Undercover has become an integral brand within the streetwear and fashion industry. But building this historic brand didn’t come easy. Founder, Jun Takahashi dug deep, pouring his whole life into the industry. A few years later, he was able to catch the eye of Rei Kawakabu the creator of the famed COMME des GARÇONS. Since that moment, his career has taken off into the iconic brand we know today.
Viewing things from an alternative perspective, Takahashi loved and was inspired by punk rock. Taking style advice from Vivianne Westwood, Joy Division, Talking Heads, David Bowie, and more.
To understand more about Takahashi we must understand his first love: music. In his earlier ages, Takahashi was apart of a punk band emulating the same energy as the famous Sex Pistols. To pay tribute to the band, Takashi and friends formed a band covering punk rock songs, they called themselves the Tokyo Sex Pistols. During his time with the band, he was invited to visit a COMME des GARÇONS show and at that moment he knew he wanted to dedicate himself to creating a fashion line. In 1990, UNDERCOVER came into fruition. “We make noise, not clothes” the motto that UNDERCOVER lives by which is a nod to his punk rock roots. Since then, Jun Takahashi has grabbed inspiration from the things he feels passion for; alternative and punk rock music but also the streets of Japan and the gothic aesthetic he’s grown to love. In order to get his items out to the public, Takahashi and well-known artist NIGO came together in 1993 to open a shop celebrating art and fashion in the heart of Tokyo’s Harajuku District. This opened the door to everyone in Japan seeking labeled and vintage clothing from America. NOWHERE is still remembered to this day as it opened Jun Takahashi, NIGO, and other creators an establishment to showcase their work.
As time went on, Takahashi was going “nowhere” but up. He grew even more within Japanese streetwear teaming up with every brand possible that is based in the city. From BAPE to BOUNTY HUNTER and many more, this was the snowball that tipped him into going out of his comfort zone and become a global brand. He then had his first overseas debut in 2002, starring in Paris fashion week. This gave Takahashi a new audience and that audience was eager to get their hands on UNDERCOVER. With this introduction into new markets, Takahashi’s talents were in demand. Overtime his fashion sense and designs were desired by brands like Nike and Supreme. He was then able to transform his idyllic label and build it into the empire it is today. Sticking true to its roots, UNDERCOVER is still known for its use of grunge graphics and paying homage to vintage styles.
30 years later and UNDERCOVER has become a staple in the streetwear industry. The once small brand sold only in Japan has now become a globally recognized company. We now celebrate the label as they have reached a milestone of thirty years. UNDERCOVER released their anniversary line paying homage to the memorable years. In their iconic underlined “U” they emphasize the number thirty to signify the collection. Along with that motif, they also bring styles and designs familiar to the brand solely. Three decades have past and Takahashi is still growing UNDERCOVER - and there are no plans on slowing down any time soon.
UNDERCOVER's Anniversary Collection is available now at our Wynn Las Vegas location + online. To shop online, click here.