Highsnobiety

This article was published on July 5 and updated on September 15

Everyone knows NIGO. I Know NIGO. You know NIGO. He's a famous clothing designer, that'll happen. But did you know he's also a die-hard vintage clothing archivist?

I like to think it's fairly common knowledge among those who know NIGO that the Human Made founder is a big fan of old clothes. His obsession for fastidiously reproducing retro garments spills out into his own brand, into NIGO's Levi's collabs into KENZO, into the Louis Vuitton collection that NIGO designed with Virgil Abloh.

NIGO doesn't pretend to make progressive menswear unlike anything you've ever seen before. That's not the point. He prefers to create wearable, versatile stuff that you come back to day after day, no-nonsense clobber that's not designed for anyone except NIGO himself.

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All of NIGO's adidas collaborations are good evidence. Rather than dropping a flashy UltraBoost 4D or timely Forum, NIGO's really only focused on retro models like the Campus, Country, and Stan Smith, save for a few NMDs.

My point being, NIGO makes clothes that make him happy and that's that.

That perspective is epitomized in the staggering amount of garments he collects, which range from decade's-old Levi's to the retro militaria that inspired some of the best OG BAPE.

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Comprising hundreds of painstakingly archived clothes, NIGO's collection is worthy of an exhibit. At least, that's what the Bunka Gakuen Fukushoku Museum thinks.

Better known as the in-house costume museum attached to legendary Bunka Fashion College, the Museum is showcasing a vast array of NIGO's archival finds from September 14, 2022, until November 13.

Some of the rare AF stuff he's been hoarding since nearly 40 years ago will be on display as part of what the Museum is calling "THE FUTURE IS IN THE PAST," a perfect name for anything NIGO.

"It is truly an honor and privilege to be able to hold an exhibition of my own personal vintage collection at Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my alma mater, Bunka Fashion College, without which this would not be possible," NIGO said in a statement.

"This campus is where I first met UNDERCOVER designer Jun Takahashi, who was in a year above me. Next year will mark 30 years since we opened a small store in Harajuku in 1993."

"The title of my exhibition, The Future is in the Past, has always been the theme for my creations." ​ My personal archive, remaining mostly private until now, has been the source of my craftmanship, mentoring me and being there for me through my creative journey." ​ "I hope that this exhibition can provide hints and be a source of inspiration for students and fashion aficionados alike, here in Japan and overseas."

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