Highsnobiety

Does KAWS still get the kids goin'? NIGO sure thinks so. The Human Made founder and current KENZO creative director just appointed KAWS as an advisor at Otsumo Co., Ltd., the company that operates Human Made (NIGO is CEO of Otsumo).

It's KAWS first proper return to fashion since, well, OriginalFake all those years ago.

Born in 2006 as a partnership between KAWS and Medicom Toy, OriginalFake was supremely influential on the burgeoning streetwear landscape. But that was nearly two decades ago. Can KAWS bring some of that magic to Human Made?

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Human Made has been NIGO's top priority since he launched it in 2010 after selling BAPE's parent company, Nowhere, Inc., to Hong Kong-based conglomerate I.T.

Sure, NIGO has dabbled in music, museum exhibits, and various Pharrell-related endeavors since then but, until KENZO, it was all Human Made, all the time.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Now, the details of KAWS' appointment at Otsumo are unclear. All we know from NIGO's Instagram post is that he's joined Human Made's parent company as an "advisor."

According to a Japanese-language press release, KAWS' role at Otsumo will bring some sort of creative direction to Human Made but that's all I can say for sure.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

NIGO has been friends with KAWS even longer than he's known Pharrell and you know this crew keeps its pals close. These dude were sitting front row at NIGO's debut KENZO show, remember.

Plus, KAWS provided art for a few Human Made collaborations over the past few years. He's also done fashion collabs that run the gamut from Dior to sacai but that's more about KAWS' graphic works being co-opted for fashion brands, rather than KAWS doing any real creative direction.

Human Made has been making moves recently. It appointed Japanese fashion lifer W. David Marx, author of Ametora, as "Outside Director" in January 2023, presumably with the expectation that he'll bring some of his heritage knowledge to Human Made's retro blue collar inclinations.

All well and good but I wonder if these shifts — KAWS especially — have anything to do with a desire to make Human Made the new hotness all over again. That is to say, Human Made isn't the streetwear smash it was when it debuted over a decade ago.

No surprise there — things happen, times change — and it could simply be that Human Made's graphic-meets-heritage-workwear aesthetic is out of step with current tastes. Perhaps it's just that Human Made simply doesn't have the embedded cultural clout of, say, BAPE, but who does? BAPE, I guess.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Now, heads still have deep respect for NIGO, Human Made turns out perfectly nice stuff, and I've enjoyed NIGO's KENZO (curious how well that sells, though) but the new generation of streetwear consumers aren't paying attention to NIGO in the same way that kids did when the Japanese designer set the pace of streetwear two decades ago.

Can KAWS change that? I doubt it but KAWS' appointment certainly won't hurt Human Made's bottom line. It all feeds into the same pool.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

The people who're hyped about Human Made are the same people who get hyped about KAWS dropping new toys, Girls Don't Cry dropping more branded T-shirts, and Pharrell joining LV.

In fairness, that's a sizeable enough audience to keep Human Made in the black for a long time. Converting new fans? Not so much. But who's to say that's even Human Made's intent?

We Recommend
  • Merrell 1TRL Hut Moc 2 Leisure
    Merrell 1TRL Made Its Own Clarks Wallabees
    • Sneakers
  • hoka cielo x1 shoe
    HOKA Made a Beautiful Chunky Super Shoe
    • Sneakers
  • pharrell nigo human made
    Streetwear's Best Duo Is Back, Will It Create Magic Again?
    • Style
  • japanese clothing brands
    38 Japanese Clothing Brands Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know & Where to Buy Them
    • Style
  • An inside look at NIGO and Verdy's OTSUMO PLAZA concept store
    Welcome to OTSUMO PLAZA, NIGO & Verdy's Mangaka-Inspired Concept Store
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • black luxury bag
    Florals? No, These Are The Best Black Pieces For Your Spring Wardrobe
    • Style
    • sponsored
  • adidas basketball shoes 2024
    adidas' Basketball Shoes Are Killing the Game Right Now
    • Sneakers
  • Olivia Rodrigo wears a white vintage Versace dress at the 2024 Grammy awards
    Olivia Rodrigo's Sublime Outfits Are Always Older Than Her
    • Style
  • New Balance's 550 sneaker in a black colorway with a leopard print pattern
    Leopard Print Is So Back: Even New Balance's Biggest Shoe Is Wearing it
    • Sneakers
  • A$AP Rocky poses in Paris wearing sunglasses and a Prada denim jacket
    Dressed Like a King, A$AP Rocky Is Conquering Paris
    • Style
  • Heaven By Marc Jacobs x ASICS sneaker
    These Dad Shoe Mary Janes Are Maybe the Most Stylish ASICS Ever
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.