MISTERGENTLEMAN, PHENOMENON Founder Takeshi "Big-O" Osumi Dies at Age 47

The Japanese creative’s final runway show will be held in March.

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Takeshi Osumi, better known as “BIG-O,” has died at the age of 47. Prominent in Japan’s realms of street-leaning fashion and music, Osumi founded three labels: SWAGGER, PHENOMENON and MISTERGENTLEMAN, the latter of which he launched with Yuichi Yoshii, the brand’s designer and the president/CEO of PARIYA, Inc.

Osumi first strode into the spotlight as a member of hip-hop group SHAKKAZOMBIE in 1996, eventually featuring on three albums and issuing two solo records. After finding success with fashion label SWAGGER in 1999, Osumi debuted PHENOMENON in 2004. PHENOMENON — which has since achieved cult status among archivists – was an early proponent of streetwear-luxury collaborations, partnering with MCM for special goods in 2010, the same year that PHENOMENON hit the Tokyo Fashion Week runway.

MISTERGENTLEMAN debuted in 2012 as a joint effort between Osumi and Yoshii, the first of several. The fashion label issued seasonal collections while joining with labels as disparate as fragment design and Dickies. Together, Osumi and Yoshii continued working on projects in other industries, co-founding Roppongi-based record store WAVE in 2017.

“It’s so sudden that honestly, I’m having difficulty accepting this sad news right now,” Yoshii said in a statement. “The past 10 years since I met Takeshi are irreplaceable. Not only did we work together, we shared our personal lives together. We projected what we felt in our hearts through our life experiences, such as the scenery we saw, the music we listened to, the movies we watched, and the food we ate, into our designs.”

Fans of Osumi’s work can witness the debut of his final MISTERGENTLEMAN collection, Fall/Winter 2021, at Tokyo Fashion Week in March. He worked on this collection from the hospital until his passing.

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