New Generation Tokyo Feature Part One: 90’s Tokyo

I have begun to explore further into the world of Japanese menswear and the history of it’s development. While browsing LN-CC I came accross this feature in which LN-CC speaks with Hiromichi Ochiai of Facetasm and the design team behind SASQUATCHfabrix The Wonder Workers Guerilla band.

An excerpt from the terrific feature below.

‘It was against this background that a new movement of street fashion and culture began to gather momentum. Centered around a small area of Harajuku, a rag-tag collection of young designers and retailers began to make their mark on Tokyo’s landscape of fashion and culture. Known by Japanese fashion press as the “Ura-Harajuku movement”, the group was spearheaded by designers, proprietors and cultural figureheads such as Hiroshi Fujiwara, Nigo (A Bathing Ape) and Takahashi Jun (Undercover). Through their proposal of a new concept of design and retail, one which centred on the notions of “identity” and “exclusivity”, the “Ura-Harajuku” movement was to have a profound influence on Tokyo fashion and youth culture.

According to SASQUATCHfabrix designer Yokoyama, “In those days, rather than fashion, the notion of “limited”, “deadstock” and “exclusive” were the real buzzwords. Through these rare items you could become part of a minority – a minority based on a high sense of style. Searching, collecting and completing were the things we adhered to, we were all totally enveloped in the mania for this.”

Another notable feature of this period was the emergence of a variety of Japanese men’s’ fashion magazines who had a central role in communicating the values attached with the Ura-Harajuku movement to a wider audience. To this day, Japanese offline fashion press continues to have an undeniably strong influence on menswear trends through the country. The roots of this role can in many ways be traced back to this period when magazine’s like Popeye, Mens Non-no and Hot Dog championed the movement, providing key cultural figures the opportunity to express not only the garments but the wider cultural context of art, fashion and music which informed their lifestyle of their culture. This in turn served to fuel an army of “fanatics” who would rush to the stores like Nigo and Takahashi Jun’s “Nowhere” to snap up any new limited edition items featured in the latest issue, or hunt far and wide for the more hard-to-find pieces. ‘

Read the entire piece here