Jun Takahashi is quite fond of riffing on pop culture through his UNDERCOVER label, and his menswear diffusion line, JohnUNDERCOVER, may have introduced its most on-the-nose parody to date. Encompassing a set of tees and caps, the label has prepped a series of Polo Bear-indebted tees, tweaking the designs with a slight nod to classic horror imagery.
Though the Polo Bear is most commonly seen dressed in dapper duds, UNDERCOVER’s spoof shirts see the iconic character taking on a slightly more rugged appearance. One shirt sports “JOHN” branding beneath a punky bear figure, who clutches a dripping brain under his left arm. Meanwhile, One of Takahashi’s favorite subjects, Star Wars, inspires the other tee, with a Jawa-like character shrouded almost entirely in robes, holding a “severed” Bear head under its arm. “GESAMTKUNSTWERK” is printed below; a JohnUNDERCOVER staple, the phrase refers to an art piece that blends together a multitude of art forms, not unlike UNDERCOVER’s own output.
Slightly more understated items round out the drop, including a variety of colorful pocket tees. The Jawa design is printed atop the chest pocket of each shirt, which are offered in many more colors than the T-shirts with the larger prints. Furthermore, the pocket tees feature finished hems and sleeves, whereas the items with larger prints boast raw-hemmed sleeves and bottoms, yielding a slightly deconstructed feel. Finally, a host of Jawa-branded caps complete the drop, with curved brims, embroidered figures at the front and stitched JohnUNDERCOVER logos at the rear.
Currently, the shirts and caps are available only through JohnUNDERCOVER’s Japanese outposts, like ZOZOTOWN. Prices range from ¥11,880 JPY (approximately $110 USD) for the hats to ¥17,280 (approximately $160 USD) for the raw-hemmed shirts.
Most recently, Valentino continued dropping its collaborative Fall/Winter 2019 UNDERCOVER goods.