Brand: SOUTH2 WEST8

Season Spring/Summer 2022

Buy: NEPENTHES, Bodega, SSENSE, The Bureau Belfast

Editor's Notes: Though SOUTH2 WEST8 first found success as a Japanese specialty store in 2003 and then as a proper brand — one that was buzzed about in online menswear circles for years — S2W8 was very much an IYKYK kinda label until this past season's Supreme collaboration. Even with its biggest drop ever under its belt, though, S2W8 isn't resting on its laurels: SS22 is as good a lineup as the label has ever offered.

Though SOUTH2 WEST8's output is often labeled as extra cool tenkara fishing gear, it's more generally inspired by founder Kaname Nagaoka's love of Heavy Duty Ivy, a '70s proto-menswear subculture of Japanized outdoor gear.

Though that does account for the breadth of each S2W8 collection, Nagaoka does, admittedly, lean hard into the fisherman angle nowadays — and why not, given the many upstart fishing fashion drops these days. Plus it helps distinguish S2W8 further from the other rugged, ivy-indebted NEPENTHES labels.

SS22 is more of the same from SOUTH2 WEST8, except better. For instance, there are cargo pockets aplenty: overalls, field jackets, vests, and pants are packed with pockets to such an extent that it's hard to imagine what you'd even use all that storage for. I mean, one convertible shirt piece has over 15 pockets alone. But, hey, no one ever complained about having too many pockets. S2W8 is also reviving its mosquito netting garms (also seen in that 'Preme collab) and amplifying its pattern play, occasionally with its own deer-head logo.

In fact, its logo is everywhere. It graces some of SOUTH2 WEST8's signature track gear — NEEDLES isn't the only one with a recognizable logo — hoodies, caps, and even appears as a mini-monogram, the logos all interlocked like some kind of Gucci reference. Well, at least you'll actually wanna camp in this stuff.

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