Leave it to Landlord designer Ryohei Kawanishi to pay tribute to Dapper Dan and Harlem’s Renaissance with his Spring 2018 men’s collection. Though he’s not the first designer to draw inspiration from Harlem’s street markets and largely Jamaican community, or even Bob Marley, Kawanishi is one of the first to give credit where credit is due and creates a thoughtfully curated homage, rather than appropriation. “…Because I’m living in Harlem, I would like to reflect where I live—that daily life as streetwear”, he explains.
With only two years under his belt at Landlord, Kawanishi’s designs have already made their way into the closets of the most influential guys, including Tyga, A$AP Rocky, and Migos. The collection couldn’t be more reggae with vibrant red, yellow, and green color blocking, and gold chains complete with marijuana leaf pendants — the energy of Harlem is intoxicating. Offsetting bold isolated colors, was an even more dynamic camo print styled both in head-to-toe matching sets as well as layered over a particularly familiar Burberry-esque plaid; a direct reference to Harlem street style icon, Dapper Dan. The neighborhood street markets are ridden with counterfeits, and Kawanishi incorporates “a little bit of fake Gucci taste” as well. Perhaps one of the most eye catching elements of the show were the knits emblazoned with Rastafarian imagery, the colors of Jamaica, and even more marijuana leaves — including phrases such as “serious business”, “jerk chicken”, and of course, “Bob” (you know who.) “To catch customers,” he says “street markets are very literal.”
Aside from his vibrant and playful, oversized streetwear collection, another facet that’s garnered Kawanishi attention from the press is his much lauded diversity in models. In an interview though, we learn that diversity wasn’t his main focus, so much as he was simply trying to reflect his true environment. Inspired daily by what he sees day-to-day on the streets, Landlord takes a lifestyle and translates it to fashion. Unlike many of the collections we saw at NYFW, Landlord is not political: “our target customer is a younger generation that isn’t into heavy topics. It’s like Snapchat and Instagram, they just swipe and get likes”, he says.
If you like this post, see more Landlord here: Landlord Fall 2017: The Rise of Streetwear Brand Landlord
See All the Looks from the Collection
Nike Air Huarache Run Premium sneakers • Nike • $138
To Boot New York Barbados Fisherman Sandals • To Boot • $275
Lucien Pellat-Finet Embroidered Leaf Tee • Lucien Pellat-Finet • $448
Rothco Camo Cargo BDU Pant • Rothco • $59
The Elder Statesman Rola Rasta Striped Cashmere Sweater • The Elder Statesman • $1,505
H&M Sweatshirt with Raglan Sleeves • H&M • $14.99–24.99
Raf Simons Green Wave Pin • Raf Simons • $116
Vetements Yellow Logo Raincoat • Vetements • $375