Steve Aoki—the globe-trotting DJ and music producer—has “something new in the wheelhouse.” Enter: Dim Mak Collection, a streetwear line splinter of his Dim Mak record label and events production company, which he founded in 1996. If today’s presentation was an indicator of what Aoki is capable of, in terms of branding and buzz, then he may soon be just as recognized for his skill with a sketch pad as for his talent behind the turntables.
“I’ve been screening T-shirts since I was 15,” said the man backstage before his presentation pushed off. “To be able to do this now, in this way, it took a while but it’s what I’ve always wanted.”
Aoki has produced four collections so far for Dim Mak Collection—they were all made with the “specific” Japanese market in mind (Dim Mak Collection is developed and manufactured in the country). He’s going to keep his design team in Japan for now, though he chose to show a wider range lineup at New York Fashion Week: Men’s in order to get in front of—and entice—American eyes.
And what Aoki sent out will doubtlessly appeal to a cross section of the young and the cool—such is his proven magic. His aesthetic is a unique mix of nightclub-y, skate-centric, Los Angeleno, and generally energetic cues (and was further informed today by the Beat Generation and ’70s-era New York), with results that are a little eccentric but not so much that they alienate. The clothes had all of these hallmarks. See: a long khaki trenchcoat with contrasting black laces (replete with a bullet-wounded form by the artist David Choe printed on the back); trousers with double belting; an MA-1 with a slight puffiness and an even slighter iridescence; and coordinating black-and-gray plaid work suits with neon yellow accenting.
Aoki was especially thankful for the CFDA allowing him to debut in the U.S. under his own terms. “We’re using skaters, not models,” he said. (They rode a temporarily installed half-pipe while the band Mangchi performed.) “We want to make it legit, but also, we want to do so in our own way.” He has our attention.
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