Why are Japanese mangas part of many streetwear ranges?

Yukio Hishika Manga Dragon Ball Z Papi chulo tee new collection unisex 2019

Dragon Ball Z x Yukio Hishika - New collection Spring Summer 2019


If you are a fan of streetwear, you must have noticed the omnipresence of mangas in the urban scene. With labels that associate with known artists and are created for new ranges. Some more eclectic than the others. While the heroes of Japanese comics invade t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets, we are wondering why Japanese manga and anime are part of streetwear clothing. Focus on a room in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Thus was born the manga inspiration in streetwear


Whether we want it or not, we are all nostalgic and memories and dreams remain as elusive as our future. Children of the 90s, we return to our young age, remembering the good times... Saturday mornings we spent in front of the television. In front of dubbed American series from the 80s and Japanese anime. Between The Knights of the Zodiac and Dragon Ball, we spent so many hours in front of the TV screen and so many memories and images have become embedded in our heads, our culture and our way of life.

Some streetwear brands are allied further in collaboration with the artist of the field of hentai, that is to say mangas and pornographic anime, present clothes (men's hooded jacket without sleeves, asymmetric jacket man men's t-shirts, etc.) whose adult oriented and rather daring graphics can only be the brainchild of some Japanese artists.

Limited edition SS19 manga streetwear Godzilla t-shirt yukio hishika

Godzilla x Hishika tee - New collection Spring Summer 2019



A fashion already in vogue in the 70s

Streetwear did not invent anything. We have to go back 20 years to observe that Malcolm McLaren, the father of the Sex Pistols, and Vivienne Westwood, the terrible child of fashion, have diverted the icons of our childhood like Mickey Mouse in the 70s. A little later In the 90s, animated and manga-influenced graphics entered the world of fashion, becoming totally invisible in the 2000s. The Mobile Suit Gundam TV series (instantly abbreviated as MSG) as well as the rebroadcast of episodes of Dragon Ball Z and of course, the iconic Pokémon, are allowed to put Japanese manga in the style of the day.

Dragon Ball Z adopted in streetwear in the 1990s

Fullmetal Alchemist, One-Piece and Naruto are released, they are translated much more quickly for the general public, first in the United States and then in France, the original versions intact. A moment that allowed the animated culture and especially the hardcore otaku to break into the West, the youth of those who have remained in memory as today as mythical programs.

For their part, video games, Street Fighter and Final Fantasy, for example, are closer to the visual identity that we find in streetwear, generating trends that translate into an urban culture of people 'identify'.

Luxury brands: the first to adopt manga in streetwear fashion

The first brand to adopt anime is a luxury brand: Prada. In 2007, the fashion house designed clothing for the film Appleseed Ex Machina, the founder Miuccia Prada having been particularly fan of the television series in 2004 in his youth. In an interview, she said, "I thought that the expression of the contrast between man and machine, violence and love is wonderful. I designed something contemporary that matches the feelings of the film.

In 2016, Louis Vuitton also entered the era of manga by launching the license of Lightning, a character designed by Isamu Kamikuryo for Final Fantasy XIII, giving rise to a collection that makes use of the virtual aesthetics of video games.

If streetwear and anime work so well together, it's because both domains are strongly dependent on a strong visual language. By mixing the two, we get a synergy, lines of clothing (very long-sleeved t-shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt, asymmetrical man's sweater, etc.) with a strong identity.

On the other hand, clothing with manga characters is surprising, when worn by some. A particularly sought-after effect in the field of streetwear, while budding artists and designers make fun of idealized versions of products and collaborations that do not exist. In any case, one thing is certain: anime and streetwear are both very active communities, full of passionate and committed fans. When they meet, they complement each other, for a very successful effect, simply.