Although I have actually written about Buffalo Bobs’ new direction in the past it has only been very recently that they have cemented this shift with a new brand name: Buffalo Bobs Noir. Noir will now sit alongside the original Buffalo Bobs line (Shibuya Street Style) and Buffalo Bobs Crystal (Host suit specialists) as a “mode” brand. Mode in this case meaning high-fashion (or higher fashion at the very least) and with an emphasis on the premium pieces in your wardrobe. A good strategy in my opinion that recognizes that there an awful lot of young people out there who can only justify a couple of the expensive pieces and want the rest fast and cheap. Not to mention that this exact same trend occurred in Gyaru mecca 109 last year and needless to say was a massive success.
The looks that Buffalo Bobs Noir has launched the brand with are spot-on – credible, masculine and with no tacky detailing. The styling is also a little more rugged with less volume in the hair and less fake-tan on the skin, definitely reflecting the changing tastes on the streets of Shibuya and a desire to be taken seriously.
Continue reading to see some more sexy jackets and my take on which of the 109-2 brands fall into the “mode” category.
Now, in terms of mode I would always include my favorite Fuga in that category, it was actually started as a premium brand of Silver Bullet, but fast became heavily influenced by the grunge punk of the time – notably Julius, since then had a strong identity in their own right.
Jackrose is a bit more difficult to catagorise as they have always gone down the “real clothes” route and are more concerned with quality than cutting edge fashion.
Hmmm… That gives us a tiny shortlist of Buffalo Bobs, Fuga and Vanquish as brands with a mode line. Slim pickings, but you know the rest can’t be far behind. Anyway, let me know if there are any you would add to my very little list.
Back to Buffalo Bobs:
Really like this print, it combines the street edge that Buffalo Bobs was founded on with the geometric prints that have been doing in the rounds at the higher end of fashion.
I never thought I would see the day when there would be a good fur coat in 109-2! This comes in at 134000 yen, which might well be the most expensive item ever to enter 109-2, although I think Jackrose’s collaboration with Yasuyuki Ishii might well hold that crown.
I am not usually a fan of shiny bulky leathers, but this one manages to tick a lot of boxes. Mostly because it almost reminds me of something that Junya Suzuki would come up with .
Very nice indeed and frankly for around 40000 yen you are not going to do any better. This is calf with wired edges and elastic inserts to keep it nice and fitted.
This is the one for me, although as I have said before I would rather have Julius’s take on this design. On the other hand the price difference does make this one more than a little appetising… Again around the 40000 mark.
Nice curve on the zip here that goes all the way up the lapel.
A like this one done all the way up. The flawless under-designed plane of leather has a nice and futuristic feel and is a look I will be attempting to wear in 2011.
And no high-end collection is ever complete without a riders jacket. Love the matte black hardware (which a lot of male brands are making a feature of this year) and the jacket in general. If I did not have my Makin Jan Ma one, I could be tempted…
Well, I am afraid that is it for now, this is after all a brand that has only been branded as such for the last two weeks but I think we can expect much from them for 2011. At the end of the day they are doing really fashion-forward items that would normally set you back the best part of a months rent in Tokyo for a damn good price while still keeping the quality as high as they can. OK, so it is not artisanal-sourced-cashmere-infused-silk-open-weave-boiled level goodness, but it is not trying to be.