Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON

By - August 23rd, 2006

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON

Written by Poe
Photos by Poe and Debre
Produced by Poe

Hypothesize for a moment, that you own a successful clothing line, which is now at a juncture. Do you follow the current trends, which guarantee a certain success in the near term? Or, do you experiment and take on risk of failure?

Japanese rapper Big-O came to such a juncture in 2002. Back then, SWAGGER, (which Freshness featured a few month back) the clothing brand he established with fellow rapper Iggy, already enjoyed a certain success in the Tokyo street wear scene. However, knowing there might be something more out there, Big-O decided on the latter: experiment and to hell with the risk. What was a personal experiment on mixing luxury and street became SWAGGER’s second line, PHENOMENON.

> PHENOMENON
> Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON
> Freshness Feature: SWAGGER

Feature continue after the jump

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Big-O: SWAGGER Co-Founder & PHENOMENON Creative Director [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
ILL 2VER Jacket Version 2 [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
ILL 2VER Jacket Version 2 [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Where as SWAGGER focused on the aesthetics of the traditional Hip-Hop gear. PHENOMENON does the same, but usually with a “twist”.

One such example is the ‘ILL 2VER’ jacket. One side appeared to be a reversible light jacket in the color black, similar to those made by Members Only. However, when the inside is turn outward, it is entirely a different animal – a detailed print of CD jewel cases from Hip-Hop and R&B albums.

This isn’t a any album collection haphazardly put together for a photo shoot. It is a snapshot of Big-O’s personal CD collection, estimated to be in the thousands. In a way, it is Big-O’s homage to those who inspired him. It also looks mighty impressive and sure to turn heads on the street.

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
ILL 2VER Jacket Version 2 [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
ILL 2VER Jacket Version 2 [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Slap Stadium Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Slap Stadium Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

A gold chain is a must have for anyone in the Hip-Hop industry. It is an emblem; a badge of success, and in true PHOENOMENON signature style, a gold chain is added to every hooded jacket. There is even an option to purchase it separately. It highlights the Hip-Hop root of the brand, the gold chain also suggest the playful nature of its designs.

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Optional Gold Chain [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
24K Hoodies [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
24K Hoodies [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Another signature is the all-over, silk screen print hoodies. While it looks like any other over-all print hoodies from afar. A closer look reveals pattern of gold chains, sneakers, guns, and other elements found in lyrics of Hip-Hop songs. Rumor has it that artist Kanye West recently customize a hoodie, with similar patterns, for his upcoming tour.

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
24K Hoodies [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Check Camo Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Check Camo Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

But what attracts most to PHENOMENON is its attention to details. Similar to other Japanese street wear brands, details adorned PHENOMENON’s products. One such is the ‘Check Camo’ jacket. Unlike other camouflage apparel, which print disruptive patterns onto fabric. The folks at PHENOMENON wove the disruptive pattern into fabric for the jacket, in shape of hounds-tooth no less.

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Check Camo Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Neon in Black Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Neon in Black Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Another example of the attention to details is the ‘Neon in Black’ jacket. Like the “ILL 2VER” jacket described earlier, the exterior design of the jacket is unsophisticated and simple. Open it and a flashy lining appears, a colorful silhouette collage of key Hip-Hop symbolisms: Champagne bottle, Philies Blunt, police caution tape, guns, and etc… There is even a Nike Swoosh on it, an affirmation of the relationship between sneaker culture.

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Neon in Black Jacket [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

The colorful silhouette collage also comes in forms of printed t-shirts and hoodies. However, it is suggested to see these items in person to truly appreciate the craftsmanship. PHENOMENON items are currently on sale at NYC retailers such as Pieces, Union, Vinny’s Styles, Blue in Green, Atrium. A few items are on sale on its online store as well. However, the success PHENOMENON enjoyed in New York have prompted actions from company and very soon, its items will be available at a shop near you. As always, Freshness will keep you posted on any new develpments.

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Neon in Black T-Shirt [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Neon in White T-Shirt [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
Neon in Black Hoodies [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
King T-Shirt [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

Freshness Feature: PHENOMENON
King T-Shirt [Freshness Gallery: PHENOMENON]

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