While quite ambiguous, a simple illustration by KAWS touched off a firestorm of rumors and second guesses. Along side a product preview for Spring/Summer 2013, the drawing features a tombstone inscribed with KAWS’ iconic “X-ed” signature, the name OriginalFake and the brand establishment year of 2006. Then there is the end year of 2013, a possible hint to the label’s demise.
A collaborative project between artist Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS, and Japanese toy manufacturer MEDICOM TOY, with assistances from NEXUSVII, OriginalFake is one of the few artist-driven fashion brands left. While it was a late comer to the designer toy boon back in 2006, it quickly became the most successful and constantly outpaced its larger competitors. If it is to close somewhat unceremoniously by the end of this year, it wouldn’t be the first Japanese label to do so. Takahiro Miyashita’s sudden departure marked the end of his avant-garde label NUMBER (N)INE, and long before its sale to Hong Kong’s I.T fashion group, A BATHING APE discreetly shuttered its successful BAPE CUTS and BAPE CAFE branches. Let us hope this will not be the case for OriginalFake… In the meantime, its Spring/Summer 2013 Collection will be available this Friday, January 19th.