Under the Radar is Highsnobiety’s weekly celebration of upcoming talent. Each week, we’re spotlighting an emerging brand that’s bringing something new to the worlds of streetwear and fashion.
"Children of the Discordance is a manifestation of the personal data accumulated throughout my entire life. It's something I hold very closely to my heart — it's my life." Those are the words of designer Hideaki Shikama of Children of the Discordance, so we can be in no doubt about how seriously he takes his work.
Children of the Discordance is an emerging label from Tokyo. Currently two seasons in, the brand pulls from various subcultures and Shikama's personal archive of collectibles. For SS19, Shikama revisited his early 20s, pushing past the more-or-less ubiquitous trend for all things ’90s in favor of more recent times. "I went back to what I wore back [in the ’00s], such as the silhouettes and the styling, the volume of the items, and the how the edges of the pants sit," he says. "It’s not ’90s but 2000s. It’s updated and more sophisticated than the ’90s. I looked at how it was back then and mixed it with how I feel today."
Shikama started his career at 25 years old in 2005, opening a multi-brand store called Acycle in Tokyo's fashionable Harajuku neighborhood. Stocking brands such as maharishi, Palace, P.A.M, and Walter Van Beirendonck long before multi-brand stores had become commonplace (at least in Tokyo), it was a place for the young creative to start sourcing his disparate tastes and influences, as well as founding his first brand Advantage Cycle before starting Children of the Discordance in 2011.
"I first became obsessed with fashion when I discovered Stüssy at the age of 11, and since then fashion has always been the major part of my life," Shikama says, describing himself as a "collectomaniac," hoarding items such as Supreme camp caps, sneakers, vinyl, stamps, shirts, emblems, and posters. "The list goes on and on," he says. This magpie-like penchant for collecting rare tokens and signifiers of subcultural identity can be seen in his designs. Children of the Discordance's SS18 trousers feature the patches and emblems of various brands from around the world, and the knitwear and trench coats are also adorned with badges.
His tastes and influences are certainly diverse. "I cannot skip talking about skating and music as well as football when I talk about my backbone as a designer," he adds. "The core DNA, music-wise, is rooted in hip-hop, R&B, hardcore, crossover rock, and electronica.”
One of Children of the Discordance's key visual codes is the use of heavily paneled garments — denim jeans embellished with geometric fabric resembling parcel paper at the knee — and a big focus on bandana prints. The brand makes shirts by stitching various bandana prints together, creating a patchwork ’fit that completely recontextualizes the patterns. "To me, bandanas signify hardcore and hip-hop," Shikama explains. "This backbone [of influences] enables my items to be easily styled with kicks. I think the fragrance of the street, so to speak, is soaked into each of my items."
Shikama believes in the ethical sourcing of fabrics, going straight to OG creators to find materials for his collection. "It started with my search to identify what my favorite rappers and hardcore bands were wearing," he says. "The simple repetition of being curious, doing research, and obtaining items led me to Mexico’s Zapatistas for bandanas and the Palestinian keffiyeh, which are are the main fairtrade-related materials we use.”
This fairtrade approach has both a moral and a quality-first element, comparable to visvim who also endeavour to use the most authentic fabrics possible. "We also use a lot of embroidery,” Shikama says as an example. “I believe in paying full value to those embroidery craftsmen. It motivates them to do their best work as it brings them a better life. I never negotiate discounts with the domestic partners we create our collections with. I will continue to work as I do now. For me, there is absolutely no room for compromise when pursuing better quality."
For a full list of stockists, head to Children of the Discordance's website.