When it comes to male designers, most of the times maybe we think of a guy who is kind of feminine who is able to make such good clothes. However, what is your opinion about the picture of a guy above here? Does he look feminine? I guess, for everyone who has a pair of good eyes would not say that he does, but yeah, he is a designer! His name is Shinsuke Takizawa and he is the main inspiration behind the famous Japanese street wear brand, Neighborhood. The good thing is today, I’m going to cover this cool designer who looks more like a biker and of course with his clothing brand as well, such as Neighborhood and Luker! Here we go!
It was all started in 1994, in the mid’s of Ura-Hara movement, Shinsuke Takizawa started a street-fashion brand, Neighborhood. The main inspiration of creating a fashion brand Neighborhood came from the American biker culture and the British Punk culture. Shinsuke Takizawa stated in an interview that all of the heroes that he saw when he was a kid rode a bike, so that is also one of the reason why the brand Neighborhood is filled with lots of biker culture. Beside the American biker culture and the British Punk culture, Shinsuke Takizawa also uses the military, outdoor, and vintage as the main elements of Neighborhood.
As for the name itself, Shinsuke Takizawa chose ‘Neighborhood’ as the name of his brand since Neighborhood rose from the Ura-Hara movement that was boom in the 90’s in Harajuku, along with other street wear brands, such as A bathing ape, Undercover, and WTAPS. Therefore, Shinsuke Takizawa thought that they were originated from the same neighbourhood, which was Harajuku, and used Neighborhood as the name of the brand which is represent the people in the Harajuku area that inspired him to make a Neighborhood brand.
What I found cool about Shinsuke Takizawa is, he doesn’t have any vision to make Neighborhood to become a global scale company. The reason behind that is because he wanted to protect the main theme of the Neighborhood itself, which are the biker, punk, military, and traditional cultures as much as he can. Hence, Shinsuke Takizawa feels that he doesn’t want Neighborhood to become a global fashion brand which has to invent a new idea for every new season and doesn’t have a permanent theme. During the design process, the he said that he get the inspiration from everywhere, from the flashes of everyday life, like random scenes of movie or when he is listening to a music. Therefore, even though the main theme of Neighborhood are something from the past, Shinsuke Takizawa is able to recreate and reconstruct items from the past and introduce them with modern fabrics and applications and that is the reason why Neighborhood is able to survive for the past 16 years.
In the process of finding themes and creativity in each season, Shinsuke Takizawa said that it is not such a big deal from him and he thought that it’s much harder in the high-end sphere since labels have to keep reinventing themselves and discover themes and stories that are fresh and unique. On the other hand, Shinsuke Takizawa said that it’s much easier for his since he just had to re-explore the themes that he loved, for example punk culture or biker culture. He thinks that looking deeper into a period is more challenging than picking a new theme to work with. He stated that, “For example, I love the cultures from the ’60s, as it was a period where everything like music and fashion blew up, so why do I have to look elsewhere when everything can be found in that period?”.
With the motto “built to outlast them all”, Neighborhood started to get famous in the global market as one of the best denim maker. With its own characteristic, which offer 4 levels of savages in every pieces of its jeans, Neighborhood quickly gained lots of attentions from the fashionistas around the world, especially the hipsters in Asia. However, though the Neighborhood’s denim is really famous, it doesn’t mean that Neighborhood is only about a pair of denim. Shinsuke Takizawa, with his brand Neighborhood, offer a range variety of items, from t-shirts, shirts, blousons, accessory, and recently eye wear. Not to forget that Shinsuke Takizawa also has another label called Luker which offer a more British theme compared to Neighborhood.
Though most of the street wear brands, up until now, their theme are more to hip-hop or skate things, Shinsuke Takizawa put a totally different theme into his street wear brand but it’s proven that Neighborhood can shine in its own way. His concept store in the Shibuya and Harajuku are some of the greatest concept stores in Japan. In his Harajuku store, we can clearly see his passion for the motorcycle from the bikes that he put inside and in front of the store as a compliment for his Neighborhood clothes. Nowadays, Shinsuke Takizawa has been able to make Neighborhood as one of the leader in the Japan’s street fashion world and make Neighborhood become one of the most coveted brands to have ever come out of the Japanese market. Though the name of Shinsuke Takizawa is not as big as the names of other Japanese designers, such as Junya Watanabe or Yohji Yamamoto, Shinsuke Takizawa has been proven as one of the designers that has the strongest identity and passion in what he is doing and that’s the reason why Neighborhood can be as big as it is now.
The pictures and data used in this post are taken from : Hypebeast