“Children of the Discordance is a manifestation of the personal data accumulated throughout my entire life. It’s something I hold very closely to my heart — it’s my life.” Quoted the designer Hideaki Shikama of Children of the Discordance, so we can be in no doubt about how seriously he takes his work. Children of the Discordance introduce fair trade products for the people such as from Zapatistas (Mexico) and Masai tribesmen (Africa). Plus, as one of their noteworthy activities, they release the products produced by the one and only remained domestic textile factory in Palestine for women and kids in the refugee camp.
The treasurable products are always created with designer’s backbone such as youth-culture, deep knowledge of minor tribesmen and third world. Additionally, they started the special joint-work with the artist “NAOTO YOSHIDA” which offers the premium collection of New-Vintage-Clothes, remade in Japan.
Shikama started his career at 25 years old in 2005, opening a multi-brand store called Acycle in Tokyo’s fashionable Harajuku neighbourhood. Stocking brands such as Maharishi, Palace, P.A.M, and Walter Van Beirendonck long before multi-brand stores had become commonplace (at least in Tokyo), it was a place for the young creative to start sourcing his disparate tastes and influences, as well as founding his first brand Advantage Cycle before starting Children of the Discordance in 2011.
One of Children of the Discordance’s key visual codes is the use of heavily paneled garments — denim jeans embellished with geometric fabric resembling parcel paper at the knee — and a big focus on bandana prints. The brand makes shirts by stitching various bandana prints together, creating a patchwork ’fit that completely recontextualizes the patterns. “To me, bandanas signify hardcore and hip-hop,” Shikama explains. “This backbone [of influences] enables my items to be easily styled with kicks. I think the fragrance of the street, so to speak, is soaked into each of my items.”
Shikama believes in the ethical sourcing of fabrics, going straight to OG creators to find materials for his collection. “It started with my search to identify what my favorite rappers and hardcore bands were wearing,” he says. “The simple repetition of being curious, doing research, and obtaining items led me to Mexico’s Zapatistas for bandanas and the Palestinian keffiyeh, which are are the main fairtrade-related materials we use.”
This fairtrade approach has both a moral and a quality-first element, comparable to visvim who also endeavour to use the most authentic fabrics possible. “We also use a lot of embroideries,” Shikama says as an example. “I believe in paying full value to those embroidery craftsmen. It motivates them to do their best work as it brings them a better life. I never negotiate discounts with the domestic partners we create our collections with. I will continue to work as I do now. For me, there is absolutely no room for compromise when pursuing better quality.”
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