Yoshifumi Egawa, better known as YOPPI, is a former Japanese pro skateboarder and the founder of streetwear brands realmadHECTIC, MASTERPIECE and Hombre Nino. At a young age, YOPPI began skateboarding as a way to practise for surfing, but took skateboarding up instead for its low cost and convenience. He worked at the Stormy skate shop in Shibuya, Tokyo, and began his pro skating career at age 15. All the while dabbling in fashion through the brands YTPO and Regular, YOPPI’s first real foray into fashion was via realmadHECTIC, a skatewear select shop founded in Harajuku in 1994 with vintage collector Naotake Magara. The brand has since become known as one of Japan’s most revered streetwear brands. The duo made repeat trips to the U.S. to select appealing product from adidas, PUMA, Polo Ralph Lauren, Helly Hansen and Nautica, to sell back in Japan in the heyday of the Ura-Hara movement. The brand’s breakthrough point came in 1999, when YOPPI ended the select shop format and began designing in-house apparel under the realmadHECTIC brand, alongside the MASTERPIECE subsidiary line. One defining collaboration was in conjunction with mita sneakers, which saw a redesign of the New Balance MT580 into a highly coveted model, sold exclusively within Japan. The brand has adopted the fixed gear aesthetic in recent years, due to YOPPI’s affinity for the subculture.
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