How was streetwear born in Japan?

It seems that the story began in the 90's in Urahara, a small neighborhood in Tokyo.

Last time we referred to the brand Stüssy as one of the pioneer brands of streetwear in the United States. But, how did this urban style mixed with luxury could reach Japan and penetrate the Asian market?

Urahara, short name for "the hidden Harajuku", is an area of approximately four streets located between the Harajuku and Aoyama districts, and was the root of the true beginnings of Japanese urban fashion.

They began to develop an interest in urban fashion that had been born in the United States and the European market, led by the styling of England. Always under the influence of music and art by taking a new form and releasing the synthetic rhythms of the 80's, punk absorbing rap and hip hop as a new culture. Other factors such as skateboarding, surfing and DJs were finding in these inspiring elements for designers like Hiroshi Fujiwara, Jun Takahashi and Nigo, who began to make noise in these small streets with their urban designs.

This was how this area became a niche for fashion projects of new Japanese designs, or where you could find urban style garments that some adventurers brought back from their travels and began to sell to a public that was becoming more and more interested in this new culture.

All this mixture gave rise to these designers to found from below the great reference brands of Japanese streetwear such as NOWHERE, NIGO, BAPE, NEIGHBORHOOD and UNDERCOVER to name a few.

We hope that this summary can give you an idea to find inspiration when it comes to clothing or get inspired in any creation. We also leave some links to documentaries that show the history and evolution of Japanese streetwear.

The history of Bape
The history of Nigo
goro's NOWHERE UNDERCOVER 1997
Author
Lofi Hop (@lofilop)
Copywriter and designer
Editor and designer. I was born in the United States but live in Europe. I am the son of Italian and German immigrants. I studied fine arts in Chicago and then specialized in fashion design in New York.
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