FEATURE 06 W (double) name of NEIGHBORHOOD and WTAPS.

So close, so I never thought of it. Tetsu Nishiyama
When looking back once again about things called collaborations, a diary comes to mind that I remember was called BROTHER HOOD, made by A BATHING APE®, PORTER, and NEIGHBORHOOD. I don’t think there were cell phones back then, and it was an era when diaries came in handy, so it started by not really thinking much of it as a collaboration. Specifically, it was a diary made by 3 brands including PORTER, with a fabric that A BATHING APE® was using. It was an era when we were all having fun making business cards [laugh]. We all got along great since the 90s, so the foundation was there for things like this to be created naturally. Back then I also did about half of NEIGHBORHOOD’s designs, so that collaboration was with NEIGHBORHOOD, and not WTAPS.

Items were made together with WTAPS this time since it is NEIGHBORHOOD’s 25th anniversary, but oddly we haven’t done things together much and probably this is the third time. Maybe the reality is that we are so close, so I never thought of it [laugh]. On that note, maybe now is a time where my awareness is increasing about how my relationship is, and how I am in this together with Shinsuke Takizawa. I still see Shin-chan regularly. Grabbing a bite, having some coffee. I also speak to him a lot for advice about things on my mind. It is rare for us to see each other at work, but you know, our relationship started as friends in the first place, and our parents even know each other. I got into lots of arguments too, from the many family-like aspects. Thinking about that now, I was just a kid, and Shin-chan was a grownup.
When the brand has been going for over 20 plus years, I feel there are many people that don’t know the relationship between NEIGHBORHOOD and WTAPS; it is a collaboration of brands that are really close for us, but since we rarely made things together, it actually looks like something different, so it may seem fresh to those that don’t know. When making things like this since 20 years ago, Shin-chan always showed me respect by saying “Tetsu, I will leave it up to you.” Judgement is always on point and super fast. This time also, I was the one that basically came up with it and made it, and Shin-chan checked it out. I used the ichimatsu pattern (checkered pattern) so I could celebrate NEIGHBORHOOD’s 25th year milestone in my kind of way. The flight jacket, jungle shirt, hooded sweat, sweatshirt, and T shirt are all based on WTAPS. For the design, I just added my humble feelings. The graphic on the underside of the sleeve, is a print of a design made by manually piecing together over 100 woven labels of the brands in a collage-like style. Leather comes to mind when you think of NEIGHBORHOOD, so I used synthetic leather and nylon fabric. The olive drab jungle shirt is a WTAPS exclusive, and black is a NEIGHBORHOOD exclusive. The sweats are a cut up and pieced together custom-like design, but this comes from a chopper feel from when we both rode Harleys. It’s been a minute since I worked with the NEIGHBORHOOD logo.

I remember when I was 18, the two of us went to Kiyosato on our Harleys to go to a Harley meet. It was the first time for me to go, but it was raining, the mountain roads were so thick with fog I couldn’t see in front of me, and on the way we also slept on some cardboard we laid down on the side of a convenience store. Talking about all that here, the kind of bitter sweet and sentimental memories are coming back of how the two of us were back then [laugh].
Finally, after 20 plus years. Shinsuke Takizawa
The word used back in the day was W (double) name. When we were making things together among our crew, we called it w (double) name. The phrase collaboration wasn’t used, and we chose words that sounded as cool as possible, like joint works [laugh]. For me, my own kind of collaboration-feel thing originally started in the 90s, naturally making such by going to a store and buying Champion heavyweights and putting a print on them. That may or may not be why I don’t have much of a collabo feeling towards a collaboration with WTAPS. It felt like making something with family, and I think that it got created really naturally. But, if my memory is correct of the 25 years of NEIGHBORHOOD, this is the first time to create things together with WTAPS properly as a capsule collection.

For example, I feel you can’t call it a collaboration if Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the Beatles did something together. Because they are from the same group. The relationship with Tetsu’s WTAPS is the same, so that’s why I feel it wasn’t done. But, I feel we are making things together this time, because the time has finally come where each of us have been in this together for a while, and both of our minds are intersecting at a good point. 20 plus years have passed, but I feel that such a time has finally arrived. Once again, I think it has been a miracle being able to do this together with Tetsu the whole time. It’s something to cherish. Bands are things that eventually break up, and we didn’t really see each other all the time; there were ups and downs, and I can’t say there were not any times I wanted to end it, but I am truly happy how there is the now by overcoming such times that anyone has.
I left everything up to Tetsu in making this collaboration. That’s a stance I usually don’t take, but I was able to because it is Tetsu. I think Tetsu even properly explained the 5 items made. I feel there are many facets to a collaboration, but the best part has to be the “fun from the unordinary”. Something unexpected is interesting, right? Like, for this time, you could say it was surprising that we did not make things together during the years, and how Tetsu is going to express that. Maybe he doesn’t usually check out NEIGHBORHOOD’s clothes? I think there are many people that have a motorcycle image when it comes to NEIGHBORHOOD, but actually motorcycle stuff have not been released. Instead, doing collaborations related to hobbies such as plants or fishing. I also feel one of the best parts of doing such, is having a game-like feel to it, in a positive way. NEIGHBORHOOD does collaborations that range from commercial to independent, so it is up to you on how to take it.

We are a generation that conversates with T-shirts; a generation that expresses through style. Up until now I made sure everything was correct based on rules and theories, but lately I have been able to think how it’s okay to wear a Rolling Stones T-shirt without knowing the Rolling Stones. We are in an era now where even songs don’t have a guitar solo placed in there to make you cry. There are stories, but being able to accept something new just at a glance with a free mind. I kind of wandered off there a bit, but by doing this for a long time, I have realized the brand has become a senpai (elder) brand of Harajuku, so I would like this 25th anniversary to be an opportunity for me to make sure that I do not do things that might be too pushy from now on.