Akihabara meets Harajuku as Dempagumi.inc invades fashion industry24 August, 2013 by Chad
It’s been a busy year for Akihabara-based idol group Dempagumi.inc. They’re on to their 3rd single this year with the upcoming W.W.D II / Notto Bochi…Natsu and have held various performances both in Japan and overseas. While their popularity can be hardly compared to other bigger acts like AKB48 or Momoiro Clover Z, one unlikely front that the group has been able to tap into better than any other idol groups is the fashion industry.
Dempagumi.inc’s ticket into the fashion industry has probably been Mikio Sakabe whom the girls have been working with as far back as 2011. The award winning fashion designer is responsible for the group’s outfits. Their underground” roots also give the group that extra street cred needed to push them in the right direction.
Dempagumi.inc have been in a flurry of collaborative fashion projects in recent months. They appear to be following the heels of the likes of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Kyary’s influence in Harajuku has long waned to that of AMOYAMA but for the most part Harajuku and its fashion still remains the territory of charisma models. These self-declared Akihabara otaku have been infringing upon Harajuku boundaries, modelling for various fashion publications and working together with youth brands like SPINNS and BEAMS to come up with their own original collaboration pieces.
The group’s latest fashion collaboration is with the relatively new men’s fashion brand DOWBL, which like the rest of the other homegrown labels at 109 Mens tends to be aimed towards young adult men aiming for a yankee look to match their gyaru counterparts. The most exiting part of the collaboration though is that they’ve also enlisted the famous street fashion photographer Yasumasa Yonehara (better known a just YONE) to the mix.
As part of the collaboration, Dempagumi.inc has released a series of cartoon print T-Shirts of themselves and special Nemu and Moga photo print tees. YONE is of course well known for his Sneaker Love photo T-Shirt collaborations that put KIKS TYO on the map. His provocative signature style has shaped fashion photography in Japan and has been imitated overseas by the likes of American Apparel (which coincidentally also led to their modern day success).
Dempagumi.inc, DOWBL and Yasumasa Yonehara’s newest pieces in their ongoing collaboration is this new member color themed stadium jumpers, which can be ordered online at the DOWBL STORE. For the full collection, check out the Dempagumi.inc x DOWBL campaign site. It’ll be interesting to see where this direction leads the group to.
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