Since its inception, mastermind JAPAN has encapsulated an enigmatic air — sharing little about itself to the world. In keeping a tight wrap on the meaning and inspiration behind collections, founder Masaaki Homma, allows the design of garments to speak for themselves. This degree of mystery has been one of the key elements in building the cult following that elevates mastermind JAPAN.
Over the years, Homma's skull and crossbones motif has served as the signifier of mastermind JAPAN's alternative status, rejecting established norms to create its own unique design sensibility. The iconic motif plays into the brand’s minimal bold dark tones that characterize the signature aesthetic found in its garments.
While mastermind JAPAN once focused on seasonal ranges, today, the label is undeniably rooted in seasonless streetwear with high-profile collaborations. Meanwhile, a bevy of diffusion lines aim to spread the aesthetic to a wider audience. With 2017 marking the label's official 20th anniversary, we decided to take a closer look at the brand from conception to its present state as the height of streetwear.