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Tetsu Nishiyama
Founder of WTAPS
Aaron Miller/HYPEBEAST

2020 Hypes Score
Fashion , Retail , Footwear


Japanese streetwear is held in high regard with names like WTAPS consistently in the mix. Tetsu Nishiyama’s fashion imprint has been around since 1996 and continues to serve up military-inspired wares that exemplify quality and craftsmanship.

Also known as TET, Nishiyama’s brand philosophy borrows from the traditions of master Japanese carpenters who create with passion and a strong sense of foundational skills. This is where the WTAPS’s slogan “Placing things where they should be” is derived — it’s a mantra that allows Nishiyama to closely examine the origins of the items he’s creating in order to keep a fresh perspective season-after-season. Such regard to excellence has garnered WTAPS some impressive collaborations with brands like Vans, Supreme, BAPE, PORTER and more.

In 2020, Nishiyama sharepend his focus when it came to once again redefining WTAPS’s military aesthetic. Bold branding was evident with large, cleverly-placed logos on almost all its wearables. Functionality also leveled-up with technical garb like bomber jackets, parkas and vests possessing prime fabrics, utility details and easy-layering components. As for collabs, the year started with a partnership alongside NEIGHBORHOOD. The two names which have been synonymous with the world of Japanese streetwear got together for a capsule of hoodies, tees, outerwear and accessories. Other brand collaborations with outerwear outfitters Helly Hansen and New Balance for sneakers also happened.