cher as a clothing brand reflects that influence in their goods as well as their advertising and promotional materials. Cher has launched several other exclusive brands including Fruitcake and Bianca's Closet. In 2008, Cher opened a new store in Kamakura and announced plans to create lines of clothing for men and also for children.
The Cher eco bag or Cher Tote Bag originally became popular as a free bag given out with copies of the Japanese fashion magazine Sweet - this type of gift is known as Furoku in Japan. The bag was seen in photos being carried by popular Japanese fashion models and celebrities including Rinka. The bag is a white canvas bag covered with the Cher logo print - blue "cher" text and red hearts. The popularity of the free eco bags lead to booming sales at the Cher boutiques. The bags are available in two sizes and both are priced below 2000 yen, helping to increase their popularity. The Cher print bags could be seen everywhere in Tokyo in early 2008 and sales were restricted by the shop to try to limit resale and keep up with demand.
Cher has shops in Daikanyama, Harajuku, and Kamakura, as well as being carried by some select boutiques and in shops in some Japanese department stores. Cher also partnered with the ZozoTown website to make some items available online.