FEATURE 08 WTAPS® From TOKYO,
We still stand in this decadence.

WTAPS® started in 1996, 4 years after the founder and Director, Tetsu Nishiyama, launched its predecessor FORTY PERCENT AGAINST RIGHTS®.

Back then, the term street fashion was something not recognized yet; it was a time where genres of fashion were divided among each other, polarized between mode and casual.
During such times, on the other side of where many people called “Harajuku,” a counter culture named “Ura Harajuku” started as an independent aggregation.
People with various backgrounds such as artists, musicians, actors, and models gathered, and many independent brands were born; it was a time where even the location became a social phenomenon. WTAPS® was born as a part of this.

In “Ura Harajuku,” the antithesis of mainstream back then, the brand started with what could be called the early intentions of a street brand, doing things your own way, making what you want, and making what you want to wear, along with raising the slogan “BEHIND THE BALACLAVA” that was based on the concept of conducting activities on the flipside of mainstream without publicizing a face or the origin behind it.
“Ura Harajuku” became a place for us, and among many friends that started things during the same time, we enjoyed friendly rivalry, created a community, supported each other, and expressed ourselves, and that is the foundation for what we are today.

Now in 2020, the friends that used to be there, the sight of the people that hung out there, are things that cannot be seen anymore at that same place. The generation has changed, and Tokyo has become a place where many tourists from within Japan and from overseas gather.
“Ura Harajuku” that used to be minor, has now become major, with no traces to be found of what “Ura Harajuku” was like back then.
But like how it is during any era, you can say this is something characteristic for a place like Tokyo where many different people gather, and is an epicenter for constantly releasing culture.
Along with the changing times, our collection has now reached its 40th season.
All the way up until now, after 24 years have gone by since its birth, WTAPS® is still active as a brand releasing from Tokyo.