Ise, Mie, Japan
Often cited as the godfather of streetwear, Hiroshi Fujiwara was (and continues to be) a pivotal figure in shaping streetwear culture as we know it. The Japanese streetwear designer and musician connected the dots between his native Tokyo and the West already in the 90s, bridging streetwear and high-fashion and acting as an influencer and tastemaker – a sort of precursor to today’s influencers – long before the advent of the internet. He also popularized hip-hop in Japan.
Fujiwara is the founder of coveted fashion label fragment design and the lifestyle/home goods brand retaW, along with the POOL aoyama concept store. He’s also a part of Nike HTM (the celebrated long-term collaboration between trio Mark Parker, Tinker Hatfield and Fujiwara) sending ripples through sneakerland with must-have drops made with premium materials and the latest technology.
He has collaborated with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Nike, Burton, Moncler, Levi’s, Stussy, BVLGARI, Supreme, Starbucks, Converse, Apple, TAG Heuer Carrera and Pokemon. And he designed a guitar for Eric Clapton and collaborated with Yanmar for a X47 Cruiser luxury yacht. The guy has also released 10 albums under his own name to date.
Charting his trajectory through more than 30 years of streetwear discourse – and his dizzying array of collaborations with some of the world’s most recognizable brands – is a daunting task, however we’ve noted some of his defining moments.
Hiroshi Fujiwara is born in Ise, Mie in Japan.
18-year-old Fujiwara moves to Tokyo and visits London where he discovers punk, and New York where he discovers hip-hop. Here he learns how to DJ and starts pioneering the genre with DJ gigs across Tokyo. He also forms hip-hop group Tiny Panx with some friends.
He writes about his travels to New York, London, Paris and LA in his column Last Orgy in pop-culture magazine Takarajima giving the low-down on the latest street trends spanning clothes, skateboards and DJ gear.
At a time where hip-hop and skateboarding is not yet connected, Fujiwara hooks up with Shawn Stussy, who makes him an honorary member of the Worldwide Stüssy Tribe and ships him boxes of free Stüssy gear for Fujiwara and his friends to wear in Tokyo.
Inspired by Stüssy and English BMX label Anarchic Adjustment Fujiwara launches his first solo venture GOODENOUGH – one of Japan’s most respected streetwear labels to-be.
Helps Jun Takahashi and NIGO to open their legendary streetwear Harajuku boutique NOWHERE ( breathing ground for brands such as A Bathing Ape, WTAPS, NEIGHBORHOOD, SOPHNET. et al.)
Fujiwara and Jun Takahashi’s love for punk results the joint effort AFFA (Anarchy Forever Forever Anarchy) clothing line, which they produce in single, limited-edition runs that often sold out on the release day. (Today a tried and tested recipe for creating hype around consumer goods.)
One of GOODENOUGH’s most noted collabs – with Supreme – drops in the shape of T-shirts.
The First Nike HTM sneakers see the light of day.
fragment design launches in Tokyo ushering in an era of game-changing, instant classic collaborations with some of the world’s most iconic labels.
Levi’s and fragment design’s Fenom line jeans are released.
Fujiwara launches lifestyle and home goods brand retaW.
fragment design x Air Jordan 1 drops and resells for thousands of dollars. The same year the 200-something pages hardcover book Hiroshi Fujiwara: Fragment is published, chronicling his longstanding history filled with artworks, sneakers and product design.
Fujiwara opens The POOL aoyama concept store.
He teams up with friend Kim Jones (then artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear) for a capsule collection as part of Louis Vuitton’s FW17, charting ‘80s New York hip-hop culture and artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Gamers around the world rejoice as Fujiwara teams up with Pokemon for the THUNDERBOLT PROJECT BY FRGMT, with a full line of merch. A TAG Heuer collab also drops that year, and a much-anticipated Moncler collab.
Sees collaborations with BVLGARI, Fruit of the Loom, Medicom and Dr Martens to name a few.