Hiroshi Fujiwara is a Japanese designer, DJ, and entrepreneur who is considered one of the pioneers of streetwear culture. He is known for his influence on the development of the streetwear scene in Japan, as well as his contributions to the global fashion industry.
Fujiwara’s background in music and his connections to the skate and punk scenes in the 1980s helped shape his approach to fashion design and influenced his unique style. He was one of the first designers to bring streetwear elements, such as graphic tees, sneakers, and other casual, urban-inspired clothing, into the mainstream fashion world.
In the 1990s, Fujiwara founded the fashion brand Fragment Design, which has become known for its high-quality, limited edition products that blend streetwear and high fashion elements. He has also worked with a number of other fashion brands, including Nike, Supreme, and Louis Vuitton, and has collaborated on numerous fashion collections and projects.
In addition to his work as a designer, Fujiwara is also known for his influence on the music industry, as he has worked as a DJ and producer and has released numerous albums and mix tapes. He is widely respected in the fashion and music communities and has contributed significantly to the development of streetwear culture.
I found this interview with Matty Matheson incredibly inspiring. I’ve been a fan of his ever since I stumbled upon the clip below on Vice. He’s incredibly refreshing voice within the food industry and perfectly fills that Anthony Bourdain sized void in my life. His redemption story is something to marvel at too. Hard-drinking, hard-partying, hipster chef (I know he’d hate me saying that) turns his life around for the better, it’s easy to see why people love him!
He recently sat down for an incredibly honest interview with HYPEBEAST which you can read in full here. But I’ve picked out a couple quotes that really hit home with me and I hope you get something out of it too.
You turned from your previous hard-partying lifestyle to being this industry figure with all these different projects, along with becoming a family man. Can you tell me about the time when you decided, “Okay, enough’s enough. I’m going to get it together?”
Yeah. I was going to lose everything. I got to the point where nobody even gave a f*ck about me anymore. Like my friends. That’s really what clicked—when I had my intervention, nobody was there except for four people. I was like, “Where is everybody?” They were like, “Nobody cares. Either you do this or you don’t, so why the f*ck do they need to be here?” I was just kind of like, “Okay. That’s even harsher than them being here.” Everyone’s like, “It’s up to you.” Everyone was already done with me. I was such a mess.
I was smart enough to not completely throw it away. Then I just learned every day. Every day is different, every day is literally a blessing. I just don’t take advantage of things anymore. We only got a certain amount of time in the day. I’m in a position already where my year is fully booked. I know every single day for the next f*cking three hundred days. If I’m at that point, every single day has to matter. Every single day, I need to be moving forward. Every single day, I need to be well aware of what’s happening and doing what I need to do to make sure that my family is taken care of. That’s it. That’s all I want. I want my kids to have Christmas every year. I want my family not to worry about stuff like that. It’s a wild thing.
I used to not do anything for a day. I would do enough drugs and alcohol and bullshit that I would sleep for a day and not give a f*ck. What did that get me? Nothing. Now I’m in a position where I get what I give. I work really f*cking hard. I’m very consistent. I see results. That’s all that matters.
Do you think that you’d be doing the same things as you are today if you didn’t go through that partying stage and overcame it the way you did?
No, because I wouldn’t know either side. I have no regrets. Luckily, I never f*cking hurt anybody. I was never a full piece of shit. I don’t have burned bridges and I don’t have to look over my shoulder, but I know what it’s like to be in the mud. I know what it’s like to be down. That gives me an opportunity to be extremely grateful and to know what it’s like to not have things.
I know what it’s like to not have friends. I know what it’s like to have people not f*ck with me. I know what happiness feels like. I like being happy. That comes from love, commitment, consistency and compromise. That comes from learning a lot of different things. It comes with a lot of communication and it comes with a lot of self-awareness. It comes with a lot of praying, intention, meditation and a f*cking lot of stuff. I wouldn’t want to change my past.
Why aren’t we building Elon Musk’s “alien dreadnoughts” — giant, gleaming, state of the art factories producing every conceivable kind of product, at the highest possible quality and lowest possible cost — all throughout our country?
You see it in transportation. Where are the supersonic aircraft? Where are the millions of delivery drones? Where are the high speed trains, the soaring monorails, the hyperloops, and yes, the flying cars?
You can read and listen to Marc Andreessen’s blog post in full here.
As Taleb told me, “The great danger has always been too much connectivity.” Proliferating global networks, both physical and virtual, inevitably incorporate more fat-tail risks into a more interdependent and “fragile” system: not only risks such as pathogens but also computer viruses, or the hacking of information networks, or reckless budgetary management by financial institutions or state governments, or spectacular acts of terror. Any negative event along these lines can create a rolling, widening collapse—a true black swan—in the same way that the failure of a single transformer can collapse an electricity grid.
You can read the entire profile on Nicholas Nassim Taleb and his thoughts regarding the coronavirus here.
For ardent fans of Kanye West, the last 5 years or so have been tumultuous, to say the least. Whether it was the abrupt cancellation of the tour, his undying love for Donald Trump or his inability to accept that his political point-of-view was ill-informed or at best misguided. But during this time he has arguably created some of his best work at YEEZY, got his business affairs in order and somehow found a way to get HYPEBEAST kids to give a shit about Church, incredibly commendable. This raises an interesting question, can you separate the art from the artist? I’ve long believed Kanye West is the hip-hop version of Morrisey. They’re both incredibly talented in their respective musical fields but at the same time, they’re plagued by self-inflicted controversy brought upon by their counter-culture political views. Personally, I don’t mind it, I prefer my artist flawed and riddled in contradictions because it more accurately reflects my own existence. No-one’s perfect, we’re all trying to navigate this absurd thing called life, some have on different planes than others, with much higher stakes and so far I think Kanye is doing a decent job of it.
He recently sat down with GQ for an illuminating interview that touched upon loads of interesting topics, but I’ve attached a quote below that really resonated with me. You can read the full interview here.
A lot of the reaction to you wearing the hat was “How could the guy who gave us the gift of ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people’ now do this?”
Black people are controlled by emotions through the media. The media puts musicians, artists, celebrities, actors in a position to be the face of the race, that really don’t have any power and really are just working for white people. When it’s said like that, it’s kind of obvious, right? We emotionally connect to someone of our color on TV and feel that this person is speaking for us. So let me say this: I am the founder of a $4 billion organization, one of the most Google-searched brands on the planet, and I will not be told who I’m gonna vote on because of my color.
Now, if that speaks to you, cool. But I’m speaking for myself.
How does that apply here in Cody? Because you’re developing these hugely ambitious multiyear projects.
The word ambitious is not allowed to be used around me. Kanye West is nothing if not ambitious. Because ambition, when I hear it, it says that it seems like it’s almost impossible.
As though it has far-fetched tucked into it? Far-fetched! Yeah, it’s got far-fetched tucked into it. You would be amongst 100 or 200 people on the planet who are like the least racist white person possible. But it’s something about the word ambitious that makes me feel like I’m young Venus Williams doing the TV interview when her dad had to come and defend her. If you say, “Yo, it’s ambitious,” I need Venus and Serena Williams’s dad to run up and say, “How you going to say it’s ambitious? He said he was going to do it!” Have I ever not done anything I said I was going to do? I made it back from addiction, I beat the predictions, brought real to the fictions—that’s off the new album.
Does the fact that nothing is ever really done slow down the momentum of everything you’re creating?
Time and space are man-made constructs. That’s my answer to that question right there. Art never fully explains itself, and art is never fully done. Me being normal—that’s not even a true statement. You know what normal is to me? An act. I can act normal, and that’s me as Clark Kent. But artists are people who have embraced themselves as a superhero.
I love running and I decided to treat myself to a new pair of running shoes so I went with these HOKA ONE ONE Rincon’s. I’m not the biggest fan of maximalist shoes, I spent the best part of 5 years adopting the pose method of running which involves running on the balls of your feet and wearing minimalist shoes. But I got a bit bored with that whole thing and I needed a daily trainer with a thicker sole that could handle my weight (currently at 230lbs) and allow me to run more frequently without the sole loosing its’ “bounce”. I’ve only run in these a couple of times so I can’t give a comprehensive review, but so far so good.
If you’re a runner and you want to follow me on Strava click here.
I have absolutely no idea, and when I think I’ve worked it out something else changes in the fight against COVID-19, it’s an almost daily occurrence. But reading between the lines and comparing different bits of information the sensible conclusion is we’ll see a return to raving sometime in August but more likely early 2021 between January and March. There’s a part of me that thinks’ a few rogue promoters will take a risks and organize “illegal” open-air/warehouse parties (weather dependant) but I can’t see legitimate clubs taking that risk until the Government says so, it’s the sensible decision considering how frightened insurance companies and local councils will be at the prospect of someone contracting the virus during an event they sanctioned. I’m just hoping a place like Pirate Studios gets the green light to open its doors soon, it’s not a rave don’t get me wrong but at least we’ll have the option to hear really loud electronic music on massive speakers with our closest friends. It’s better than nothing.
If you haven’t watched ZeroZeroZero the TV series please do, it’s available now on Amazon Prime, it’s amazing and Roberto Saviano is a fucking genius. If you have the time during your lockdown make sure you read the book too which I read a couple years ago, it’s a fascinating read.
I’m hopeful that post-COVID-19 we’ll see a shift in direction in the dance music scene, specifically in London where big-name acts are favoured over local up and coming talent of which we have many, myself included (don’t believe me? Check my SoundCloud, I’m really good). DJing is weird a thing, in theory, anyone can do it, especially nowadays, all you need is a fairly decent laptop an entry-level midi controller and you’re in! But it’s really hard to get good at DJing if you don’t have the ability to play in front of a crowd. It’s similar to standup comedy in that way, you can be as funny as you want with your group of mates in a pub but unless you get consistent stage time you won’t develop your act.
In days gone by you would develop your sound as a resident DJ, which involved playing every weekend or so at a night club near you. It was an opportunity to immerse yourself in the scene and play for people who actually gave a shit about the music. Plus there was the added benefit of saving the club owners tons of cash in booking fees, ha. But in London resident DJs are few and far between, nowadays clubs favour booking top tier DJs in the hopes they’ll translate to tickets sales and drinks at the bar. Unfortunately in a place like London where ticket prices steep there’s no guarantee that booking an RA voted top DJ will guarantee a return on investment. It’s a guessing game of sorts. But once the dust settles with the coronavirus the clubbing landscape will have changed considerably, initially, clubs will not have means to fly over high calibre talent and they’ll instead have to look at utilising their local scene and hopefully it will usher in the return of DJ residencies in bars and clubs across London. One can only hope.
Tell us about an early DJ gig (or series of gigs) that helped make you the DJ you are now.
My first residency was at a club called Motor which was located in Hamtramck, an enclave within the city of Detroit. It was a Tuesday night weekly called Family thrown by Adriel Thornton that ran from 1997-2000 that really pulled a diverse section of people from the techno/party scene and the more musically open minded gay scene. Playing every week along with Derek Plaslaiko and opening for an incredible array of local and international talent really helped shape my musical aesthetic and helped it grow. I’ll never forget the time Derrick May scolded me for not turning down the headphone volume before he went on. To this day I try and make it a point to turn down the headphone volume when I trade off.