Highsnobiety
y-3 / Shoichi Aoki

Shoichi Aoki has been around the block, to say the least. Even at nearly 70 years old, though, the in-demand photographer has a ceaseless hunger to create, which finally brought him together with Y-3.

I say finally because, although Aoki is a longtime fan of Y-3 co-founder Yohji Yamamoto's work, he's never actually worked with the legendary Japanese designer until now.

"In the 1980s, Yohji Yamamoto sent Japan into a fashion frenzy," Aoki recalled to Highsnobiety. "I was part of that frenzy as a fan. I still remember it as a magical period of time to this day.

y-3 / Shoichi Aoki

"Decades later, Y-3 is a brand that perfectly captures the magic of this moment – evocatively blending fashion and sportswear. This season, in particular, the look allows the wearer to experiment with their own personal style. In the context of the current fashion landscape, I really feel as if Y-3 is proposing something new and progressive."

Aoki is best known to international audiences for lensing the candid images seen in now-legendary photo periodicals like TUNE and FRUiTS, the latter of which was compiled for a couple Phaidon compilations in the early 2000s.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

His photographs of mid-'90s Harajuku kids wearing explosively personal, dramatically styled ensembles continue to capture the minds of fashion-obsessed kids across the globe as representations of a bygone pre-internet era where all that mattered was going to the hangout spot wearing the craziest clothes you could find.

"There’s an inherent dynamism to this collection and therefore we wanted to work with a fairly ‘analog’ photographer who could bring an effortless feeling," Y-3's Senior Design Director Stefano Pierre Beruschi explained.

"Y-3 is all about the contradictions found in dynamic juxtapositions and Shoichi’s approach was a natural counterpoint to the collection. His vision was the perfect way to capture the inherent oppositions within the garments, footwear, and accessories, enhancing their attitude and ambiance in the perfect way."

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

The new designs are worn by models poised across Tokyo, straying from Aoki's preferred street style hunting ground.

"I usually shoot in Harajuku, but this time it was exciting to shoot in the chaotic streets of Tokyo," said Aoki. "We had a few interruptions which forced us to move around — but that’s the nature of shooting, and overcoming challenges is part of the fun. The location had a strong aura and the natural tension it created with the Y-3 garments was perfect."

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

That tension in the photographs mirrors the physics that inspired Y-3's Spring/Summer 2023 collection, which launches in-store and online January 27.

"To bring this collection to life, we experimented with the contrast between high-speed velocity and its antithesis — reverse aerodynamics, resistance, and deceleration," Pierre Beruschi said.

"The look of speed is undeniably elegant and the direction of this collection is the disruption of that. We explored the polarities between these two identities and brought them together in harmony as an image on the body."

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

That means blurred logos, flowing layers, and reinterpretations of staple sportswear. Varsity jackets realized in vivid colors clash against muted overcoats and coaches jackets, anchored by billowing reinterpretations of the adidas Y-3 track pant.

The sneakers ought to be similarly familiar to Y-3 adherents, rebirthing classic adidas silhouettes with textural details from the Yohji Yamamoto archives.

In place of the more futuristic Y-3 shoes that informed the 20th anniversary Fall/Winter 2022 collection, there's more emphasis on heritage; more Gazelles and less Qasas.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Aoki, the epitome of this old-school ethos, is the perfect person to capture the action.

We Recommend
  • The Best Sneaker Brands to Turn to When in Doubt — a Complete List
    • Sneakers
  • From HOKA to Y-3, Browse This Week’s Best Sneaker Releases
    • Sneakers
  • Jude Bellingham & Zizou Are Y-3's Los Blancos Poster Boys
    • Style
  • From Nike to Salomon, Browse This Week’s Best Sneaker Releases
    • Sneakers
  • Y-3 Turned adidas' Super Shoes Into $450 Beauties
    • Sneakers
What To Read Next
  • It's Naruto x Crocs Time (Again)
    • Sneakers
  • Margiela & Salomon Have Serious Slip-On Goodness on Their Hands
    • Sneakers
  • For Louis Vuitton, Former Rivals Federer & Nadal Take a Hike (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Style
  • Dogs Are the Main Character at Cannes
    • Style
  • Crocs' First Fashionable Sneaker Is Finally Launching
    • Sneakers
  • At Celine Winter '24, a Fantastic Symphony of Sleek Clothes
    • Style
*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.