How Anime Made an Impact on Streetwear Culture

Anime has had a special place in the streetwear world since the late 80s. Just as you would see thousands of rock band tees there are also thousands of anime tees. The anime community often times than none are also part of the streetwear community. It can be considered the common ground where people share the same love for something that not only is entertaining, but it sparks the imagination for many creatives.

 

Dragon Ball Z is a staple in anime. It has found a way to stay relevant since 1989. You would see traditional fighting gear within the episodes, but on the other hand there would be episodes where you would see your favorite characters dressed in stylish pieces that said more about them than ever before. This made an impact on the community that even the creators might not have expected. Many brands today copy some of the signature looks the show has provided and even in 2019 they continue to do the same. Their latest movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, has the series main characters in their version of what would be considered a tracksuit. Adidas has even made the step of collaborating with DBZ with a series of shoes. Even Bape has acknowledged the anime world and created a limited DBZ collaboration back in 2018. Aside from DBZ, Bleach has also collaborated with the upcoming streetwear brand Hypland. They have completed two installments in the series of straight fire featuring some of the shows mains characters. They’ve also previewed a HunterxHunter collection that is rumored to drop soon.

You can also find major retail corporations such as Uniqlo embracing anime in full force. They have connected with Shonen Jump to put out multiple releases. So instead of just one show to base their pieces of off, they have multiple heavy hitters to chose from. Other fashion chains such as Urban Outfitters has also found themselves releasing anime inspired clothing. It is obvious that more and more retail stores will follow suit and find the next popular anime to capitalize from.

 

Aside from long running series such as Dragon Ball, shows such as Cowboy Bebop & Fooly Cooly have also made a lasting impact. Cowboy Bepop came with an exciting new take on what a bounty hunter should look and act like. The mix of punk and industrial created such a look that is still being replicated to this day. The main protagonist, Spike, looks to have a traditional fitted suit at first glance, but with further inspection you can see the fit and construction of his suit were far ahead of its time. Creators who specialize in cut and sew have created similar pieces. Even the pieces Faye wears (well the few pieces she does wear) are constructed in a non traditional way that is becoming popular today. Upcoming brand Dumbgood also recently created a small capsule of gear revolving around the show and its signature style which is also available at Urban Outfitter locations.

It’s great to see how anime has inspired many creators to create some of the best pieces no matter how big or small the brand. Next time you find watch yourself watching your favorite anime take a closer look at the fits that they wear then think about your favorite brands and how they channel those same looks. We can’t wait to see who gets inspired next.