Freshness Feature: SWAGGER

By - June 28th, 2006

Written by Poe
Photos by Debre
Produced by Poe

Freshness Feature: SWAGGER

After the mounting success with their Japanese hip-hop group, SHAKKAZOMBIE, 2 members, Iggy and Big-O, decided to partner on their other interests and form a new venture. Thus, in 1999, the clothing brand SWAGGER was created.


> Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER

> Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER Spring/Summer 2006

Continue after the jump

Freshness Feature: SWAGGER
Iggy: SWAGGER Co-Founder [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

Big-O: SWAGGER Co-Founder [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

Clothing rooted hip-hop lifestyle isn’t new, a myriad of brands already existed. Both men, however, have the notion to re-interpret it, beyond the ultra-loose denims and hooded sweatshirts. By introducing the flamboyance New York’s known for, with Tokyo’s application of attention to details, they set SWAGGER to be a hybrid between the 2 cities they love. As Big-O explained “…SWAGGER is a way for us to interpret the dialogue of 2 great world cities into the language of fashion.”

SWAGGER Flagship Store Interior [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

SWAGGER Flagship Store Interior [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

SWAGGER Flagship Store Interior [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

Another concept of SWAGGER is to diminish the idea of “hip-hop genre clothing” and make them widely available. After all, clothing is just a “tool” for one to express their style, be it hip-hop related or not. Going to any of SWAGGER’s 6 flagship stores dotted across Japan. So much mahogany lined the interior, it is diffticult to tell whether or not it is a haberdashery on London’s Savile Row. However, never too far from their hip-hop roots and humor, you can find the occasional hidden stash of fake money and gold bouillons in the store too.

Fake Cash Stash [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

Fake Gold Bouillons [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

Right off the bat, SWAGGER enjoyed a large fan base of its designs and its clothing. In 2002, Big-O created a second line, named PHENOMENON. The line is his experiment in relaxed luxury apparel, in anticipation of change in hip-hop gears into the realm of high fashion. The brand is currently a favorite among stars of the hip-hop community, including the irrepressible Kayne West.

New York City Showroom Opening Party [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

New York City Showroom Opening Party [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

Other than its 6 flagship stores in Japan. Its goods are available at more than 60 retail locations in Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and Hawaii. Currently, SWAGGER is in the process of planning for a flagship store in Taiwan, due to open in 2007. But the most important opening of the last few years is the showroom in New York City last year. It was a natural progression, like returning home, to open in a city that gave Iggy and Big-O much inspirations in their music and now, in their designs.

Upon touching down in the New York, already few have caught on to SWAGGER’s unique take on hip-hop aesthetics and trends. SWAGGER’s products have graced the pages of XXL and Complex magazine. And you can find it sold in a several notable boutiques, including Pieces in Harlem, Blue In Green, and the influential Union in SoHo.

Look forward for more next month when SWAGGER preview their line for next season.

SWAGGER’s Product Line [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]

SWAGGER’s T-Shirts [Freshness Gallery: SWAGGER]