Following a release with Turner Prize-winning British artist Mark Leckey, Supreme is now gearing up for the next release from its major collaboration series for Fall 2023. This time around, the uniquely New York streetwear imprint has teamed up with iconic Tokyo-based clothing and toy imprint BOUNTY HUNTER, founded by Hikaru Iwanaga in 1995.
Born in 1968 in Sasebo, Nagasaki where his mother worked at a Navy base, Iwanaga experienced firsthand the profound cultural shift in Japan following World War II. Speaking on the influx of American consumer products and popular media Iwanaga said, “I feel that because my mother worked within this American world, there was an Americanized aspect to the way she raised me.” This upbringing would push him to develop an interest in American toys and visual culture, ranging from G.I. Joe to Disney and Frankenberry to Star Wars.
Later in his life, Hikaru Iwanaga would enroll at the storied Tokyo Bunka Fashion College, meeting UNDERCOVER’s Jun Takahashi. The duo would form the punk cover band Tokyo Sex Pistols and stand at the nexus of the emergent Ura-Hara scene. The small network of Harajuku backstreets would be essential to Toyko’s youth movement of the 1990s, bringing together hip-hop and punk-inspired street fashion. Informed by Hiroshi Fujiwara’s cult column “The Last Orgy,” Ura-Hara notably gave rise to UNDERCOVER, A Bathing Ape, NEIGHBORHOOD, WTAPS, and BOUNTY HUNTER which stood out for its early emphasis on unconventional toys.
“When I first held a toy, [I thought] ‘Woah!’ It was so cool! When I first heard punk, the Sex Pistols, their look… These feelings were exactly the same,” Iwanaga explains. In the late 1990s, Bounty Hunter developed KID HUNTER and SKULL-KUN characters, two distinctive figures that recall the American toys of Iwanaga’s youth and boldly reimagined with irreverent punk twists (SKULL-KUN drawing inspiration from The Misfits).
Continuing BOUNTY HUNTER’s punk ethos, Hikaru Iwanaga has collaborated with Rancid and Discharge, along with hosting shows like Punk Rock TV which introduced US and UK punk bands to Japan. While notably laying claim to creating the first-ever designer toys, and consequently, has transformed the way toys are developed, produced, and collected today.
For Fall 2023, Supreme has worked closely with BOUNTY HUNTER on a special range. The collection is comprised of a Varsity Jacket, Bomber Jacket, Sweater, Jersey, Hooded Sweatshirt, Thermal, Long Sleeve Shirt, two T-Shirts, Jean, 5-Panel, Beanie, Backpack, Ring, and SKULL-KUN Figure.
The Supreme x BOUNTY HUNTER Fall 2023 collaboration will see a global release via the streetwear imprint September 28, 11 a.m. EDT in the United States and September 30, 11 a.m. JST in Japan and Seoul.
For more contemporary fashion, TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist.’s SS24 collection is an ode to Great Britain.