“Finally, a shirt that literally has ‘random Japanese shit’ all over it.” This is how Shock and Awe described their collaboration piece with The Kimono Kid when they first previewed it on their site. As a Western-born who entered adulthood in Japan, and then as a Japanese speaker myself, I am very familiar with all these fake Japanese statements printed on clothes or shop signs. Just like those poor English or French-written tees you can find in Asia, the Japanese words we usually stumble upon in the West rarely mean anything.
You can easily imagine how positively surprised I was when I saw this tee-shirt on The Kimono Kid’s Instagram account. Sasa, the woman behind the account and brand, is one of the first accounts I followed when I joined Instagram. I don’t recall how I found about her but I remember being highly attracted to the shapes and colors of her work (she makes modern kimonos, by the way). You can follow her just here. I had never heard of Shock and Awe (Instagram here) before this collaboration but I’m now keeping an eye on them. They seem to have a very original and fun vision of contemporary fashion that I like.
Fashion-wise, this t-shirt is also a really interesting item. First, it’s a white tee and it’s printed with lettering – a.k.a the safest bet for a casual stylish look for any season. Second, it’s 100% made of cotton which is not only eco-friendly but super soft. Then, it clearly has a little snobbism in it as it says “you can’t sit with us if you don’t get the message” (although those who get it get a free pass to your friendlist don’t they – I noticed that the common understanding of the Japanese language between two strangers is the quickest of bonding methods.) I like to wear it with anything high-waist, especially skirts, and usually a pair of elegant shoes to break down the casual mood.
Shock and Awe and The Kimono Kid released three sets already, all sold out by now – this is how successful it is. But I bet they’re working on a fourth restock because fashion people out there are asking for it. It retails at $35 on Shock and Awe’s site. Oh, and the cost includes a donation to the Japan Foundation, which promotes cultural, linguistic and intellectual exchanges internationally!
Do you often see random shit written in your language on random clothes? Tell me in the comment section below. We can also connect through Instagram, and if you liked this post and want more, you can also subscribe to the blog by joining below – I’d be thrilled to have you here.