Sometime in the early 80s, a subculture of japanese fashion birthed in Harajuku that rejected the previous ideals of conformity and promoted individuality. By the 90s this “Harajuku” style had grown into a movement that spread throughout Japan, directly influencing the creative direction of preexisting brands and laying a playing field for new designers. One of the most infamous brands to emerge from the Harajuku streets was 20471120. Founded in 1992 by Lica and Masahiro Nakagawa, 20471120 was quickly embraced by the Harajuku youth while gaining a “high fashion” status amongst Paris critics through its other-worldly runway shows.
Thematically, 20471120 was Lica and Nakagawa’s vision of the future conveyed through clothes. Initially called Bellisima until 1994, The brand’s name is actually the numerics of the date November 20th 2047. Influenced by anime, music, and the surreal dreams of its founders, 20471120 reflected Japan’s culture through a fantastical lens.
The most popular pieces by 20471120 (partially due to the more affordable price-point) depicted their brand mascot, Hyoma. A cute anime-like character with juxtaposing face tattoos “violence” and “sex”, Hyoma was used by Lica and Nagasaki as a means of storytelling. Hyoma is the innocent protagonist In a manga strip that supplemented 20471120’s magnum opus: The Tokyo Recycling Project. Appalled by fast fashion’s constant production and waste of materials, Lica and Nagasaki toured the globe setting up atelier studios where fans could bring in their own clothes to be transformed into one-of-a kind 20471120 pieces.
In 2003, the 20471120 boutiques closed and production came to an end leaving behind a rich legacy of clothing that defined an era. In 2007 Nakagawa and Lica launched another label called Zechia but there hasn’t been new collections for the past 5 years. Presently, we had the chance of interewing Nakagawa who is focusing on painting and visual arts while 20471120 is gaining popularity once again amongst the new generation.
Written by Oliver Leone from @yourfashionarchive