If you are visual kei lovers just like us, chances are you have a strong interest in fashion and even Japanese apparel and accessories brands. What if we told you that your inner desire to express yourself through fashion can be fulfilled through clothes designed, or inspired by your favorite artists?
CIVARIZE, GIGOR, and DEAL DESIGN. You may have heard of these fashion brands before. Their common trait? They all have previously joined hands with visual kei bands through exclusive collaborations!
These collaborations have tightened the link between music and fashion more than ever and given birth to uniquely designed items, from hoodies to jewels.
One hotspot for all of this is Shibuya, Japan. Specifically, the lair of the trendiest young men: “MAGNET by SHIBUYA109”. It is the plaza where you will even find the store “SHIBUYA Zy.” which was opened by the man who coined the term “visual kei” itself, Seiichi Hoshiko, and is supported by HAKUEI (PENICILLIN).
In our previous article, we introduced you to the psychedelic collaboration between DEVILOOF and ALTER VENOMV, but they are of course not the only artists who have given birth to special collaboration items.
Below are some of the interesting partnerships which piqued our interest! Feel free to share your favorite collaborations down in the comment section!
DIAURA, NIGHTMARE, RAZOR, exist†trace, DADAROMA
CIVARIZE is a well-known apparel brand and is divided into three distinctive sub-brands for a large variety of styles: CIVARIZE, TRAVAS TOKYO, and REFLEM, and holds a total of seven shops in Japan. They granted us plenty of collaborations with popular music artists such as Ni~Ya from NIGHTMARE, RAZOR, exist†trace, DADAROMA, and more.
The partnership with DIAURA is without a doubt one of their most notable ones in 2020, taking help from all the members of the quartet.
The four men modeled for the “2020 Autumn collection”, a great way for fans to discover CIVARIZE’s new fashion worn by respectable musicians! Vocalist yo-ka himself described the collection as “clothes closely bound to music”.
The heart of the operation consisted of two exclusive items designed by DIAURA together with the brand’s designers. The items included an oversize hooded sweatshirt and a cap, both in the colors of DICTATOR, the first mini-album of the band.
The release of these artful pieces was accompanied by a lookbook gifted to anyone who purchased one of these items. Avid fans who pre-ordered between September 13–28, 2020, even received the members’ signatures. If you bought your items in-store, you would get them on an A4 photocard, but if you ordered online, they would be on the lookbook.
Vocalist Hiro from NOCTURNAL BLOODLUST joined forces with GIGOR back in 2019! The occasion was the 20th anniversary of GIGOR, a brand whose focus is on luxurious silver jewelry.
Its amazing collaboration provided an exclusive collection named “Bloom Flare”, transcended by the burning wish of Hiro to materialize “A pendant based on the sun, the symbol of absolute power!”. A well-fitting ambition considering Hiro’s great interest in bodybuilding!
You can actually still see Hiro wearing the necklace he designed on the latest band photo.
GIGOR held a special event as a commemoration for customers who pre-ordered one of the collection’s items—which included various pendants and piercings. These customers had the chance to receive the items from Hiro himself while sharing a strong handshake!
vistlip, NAZARE, MEJIBRAY, ACID BLACK CHERRY, UVERworld, the GazettE
The brand also took the opportunity to introduce one of their items with the help of vocalist Mio of NAZARE. On Twitter, Mio was proudly wearing the “King Gate Key” around his neck, described as one of his favorite and daily used accessories.
Other artists have also helped the brand promote its product in the past, such as meto (MEJIBRAY), yasu (ACID BLACK CHERRY), and Takuya (UVERworld).
But the most notable collaboration of the brand came to life in 2008 with SNAKEDLOWS, the alliance between DEAL DESIGN’s director, designer Satoshi Yamashita, and the charismatic bassist of the GazettE, Reita!
Here, Reita is in charge of the product’s design which takes inspiration from rock and bikers’ fashion, and new items are regularly added even now!
Thanks to these incredibly high-quality fashion collaborations, we as fans have more ways to express our love for Japanese rock even in our daily lives.
It’s a great alternative to bands’ typical merchandise but still allows you to support your favorite artists and brands at the same time!
We hope we were able to shed light on some of the less well-known activities that visual kei musicians take part in because, without a doubt, they definitely deserve your attention!