Bringing Tradition Into Streetwear
Streetwear has become a battleground and a canvas for people pushing the boundaries of style and designers looking to make their mark on fashion. Lately, there has been a growing trend of brands that have its streetwear influences in tradition and culture. Brands such as Visvim has incorporated kimonos and noragi into the collection, but with a modern twist by creating these traditional garments with nylon, incorporating down feather, or even using military-grade fabric.
There is one brand from Korea that has entered the streetwear scene in a similar fashion: IISE. This four-letter company started out as a small brand that made leather backpacks, weekenders, and the occasional wallets and cardholders, sourced and manufactured in Korea. They would dye their leather in deep burgundy or midnight indigo with traditional processes. Their videos, with slow pans of hilly Korean suburbs lined with ceramic shingles and rice paper windows would draw you into a country that has one foot in its roots and the other foot in the 21st century.
Now they feature streetwear staple such as bomber jackets, coach jackets, and drop off tees in muted colors of beige, olive, and black. They still include their original products of leather backpacks and leather goods, but steadily they are becoming a full collection.
The one piece that I am excited about is their logo tee. Simple and no-frills on the front featuring their company name, it has a unique print on the back in the shape of a fan. You can make out a painting of a tiger that has been pulled out of a painting that your grandfather has stored in his closet after coming to America. The tiger looks mysterious and the muted colors of the painting makes you seek out the finer details of the print. Its face has the fierceness of a warrior's helmet and you can see its jaws slightly hinged open, reveling its fangs.