Urahara Sanin — Undercover Japan – The most creative long lasting brand that is not a household name

We go again,

Intro

I have viewed undercover for so many years now watching from afar because my bank balance has not been able to touch it not could I justify it if I had said money. You could not tell me Jun Takahasi Nike React wasn’t top 2 Sneakers of 2018 I am pleased to see people really gel with the brand today as the link between London and japan wasn’t all that strong. We’ve had Yohji and Rei holding on by a tether but when it comes to past their discovery you really need to be an insider to know what undercover is.

A brief history of Undercover

I see the visions of undercover because some of the value it holds is just so closely related to Britain. I can see the influence of Rei Kawakubo and Vivienne Westwood ooze from Juns work; so much so it attracted Americans like Kanye and Pharrell into the fold of bridging the gap of the cultures because when it comes to Japanese denim it’s hard for me to find a second place the long lasting supple cotton is really where it’s at.

Jun started selling like hot cakes with, redone tees and retro fits at vendors from the like of milkboy and Billy’s in Harajuku.

The streetwear aesthetic is probably the reason why it’s taken so long for Undercover to be recognised, the Make shift aesthetic of the brand identity. The real British make do and mend along with the strong Japanese construction and proven nature of the clothes.

The clincher was Jun working alongside Nigo as a team they opened their now famous store, (which I hope to visit some day) NOWHERE in Tokyo being backed like a guy like Hiroshi Fujiwara it’s astonishing how streetwear bought round titans like these together in the golden age of Japanese streetwear while Europe was going through its anti fashion stage. His Street Punk style in Japan is so famous it would influence clothing design in anime and

Undercover cult

The fan base of undercover is strong and always there i get the Rick Owens Cult fanbase vibes all the way. Those who know about Undercover will y’all about it emphatically like a fanatic. The Street Punk style is something I can see a mile off; much like Rick Owens he is an unnamed staple in fashion, outside of the fashion world; — if you know fashion you know who he is if you don’t you won’t. But you will probably dress something like he’s made or love his style if you love streetwear.

Your favourite designer may suckle from the teet of his groundwork from 30 years ago

Final thoughts

I would say undercover is the embodiment of what the industry standard for a fashion house is continuing on with the theme of the ethos/ founding principles; exploring but not venturing off into domain that is outside of its character; collaborating on the brand identity and not for the money —this could be said to be to Juns Detriment but with me having such a long lasting fashion house who stands on the integrity of the reason it started 30 years ago and still getting collaborations with Nike, showing in Paris & working with Pitti Uomo is a testament that as a designer and storyteller you can thrive.

We’re learning more of – Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

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Urahara Sanin: Nigo — King of the Hypebeasts

We go again

Enter Nigo

Nigo is such a massive superstar in the ‘streetwear’ space he has to be mentioned amongst the greats when it comes to Harajuku. Many speak of Nigo as the main Head of the iconic Nowhere Store, when Jun was right there.

Before Nigo was King of the Hypebeasts he was enamoured by screen printing camo and comfortable clothing that would be adopted by the most prominent culture Hip Hop.

Nigo and Hip Hop

Pharrell would link arms with Nigo after their jeweller in common Jacob would link them like a Cuban and they would share ideas and thoughts and Bathing Ape in Lukewarm Water would be part of the zeitgeist. we would get the most iconic Wayne picture above. Bape would even being the stem of a feud between Clipse and Cash Money of who really bought it to America first. The answer being Pharrell. Who said it in a song first? We don’t know. It just keeps producing great music.

Bathing Ape would Don Nike iconic Air Force 1 canvas never being sued either so Bape bad iteration after iteration better than anything Nike bought out at the time concerning the Air Force 1 Mould making Bathing Ape Bapesta part of the most iconic sneakers of all time having Kanye West Bapestas goon for upwards of $3000.

After Bape

Nigo would sell Bape to one of Japan’s biggest fashion conglomerates I.T and move on to Human Made and Billionaires Boys Club along with Pharrell. Now running his own music Label Toy’s Factory.

We’re learning more of – Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

Follow my socials Instagram: @nytypical Twitter: @nytypical

Please check out Some of my Thoughts On:

For some longer form write ups Read some of My Dialogues

Click here for my Essays 

To learn more about Owning Your Own Ship – OYOS