Hiroshi Fujiwara, the Godfather of Streetwear
No one can pass Hiroshi Fujiwara on the street and not appreciate his style. However, not many of them would know that the fifty-something-year-old Japanese man with the flair for clean cuts and eye-catching tees is one of the most influential personalities in the streetwear industry. But how did he do it? How did the man in the dandy haircut and cool clothes come to be the Godfather of Streetwear?
The Evolution of Hiroshi Fujiwara
Before becoming a designer, Fujiwara was a Tokyo-based DJ. As such, he was a popular and influential figure on the Japanese cultural scene. The fact that Fujiwara was well-travelled and had a style influenced by Western streetwear only added to his appeal among Japanese youth years before he started dabbing in big-name brands like Nike.
After a friend floated the idea of making premium graphics to Fujiwara, he decided to try his hand at design. He founded the brand GOODENOUGH, which would later become the staple of high-fashion Japanese streetwear. Fujiwara merged his love for creation, passion for fashion and internationally-influenced taste to create premium tees with revolutionized graphics. He transformed NASCAR emblems and imagery of Karl Marx into statement pieces, and infused traditional Japanese wear with hip-hop culture. In no time, he became the go-to guy for streetwear for Japanese youth interested in self-expression. His brand expanded from t-shirts to include bomber jackets and other ready-to-wear streetwear pieces.
Fujiwara’s ascent didn’t end there. Fujiwara had two protégés, Jonio and NIGO, both of whom went on to create their own streetwear brand, further permeating his unique style in the streetwear industry. And even after giving up his creative place in the then-internationally-selling brand GOODENOUGH, Fujiwara went on to add style and flow to the streetwear industry by advising big names such as Converse, Nike and even Stussy on their products.
Fujiwara ended up influencing streetwear in ways no one else ever has, and thus became the Godfather of Streetwear.