Honey’s Dead is the long overdue Harajuku flagship for Hiro and Juvenile Hall Rollcall which opened last week to a packed opening party featuring their Ura-Hara comrades including the founders of Candy, DressedUndressed, Cannabis, Blackmeans, Diet Butcher Slim Skin, G3O and pretty much everyone involved in Tokyo underground fashion today. In an age where the industry is panicking over the rise of fast-fashion and concerned about the changing face of Harajuku, this shop is a bastion for real creative spirit. These are designers who have got to where they are without Tokyo Fashion Week, any advertising, any PR, any paid for magazine coverage or indeed anything other than real street culture. In fact the previous Hiro shop was an apartment only open on the weekends, but you know what? He opened it, made the shop interior all my himself and the people came to the point where he could start a shop right in the thick of it. In the end these guys have created their own success and to see it reflected in a shop (mercifully open everyday) is a coming of age that shows that real underground fashion is not dead.
The shop is on the second floor of a building right in the heart of the backstreets of Harajuku and kitted out in the image of a mental hospital with white crumbling walls and rusty bed with Karl Marx sheets. As you would expect it features complete collections from both Hiro and Juvenile Hall Rollcall, as well as special collaborations and work from the likes of Balmung, Bodysong and Children of the Discordance amongst others. It all builds into the spot-on oversized silhouette, saturated with references to sub-culture and one-off details that is Tokyo street fashion right now. On opening their fans were out in force and over the opening weekend the shop was pretty much decimated, in a pleasant reminder of the kind of feverish buying that used to be associated with limited editions and cult items from brands like Undercover and BAPE back in the 90s. All in all, it is the perfect antidote to the recent opening of the Tokyu Plaza (report here), and proof, as if it were needed, that Harajuku is still capable of being the home of true outsider fashion.
The magnificent bed.
Long-serving Hiro shop staff Matsuri – looking the part as always.
Now that Tokyo is heating up, popular items at launch were distorted t-shirts like the above.
Juvenile Hall Rollcall’s re-made bags are always a hit with me.
Hiro’s collaboration Hog boots produced with Daita Kimura of The Old Curiosity Shop in a homage to the legendary show designer John Moore.
These embroidered shoes sold-out on launch, but I hear they will be restocked relatively soon.
More of these fantastic shoes – they turn up in almost every issue of Tune magazine.
A very rare Balmung collaboration.
Hiro’s current season print.
Bodysong’s work with Yoshirotten.
And I should say that as ever, most of the sleeves on the outerwear can be swapped as part of the Common Sleeves project, and you can even buy the sleeves separately as above.
So there you have it, a new landmark on the Harajuku fashion map (address here) which is really easy to find compared to the last shop that took me a full 30 minutes to locate the first time I visited! As I always say, if you love Japanese fashion, you should always support the people who create the culture, and not those who exploit it. These guys are firmly in the former camp and you owe it to yourself to visit.