I might be going out on a limb here but I can’t help but feel that Buffalo Bobs has been in something of a transition of late. They may have been stocking exactly the same jockey boots for as long as my memory serves, but their 2010 collections have really marked them out as different in the world of men’s Japanese street style. You only have to glance at their A/W 2010 lookbook styling to see that this is not Gyaru-O or even 109-2 as we know it.
Instead we find a braver fashion forward brand that is not afraid to channel high fashion trends into an aesthetic that would not look out of place in the visual salons of Harajuku but crucially with a darker feel – perhaps a return to its Harajuku origins you might say, but bringing a slice of Shibuya with it. Some items like the fur collar coat in the middle and engineer boots are very much old school Gyaru-O, but the drapes, deconstructed layers and lines are all of fashion pedigree. In fact they might have even found a way to put something out of my comfort zone – not something I would have expected from a 109-2 brand 12 months ago. The look in question is on the left and while I was happy to pair shorts with leggings into boots earlier in the year, I am not comfortable just wearing a long top over leggings – especially with the stacked heel styled in the picture above. Call me a prude if you must, but that is just too feminine for my liking. I am just not ready for this look now and I doubt I ever will be!
For me the stand-out piece from the collection has to be this wonderful asymetric layered collar leather jacket:
This is a look that I can cut and paste right on to me right now! Although I do have my reservations on how quickly the V shaped front at the bottom of the zip may age. However all in all this is a jacket that just screams “This Season” and good on Buffalo Bobs for making it a piece of real quality. Too often you find the exciting pieces from the 109-2 collections not made from quality materials – in order to lower the price point – and the premium quality items are kept reserved and simple. For me, this shows a much great understanding of their target audience who are apparently increasing in age but not ready – financially or otherwise – to graduate to a premium brand like Julius.
So it is great to see Buffalo Bobs marking itself out and not being “just another Gyaru-O” brand. It is clear that they have been trying to shift to a slightly new style and I can say without a doubt that they have found it. Count me in.