When it comes to streetwear fashion, few places have mastered it like Japan. This fashion style is the favorite of the youth around the world.
During the postwar American occupation, Japanese youths discovered Western culture through shops catering to them. This led to the creation of a number of styles, including kawaii and goth lolita.
Designed by Nobuhiko Kitamura in 1984, Hysteric Glamour hit the streets with garments that channeled rock and pop culture influences. From graphic tank tops to belled denim, the brand’s designs drew from rock music and pornography themes—and they appealed to teenagers.
Kitamura’s unapologetic devotion to American aesthetics helped him stand out at Tokyo Mode Gakuin fashion school and made his brand a staple in Harajuku. His unflinching attitude fueled the counterculture movement of the ’80s, inspiring a new generation of It Girls to dress in Hysteric Glamour.
With collaborations from Supreme and X-Girl, the label continues to be worn by today’s repressed scenesters. You can shop for a full range of Hysteric Glamour jackets, jeans and T-shirts via FROM JAPAN.
Known as the godfather of Ura-Harajuku fashion, fragment design’s double lightning bolt logo is like the LV monogram for street culture. The multidisciplinary imprint is a powerhouse of consultancy, branding and cultural reinterpretation.
Fujiwara is the man behind Nike’s reimagined Tennis Classic sneakers, as well as a series of collaborations with Beats earbuds, John Smedley sweaters and Starbucks mugs. He’s a master of using his influence as an artful tool for drumming up hype around anything from cars to celebrity cameos.
His co-sign grants collaborators access to his boundless well of cultural cache, transforming them into Cool Kids by association. Giants like Virgil Abloh consider him one of their biggest inspirations.
Jun Takahashi, founder of UNDERCOVER, is the man responsible for dictating sneaker trends. It all started in 1993, when he launched a small boutique called Nowhere in Ura-Harajuku, Tokyo’s most influential fashion district. Soon, he was selling his customised, streetwear-inspired collections globally. Takahashi is a true punk (he’s even joined the Tokyo Sex Pistols tribute band and tattooed his arms up), with a deep admiration of iconic designers like Vivienne Westwood and Comme des Garcons founder Rei Kawakubo. This Nike x UNDERCOVER Daybreak sneakers are a great example of his innovative approach to wardrobe staples. Wear them with ripped jeans and an oversize T-shirt to channel the UNDERCOVER aesthetic.
Visvim founder Hiroki Nakamura combines streetwear with Native Americana and Western heritage in his menswear and womenswear lines. He takes his inspiration from his world travels and Alaska where he grew up on family whale watching, camping, and snowboarding trips.
His most famous silhouette is the FBT – a moccasin/sneaker hybrid, inspired by indigenous shoes and worn by celebrities like John Mayer, Kanye West, and David Duchovny. Nakamura describes the shoe as ‘archive in the future’, referring to the idea that each pair will become their own over time.
This style of future vintage is evident in Visvim’s Social Sculpture jeans and Black Elk flannels.
After a failed venture as the fashion label Forty Percents Against Rights director Tetsu Nishiyama (aka Tet) established WTAPS. The brand focuses on creating a set of staple pieces that can be worn in many ways.
This includes using different patches and washes on the garments, allowing the wearer to personalize their wardrobe. This is very important to the brand as they want their garments to be a reflection of the user’s personality.
As the years have gone on, the label has incorporated more influences into its designs like workwear and Ivy League style. This helps to keep the brand fresh and relevant. In addition to that, the brand has collaborated with brands like Supreme and Carhartt WIP to further their reach.