Fresh out of their latest issue, GRIND Magazine Japan presents this brief photo-editorial of the latest season from NEIGHBORHOOD. The scans come courtesy of my friend James over in Japan, who has a site of his own at Nagoya-Yom. If you enjoy my blog then check his out, it’s a ridiculous resource of magazine scans and photoshoots.
Crafted with pride since its inception in 1994, NBHD has been one of the undisputed heavyweights of Japanese streetwear for as long back as most people can remember. In recent years, however, the brand has been picked up from the sidelines of fashion, along with several other labels, to enter a new phase of popularity in countries like the UK, USA and France. In the past twelve months the incredibly hard-sought brand has had small selections of stock seeping into End Clothing and Goodhood, while the hype-fuelled curiosity surrounding brands like Supreme, Kaws and A Bathing Ape has surely had a proximity-effect on the more softly-spoken steez powerhouses.
Shinsuke Takizawa of Neighborhood received a brief mention on here when I spoke about Fuct SSDD, so we already know that the guy likes motorcycles. This shoot, however, goes more in the vein of several of the brand’s recent shoots, with the desert setting and vast expanses of empty space being more reminiscent of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas – certainly, the floppy unkempt hair and wide-open collars give that air of ‘all dressed up but I’m spinning out in the hotel bathroom’.
The intricate embroidery on some of the jackets and shirting continues a theme that I first saw in the brand’s ‘Gimme Shelter‘ collection back in Fall 2011, so those subtle nods to Hunter’s American Dream stay consistent – I particularly like the look of the cross embroideries on the sleeve and left-chest.
Another photo hints toward another upcoming ‘SVG Archives‘ collection, a blacker-than-black offshoot label in which Takizawa takes the NBHD Military aesthetic to the extreme. I like a lot of the SVG graphics and designs, but admit I was disappointed to see that the brand had lifted the ‘read between the lines’ concept straight from one of Fuct’s recent releases (see photos 3 & 13), but as I said in my Fuct article, Erik and Shinsuke have clearly been chatting and it’s possible they just scratched each other’s backs.
Denim, as always, is not a problem with the label. Renowned for making some of the highest-quality jeans you can buy, the label gives a brief glimpse at its Savage denim, and it looks like this season’s outing isn’t short on patching and distressing, while the wave-fading along the bottom hems lets all the connoisseurs know that this is a serious pair of traditional, quality denim – the aesthetically-favourable fade pattern is only achievable with chain-stitched hems, something which lesser-quality manufacturers forgo to reduce thread costs.
The cold tones of the pineapple-print shirt mixes the brand’s Bat Country sensibilities of late with its somber colour-palette beautifully, and is probably my favourite piece of the lookbook. Mainstay items such as the waterproof smock in the final shot, the black biker jacket (with some of the most beautiful leather I’ve seen in months) and flannel-shirts tied around the waist make welcome returns for any of the brand’s avid followers who are still looking for staple pieces and, as always, the brand leaves plenty of bread crumbs for readers to spot upcoming collaborations and special items – sandals, necklaces, badges and a stripped-down pair of low-top canvas sneakers will almost certainly all make an appearance.
Overall it’s another good season for NBHD. They’ve had a tried-and-tested method of so many years of a) sticking to what you know and b) never staying in one place. The end result has been a comforting sense of familiarity with each release from the brand, but a mixture of personal ‘hits’, ‘misses’, ‘growers’ and ‘faders’ that reassure you that the label is still living and fluxing rather than falling into a formula.
People will always come to NBHD for a top-level leather jacket, and they’ll always receive flack for their £70 t-shirts. Then again, people will still walk out of shops with their first pair of NBHD denim and spend the rest of the day drooling over the two-colour stitching and pinpoint-accurate web-fading – well, I know that I did. It’s a product that rewards you if you’ve got the guts to pull the trigger, and this shines through in rope-like collars on the crewnecks, rigid metal zippers, element-ready materials and an ‘evolution, not revolution’ approach to fashion. Hey, if you don’t have pride then what the fuck are you crafting?
As mentioned before, NBHD is available at Goodhood, End Clothing and The Hideout. Japanese brands tend to send bulk deliveries to their oversea stockists a few times a season, so check back every so often for new items and updates on collaborations. Again, thanks to Yom for the scans.