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Fashion

The Streetwear Brands In Asia You Need To Know

Some brands — think Supreme, Palace, Bape — are synonymous with streetwear. And while many other labels may not enjoy the same cult status as these OG street names do, brands in Asia have definitely cottoned on and are offering everything from oversized, pastel-coloured hoodies to bomber jackets splashed with riotous graffiti.

From the young brands rising by way of strong street style representation to those making a name for themselves via streetwear girls repping their threads, above, the coolest emerging brands making their mark from Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

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November 2019
Events & Promos
Takahiromiyashita The Soloist
What: If you’re a Japanese streetwear connoisseur, I’m sure you’ve spent your fair share of hours on Grailed scrolling through Number (N)ine archives. And perhaps shed a couple of tears when the brand showcased its final collection in 2009. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you that you’re in luck. From the same genius, Takahiromiyashita presents his younger, grungier and arguably more under the radar cousin.    Why know it: Known to be a cult label in its own right, the pieces in this spin-off label are reminiscent of designer Takahiro Miyashita’s personal style – and given how stylish the man is, you know you’ll be decked out in the most fashion forward of threads. Best part? Though designed for men, each piece can be worn by whoever chooses to do so. White Mountaineering
What: There’s been a warranted emergence of functional gear in the recent years. We see designers pulling inspiration from hikers, soldiers and even traffic police. White Mountaineering was one of the Japanese pioneers of this train of thought.   Why know it: Even if you’re not planning on conquering a mountain anytime soon, the heavy duty storage space on these fly pieces ensure you’ll be able to carry what you need and don’t need while keeping your hands completely free. Tsumori Chisato
What: We don’t want you to think that women’s wear is forgotten in streetwear, though of course clothing can always be unisex. Tsumori Chisato got help launching her label from Issey Miyake, though they have now parted business ways. Yet, with bohemian manga prints this bright and bold it is no surprise that the artistry of this label can stand ground on its own.   Why know it: The label has gained international traction on the streets of New York and Paris and you can also rock it on Orchard Road. For those who aren’t particularly fans of boyish streetwear fits, Chisato offers up a powdery, sweet and subtle way to rock it.  Ground Zero
What: Started by two brothers from Hong Kong, Ground Zero was founded to push the boundaries of streetwear. And granted, it’s definitely far more directional than the average fare.   Why know it: Introducing unique cuts and known for their “raw” aesthetic (read: graffiti-ed pieces), Ground Zero also pegs itself as gender neutral, allowing the clothes speak for themselves. They eschew the marketing spiel targeted at women such as using the label “boyfriend jeans”, because well, jeans are simply jeans. #Yes. Image: Ground Zero Hyein Seo
What: For Koreans — or anywhere else in the world for the matter — when streetwear is mentioned, the first demographic that comes to mind would typically be males. However, designer Hyein Seo doesn’t buy it and that, is something we can get with.   Why know it: Bad girl Riri is a fan of the brand but apart from that, this is one label that’s slowly but surely gaining global recognition, and is no stranger to London Fashion Week Image: Hyein Seo Spunky
What: Spunky, as its name suggests, is a playful and youthful streetwear brand from South Korea.   Why know it: Founder Min Hwoo Ju is also a photographer — street style, to be specific — who has an eye for the latest and greatest on the streets of Seoul. Also, Block B’s P.O reps the brand. Image: Spunky 13Month
What: An on-trend label born out of the desire to push the envelope, hence the name ’13Month’ which, technically doesn’t exist. Why know it: It combines old school and new school elements — such as puffer scarves — for a sense of nostalgia while offering up the latest. Photo: 13 Month Ellioti
What: A unisex label with uber wearable pieces, Ellioti drills down on catering their designs to both genders. Hailing from Seoul, expect youth-led graphic and oversized tees and bombers. Why know it: Its aesthetic is a mix of punk and grunge, and is well beloved by many locals in Seoul. Image: Ellioti FR2
What: Known more commonly as Fxxking Rabbits, the brand was founded by a Japanese photographer famed for his provocative (read: scandalous) works and iconic rabbit mask he always uses. The brand is fairly popular worldwide among streetwear fiends, with its successful collaboration with online magazine Hypebeast and another one with American streetwear brand V/sual. Why know it: From T-shirts to hoodies, skirts, and accessories, the brand’s gutsy and eccentric visuals are its claim to fame. And apart from the design factor, its clothes also boast great functionality, such as its jackets designed to have larger-than-usual pockets so the wearer has his or her hands kept free. Photo: #FR2 DBTK
What: Don’t Blame The Kids is a Filipino streetwear brand that was founded by two brothers, Emil and Vince Javier, who share a keen interest in streetwear and its culture. One of its most notable accolades is its collaboration with New York’s footwear and clothing brand Pony in 2017, releasing a line of sneakers that made waves in the streetwear scene. Why know it: Its name is inspired by an interview quote by Lil Wayne, whereby he said: “you shouldn’t blame the kids”, and aims to influence the youth of today positively with a message that dreams do turn into reality when there’s hard work involved. Its designs are inspired by people from all walks of life and are wildly popular among those aged 13 to 23. Photo: Actually Have A Good Time
What: Founded by a small group of cool graffiti artists, the Japanese brand is one to note with its roaringly successful collaborations with other notable streetwear brands like Beams, Vans and Stussy. They operate a small store in a back alley of Nakameguro in Tokyo which apart from their own clothing line, is filled with music, books, and art. Why know it: Despite the brand’s popularity, with its assortment of graphic T-shirts, jackets, socks, caps and even iPhone cases (all of which plastered with the iconic and ubiquitous ‘have a good time’ logo), its merch remains fairly exclusive and is hard to get hands on especially outside of Japan. Photo: Have A Good Time Deblanc
What: Founded by locals Bobby Seah and Gilbert Yap, streetwear label Deblanc was born to combat the fact that Singapore has a weak representation in the fashion industry. Quoted as “independently-created art”, the brand’s clothing feature thought-provoking graphics, and the duo has plans to expand into the international market in the coming year. Why know them: The brand sticks strongly to its principle of not reprinting a design just because there’s a huge demand for it. Even so, it sells out almost all of its pieces. What can expect from them in the near future? Most definitely, sneakers. Photo: Deblanc Ambush
What: The Japan-based cult accessory label that celebrities from Rihanna and Beyonce to Kanye West dig recently launched its apparel line. According to a CNN report, their accessories are stocked in 57 stores worldwide, and they were also one of eight finalists for the 2017 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. Why know it: For bold, edgy and experimental designs that are still very wearable, look no further than their artfully-cut trench coat, a windbreaker fashioned into a long coat and an off-shoulder striped top with belted shoulder straps. Cres E. Dim
What: The eight-year-old South Korean label whose founder, Hongbum Kim, was recognised as one of Seoul’s top designers in 2014. The brand name references the musical term “crescendo e diminuendo”, which means to get gradually louder and softer respectively. Why know it: Known for its languid, oversized silhouettes, the brand injects a youthful and energetic vibe into its offerings, which comprise streetwear staples such as pastel-coloured hoodies, asymmetrically-cut skirts and logo sweatshirts. Ader Error
What: The South Korean label with a penchant for boyish, Vetements-esque cuts. Since its debut, it has earned itself fans the likes of Vogue.com editors. The designers behind it have intentionally stayed anonymous, but have been trained in fashion and graphic design. Why know it: Designs are largely genderless, with collared cotton shirts, graphic tees and denim coats bearing kitschy statements like “genreless” and “all pain no gain”. Plus, their wide range of caps – from lettered ones to slogan-bearing designs – are great for boosting your street cred. Andersson Bell
What: The South Korean brand expertly creates structured looks with a playful twist – think camouflage print field jackets and embroidered sweatshirts that have exaggerated silhouettes. Another reflection of its popularity: It’s stocked at renowned retailers like Barney’s New York and HBX, Hypebeast’s online store. Why know it: Most of its pieces are unisex and are great for layering. For example, an asymmetrically-designed striped shirt can be worn as a dress or as a coat, while there are checkered shirts that come with the “hood” portion of a hoodie to make dressing up, well, a whole lot easier. Sneakavilla
What: The Thai label with over 100,000 Instagram followers serves up serious swag, ranging from graffiti-printed bombers to logo tees and tie-dyed sleeveless tops. Items are reportedly produced in small quantities to keep designs exclusive. Why know it: While the product range available in their online store seems a tad limited, we like how there are a lot more colourful options beyond the usual monochrome staples. The reversible bucket hats – patterns range from psychedelic colours to paisley printed ones – would also fit right into any casual, ready-for-the-weekend outfit. Supercrew
What: Established in 2013, the Kuala Lumpur-based brand was co-founded by Josh Soo, the designer and creative director, and his friend Jaymes, the marketing director. Most of their clothing are manufactured in Malaysia, and Soo says that the brand aims to promulgate a “positive image and a wholesome attitude”, which is the reason why emblems like skulls and skeletons will not appear on any of their designs. Why know it: Though relatively young, the brand has already garnered over 40,000 followers. Their pared-down pieces – many simply feature the brand logo splashed onto plain black or white tees – make easy wardrobe additions. Our stand-out picks are the jackets: Most come with simple logo lettering on their backs, and in bold colours like neon orange. The biggest draw? Nothing is above $100 (prices range from $29.60 for a t-shirt to $93 for a varsity jacket). Localism
What: Founded by a group of friends – Sam Chiam, Norman Lee and Marcus Tan – the Singapore brand opened its first store at *Scape in 2015. While the brand is keeping mum on where they source and manufacture their clothing, they reveal that one of their signature design elements is the usage of Japanese text and embroidery which they frequently incorporate into their pieces due to a shared love for Japanese culture. Why know it: Besides the obvious reason (#supportlocal, duh), the graphic-heavy designs – there are hoodies with the words “Superior clothing club” emblazoned on their backs, and an adorable drawing of a fortune cat on a black tee – make it that much easier to get an Insta-worthy OOTD. And yes, everything here is reasonably priced (between $65 to $100).