5 Low-Key Japanese Streetwear Brands You Should Know About
Streetwear has become a staple among college students’ wardrobes. It’s the perfect combination of stylish and comfy. Even our favorite stars can’t resist a good streetwear ensemble. What you may not know about is that a lot of these celebrities look to Japanese streetwear brands, in particular, for their everyday fashion.
There’s no question that Japanese fashion is widely admired. Locally, we look to the likes of Uniqlo, a Japanese high-street fashion brand, for easily accessible Japanese-inspired clothing that leans towards the inexpensive price points.
Still, if you ever considered yourself a streetwear enthusiast, there are a lot more notable brands from the country that you need to brush up on. You may not know it, but some of your personal style icons source their ‘fits from these Japanese streetwear labels.
Comme des Garçons
One of the most popular Japanese brands to date would be Rei Kawakubo’s Comme des Garçons that has now maintained a global presence, being worn by stylish musicians like Justin Bieber, Drake, and Kanye West. In 2017, the theme for MET Gala was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons” in honor of the Japanese designer. The brand has established many sub-labels since its inception, one of which is Play, which is the more laid-back and playful line many streetwear connoisseurs can be seen wearing. One of its more prominent collabs would be the Comme des Garçons Play x Converse sneakers with the signature logo of a red heart with a pair of eyes.
A Bathing Ape (BAPE) is another well-known Japanese label favored by many hip-hop stars. It was founded by Nigo, who eventually left the brand 2013. After leaving BAPE, Nigo has taken on the role of creative director for Uniqlo’s UT line and has launched a new streetwear project in the form of Human Made, which has also received much attention from celebrity clients. Some of its notable loyal wearers include music’s biggest names like Pharrell and BTS member j-hope. The brand features playful illustrations and big fonts in its designs.
Frank Ocean, Drake, A$AP Rocky, BTS’ RM—these are just some of the recognizable names in the music scene that have shown love for Japanese streetwear label Visvim. The menswear brand was established by Hiroki Nakamura in 2000 and it has since been known for its footwear and crafty clothing line.
Cav Empt, also known as C.E., was established in 2012 by three people: Toby Feltwell, Hishi, and artist Sk8thing (who has also worked with the likes of BAPE’s Nigo). After just one visit to its website, you’ll know that the brand is known for its “cyberpunk” graphics, all of which are designed by the Sk8thing himself. One of the most notable enthusiasts of the brand is famous YouTuber PewdiePie who can be seen wearing its items several times in his videos.
The founding of this popular Japanese fashion label dates back to the late ‘90s. The mastermind, pun intended, behind the brand is designer Masaaki Honma. The label is known for its logo—a skull on top of a pair of bones. According to Highsnobiety, one of the brand’s iconic enthusiasts is the late Karl Lagerfeld, who is most known for being Chanel’s creative director.
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"Today, I Won"
I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.
When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.
For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.
After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.
It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.
To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.
Why our high school barkada is the best?
Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.
Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:
1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.
2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.
3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.
4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.
5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.
6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.
7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.
You're gonna bend and break and then at some point in your life, you feel like you don't want to fall in love again.
Not because you're no longer capable of loving but because you're so afraid to get hurt again that you don't want to take a risk anymore. And you're gonna wake up one day and realize that you're not the same person as you were yesterday. The heart aches, heartbreaks, frustration, you'll see, those will transform your whole being into something better.
Honey, move forward. Let go off all the things that are not meant for you. Let go of all the people who hurt you and take you for granted. Don't be stuck feeling miserable.
And don't turn that love into hate when you resent someone for hurting you or for breaking your heart. Just wish them well and let them go. Welcome the possibility of a beautiful love that will come your way. You're worthy of love that you keep on giving to other people. Keep that in mind.
I wish you well and all the happiness. You deserve it.
Here we are — with rough hands entwined, damned hearts at peace, broken souls resting with ease —savoring each passing moment before we part ways...hoping things will turn out to be okay. Here we are — standing still, keeping our earnest desire and ardent passion for each other at bay — hoping the Universe will finally grant us of the day that we no longer have to pretend... that things will no longer have to end.
Here we are — with crooked smiles, lingering touch that will last for a while -- gathering all the remaining courage to set each other free. Wishing for the day that our hearts will no longer have to worry. Here we are letting each other go. Even though we both know that the future is uncertain. Even though we're unsure if our paths will cross once again.