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Founded in 1993 by Jun Takahashi, UNDERCOVER is a Japanese fashion imprint known for its punk-infused, American-influenced streetwear styles. Its motto is “We make noise, not clothes.” Although Takahashi describes his own aesthetic as “strange, but beautiful,” his designs have also proved commercially successful, netting him coveted relationships with the likes of Uniqlo via the UU label, with Nike under the Gyakusou performance running collection, a limited edition digital camera with Canon, and a stall at Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market. While studying at the Bunka Academy of Fashion, Takahashi met NIGO with whom he would found the UNDERCOVER label, with Takahashi continuing to develop the label after graduating in 1991. With the opening of the influential NOWHERE boutique with NIGO in Harajuku in 1993, UNDERCOVER was placed at the epicenter of the Ura-Harajuku movement, thus establishing Takahashi as one of the most prominent designers in the Japanese fashion scene. Heavily influenced by punk music, particularly by The Sex Pistols (he played in a cover band during university called The Tokyo Sex Pistols, and he is nicknamed “Johnio” for his resemblance to frontman Johnny Rotten), Takahashi’s initial collections consisted of ripped up, deconstructed, shredded and patched leather jackets and T-shirts, with his style being described as conceptual and challenging. Other references range from flower bouquets, A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick, taxidermy and manga. Debuting at Tokyo and Paris Fashion Weeks in 1994 and 2002 respectively, UNDERCOVER won critical acclaim from the likes of Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo and Suzy Menkes, as well as two prestigious prizes awarded by the major Mainichi Shimbun newspaper. Takahashi creates his designs from his studio in Tokyo called Undercoverlab.

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Undercover Aoyama flagship store is opened to public


Takahashi debuts the first Undercover collection at the Paris Fashion Week


First Undercover collection is shown in Tokyo


Nowhere, a clothing store, is opened in Harajuku by Jun Takahashi and NIGO


Jun Takahashi graduates from Bunka Academy of Fashion; Takahashi founded “Undercover” during his years at the academy
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