Jun Yokoo spent his childhood fighting normalization, moving with his family from Osaka to California, where he spent the majority of his young life. Only as an adult did Yokoo return to his hometown seeking a fresh start. “「Re-Birth」,” the Spring/Summer 2021 collection for his new brand, FORTRESS SOLITUDE, is exactly what it sounds like: a fresh spin on his artistic proclivities, filtered through his distinct creative vision.
Born in 1977, Yokoo moved to Santa Barbara as a teenager, joining the area’s burgeoning punk scene by founding bands like Virus, Severed Limbs and Hate Face while putting out limited runs on his own record label, 10 Fingers On One Hand and forming musical collective S.I.T.A.
Eventually, Yokoo was devising posters and cassete tape cover art for other local bands, showcasing his work and other illustrations in nearby galleries. By the late ’90s, however, Yokoo had returned to Osaka to recover from some health issues. There, he elected to become a full-time artist, sacrificing music for drawing, meditation and his garden.
FORTRESS SOLITUDE is Yokoo’s first public-facing endeavor in over two decades. Inspired by his youth, Yokoo has cooked up a bevy of stark, provocative graphics for SS21, emblazoning them across T-shirts, hoodies, nylon shorts, caps, socks and bandanas.
Unlike Superman’s retreat, from which it takes its name, FORTRESS SOLITUDE deals in prints steeped in early digital art, underground comix and psychedelics, juxtaposing clean geometric layouts against a dense monochrome presentation, even toying with elevated layering pieces like a spiderwebbed shirt and corduroy-trimmed jacket.