Hysteric Glamour

Hysteric Glamour is a Japanese unisex brand created by Nobu Kitamura in 1984. Kitamura graduated from the Tokyo Mode Gakuen fashion school in 1984 and started designing for the punk brand Ozone Community. The Post-WWII Western influence in Japan gave rise to the iconic Harajuku street style and introduced aspects of the 60s and 70s American culture that inspired Kitamura in his childhood. Although he had never been to America, he was surrounded by American pop culture - denim, comics, porn, and music like the Sex Pistols and Blondie. Kitamura set out to rebuild American vintage and military garments while adding his own bold colors and graphics. In the 80s, he opened a temporary store in NYC and had his first official collaboration with Sonic Youth; his pieces were worn by fans of the brand, such as Courtney Love. In 1991, Kitamura opened his London store, and in the next decade went on to collaborate with Andy Warhol, Playboy, and Supreme. One of his main influences is yankii, the working-class youth movement that embraces punk rebellion and is often associated with Japan’s motorcycle gangs, known as bōsōzoku, who take style inspiration from American rock ’n’ roll and army surplus clothes. There is a campiness and vulgarity to this style, a Japanese caricature of American life that fascinates Kitamura. The irony of Kitamura’s brand is its simultaneous attachment to western consumerism and rejection of it. Hysteric Glamour is highly sought after by the western market but refuses to cater to it. This elusive quality, stemming from Kitamura’s dedication to artisanal and anti-commercial production, is a massive part of its success. Nobu Kitamura is one of many “Mansion Makers,” including Miyake, Kawakybo, and Yamamoto, who started as small home-grown operations; while many brands move into high fashion, Kitamura remains loyal to the streets that inspired his styles. He wants to maintain an integrity in his work, only creating garments he could make without outsourcing.

Hysteric Glamour

08-15-21

Hysteric Glamour is a Japanese unisex brand created by Nobu Kitamura in 1984. Kitamura graduated from the Tokyo Mode Gakuen fashion school in 1984 and started designing for the punk brand Ozone Community. The Post-WWII Western influence in Japan gave rise to the iconic Harajuku street style and introduced aspects of the 60s and 70s American culture that inspired Kitamura in his childhood. Although he had never been to America, he was surrounded by American pop culture - denim, comics, porn, and music like the Sex Pistols and Blondie. Kitamura set out to rebuild American vintage and military garments while adding his own bold colors and graphics. In the 80s, he opened a temporary store in NYC and had his first official collaboration with Sonic Youth; his pieces were worn by fans of the brand, such as Courtney Love. In 1991, Kitamura opened his London store, and in the next decade went on to collaborate with Andy Warhol, Playboy, and Supreme. One of his main influences is yankii, the working-class youth movement that embraces punk rebellion and is often associated with Japan’s motorcycle gangs, known as bōsōzoku, who take style inspiration from American rock ’n’ roll and army surplus clothes. There is a campiness and vulgarity to this style, a Japanese caricature of American life that fascinates Kitamura. The irony of Kitamura’s brand is its simultaneous attachment to western consumerism and rejection of it. Hysteric Glamour is highly sought after by the western market but refuses to cater to it. This elusive quality, stemming from Kitamura’s dedication to artisanal and anti-commercial production, is a massive part of its success. Nobu Kitamura is one of many “Mansion Makers,” including Miyake, Kawakybo, and Yamamoto, who started as small home-grown operations; while many brands move into high fashion, Kitamura remains loyal to the streets that inspired his styles. He wants to maintain an integrity in his work, only creating garments he could make without outsourcing.

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