The realm of what is acceptable and what is possible in everything to do with people our age needs some radical expanding. What does it mean to be stylish at our age? AGEIST often cites the men’s icons of Steve McQueen from the ’60s, JFK, Ralph Lauren and other American north stars of style. But we need to look further.
Finding Fashion Through Food
Sometimes my cool radar fails me. Until my very in-the-know friend Jonathan invited me to Chicken Kitchen during my recent visit to Tokyo, I had never heard of Hiroshi Fujiwara. Who is this guy who has a modest restaurant on the second floor of a Shibuya tower where one can get chicken 1000 ways? Fried, frozen, raw, table grilled…I have never imagined the range of options available for the preparation of chicken. Who knew?
Godfather of Japanese Streetwear
Fujiwara is the godfather of Japanese streetwear, the man who brought American heritage workwear to Tokyo and made it super cool. His current company, fragment, collaborates on projects from watches to Nike to Red Wing to Levi’s to Moncler. As Hypebeast says, “A combination of a cultural archive, design agency, a consultancy firm, and marketing project, fragment design served as space for Fujiwara to collaborate with brands and companies on a one-to-one basis, releasing all manner of goods, from clothing to electronics, watches, and beyond.”
Part musician, part designer, part curator, part consultant — some might say Fujiwara is the archetype for the multi-faceted creators now defining mainstream culture, the sort of person who can see what is around him in new ways that give an object a new meaning. In the same way someone like Rihanna is a master creative straddling a whole host of endeavors, Fujiwara has done the same for the last 30 years, albeit without the fame of Fenty.
Understated Street-Rebel Style
He himself is a walking style bomb, one of those people who can dress in a way that others can’t and pull it off in the sleekest way imaginable. So what can we learn from the style master? First, he is not dressing as a hip-hop 20 y/o street kid anymore, and no pink camo Bathing Ape jumpsuits. He keeps it simple: monotone color palette, crewnecks, nubby white oxford shirts, black bomber jacket and the ever-present white T showing underneath.
Keeping in mind he is, and will always be, a street rebel, his overall look tends to be less kempt than we would find comfortable, but the basic looks are solid. We are also enamored of the grey longish hair sharply cut, a look that perhaps only someone with his pedigree can pull off, but he does it so well. The attraction for us is that here is a guy who was and is at the forefront of design and fashion, shows no signs of running out of gas and does it all with impeccable style done his way.