5 things we learned from the godfather of streetwear, hiroshi fujiwara

5 things we learned from the godfather of streetwear, hiroshi fujiwara

today japanese designer and streetwear icon hiroshi fujiwara reveals his collaboration with italian luxury giant moncler. dubbed the 7 moncler fragment hiroshi fujiwara collection – it has been designed by fujiwara’s multidisciplinary imprint fragment design and is just the latest in a portfolio dating back to the 1980s, including the likes of NIKE, levi’s, stussy and supreme, as well as artists like takashi murakami and eric clapton. marking the event in an interview with online magazine business of fashion, he discusses how to stay cool in a fast-moving market. in a goldmine of fascinating musings on the culture fujiwara has become inextricably linked to, here’s the most important things you should take from it.


1. ‘a designer is not a designer anymore…

referencing the likes of virgil abloh, fujiwara interrogates the power of design in its current state. describing it as now replaced by a power to ‘disturb’ what is expected or familiar in order to create new relevance, he notes abloh’s addition of tags in his latest collaboration with NIKE, something which adds interest but disturbs the original intention of the product to aid performance. even his own label, fragment, is known for subtle design disruptions applying only a double lightning bolt logo to the products of others.’NIKE and moncler need to do their own things slowly, then [someone like] me, a creative director, can play around and do something else, which is interesting.


2. ‘to surprise people you need a good balance with high and low.

a defining principle of the sneaker culture as an attitude? from guitars especially designed for eric clapton to bottles created with starbucks, fujiwara has worked with a wide range of collaborators. right now he says he is working on chocolate. ‘I think to surprise people you need a good balance with high and low.

a sneak peek of the moncler X fragment design collaboration

images courtesy of moncler



3. ‘that’s what brands should have — atmosphere…’

‘shopping now is looking for the cheapest price on the internet, but I think there’s something missing,’ at a time popularized by mass store closures fujiwara frames brick and mortar spaces as integral to creating not only brand experiences but those that once again challenge expectations. ‘I love the dover street market in new york because the café is on the ground floor; it’s the first thing you see. you can buy NIKE sneakers while smelling good bread. I thought that was amazing.’


4. ‘it’s really the people [that make a powerful collaboration]’

what’s behind the success of fujiwara’s eclectic mix of collaborators? he puts it down to a need to connect with the people behind the brand. ‘I have to see the person that’s controlling the partnership and then I can see if the brand is easy to work with and has the same attitude and tempo.


5. hiroshi knew long before sneaker ‘drops’, the power in leaking limited product to consumers

when fujiwara created his first label good enough in 1989 he saw the power in teasing consumers with limited quantities of product lines. now today the drop system is a key to the success of any streetwear brand.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,664 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample