DIGITAL ARCHIVE OF THE ICONIC JAPANESE STREET MAGAZINE

You'll be delighted to hear that Shoichi has spent months digitizing STREET's first 100 issues, which have never been digitalized ever before.

By Balthazar Malevolent

DIGITAL ARCHIVE OF THE ICONIC JAPANESE STREET MAGAZINE

Japanese fashion magazine STREET has been publishing on its pages the best global street style since 1985 and forged ties between the various subcultures and design tribes that ruled the trendiest corners of London, Paris, Tokyo and beyond. Three decades later, the way we capture street style (and smartphones have replaced cigarettes) has changed a lot, but STREET's founder and Chief Editor, Shoichi Aoki, also the creative mind behind FRUiTS magazine, is still as dedicated to recording these trends as back in the days. "Back then, I had found that there were not enough photographers in the world capturing street style," Shoichi says of the roots of the publication. "At that time, I didn't know about Mr. Bill Cunningham but I knew there was strong street fashion in Paris and London." 

Japanese iconic STREET magazine's archive.

"In the mid-80s, when the magazine started to be alive, it was the "most spectacular era for style," Shoichi says. "It's always changed, but it's been a remarkable period. Right now we're in a transitional phase from a dull age." Whether you agree with this sentiment – many do – you'll be delighted to hear that Shoichi has spent months digitizing STREET's first 100 issues, which have never been digitalized ever before. 

The result is a window into an era heavily referenced in contemporary fashion. "There's a demand for street fashion in the 80s and 90s right now, but STREET magazine was never made digitally in that period, so I had to scan 3600 pages directly from printed magazines to do that," Shoichi says. "It was a massive amount of work." From graduate fashion shows in Antwerp to London's Kings Road, Paris Metro stations during the fashion week to Berlin's bars and clubs, the style of these moments is of a timeless nature, even if the clothes themselves change. 

Unfortunately, the streets are not open to business as usual right now and for the most part, many of the best fits are unknown at the moment. Yet these 100 issues provide a design history lesson that few might boast and an endless source of inspiration. Below is Shoichi's selection of his favorite shoots to share.

Can you try to identify any of the early Yohji Yamamoto or Comme des Garcons outfits in these scans? Surely, there must be some of those.

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Scanned from the original print editions, issues 1 - 100 are now available to purchase from tokyofruits.com.

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