For LANDLORD’s third season, Creative Director, Ryohei Kawanishi, finds inspiration in the hip-hop fashion scene of the 90s-00’s; noting the impact of Southern hip-hop artists, their influence on fashion, and the style cues that Kawanishi continues to see to this day in his neighborhood in Harlem, NY. The Fall/Winter 2017 collection fuses this aesthetic with LANDLORD’s utilitarian DNA to present streetwear through a new lens.
Kawanishi also takes inspiration from Mauri, an Italian footwear brand that many of his favorite rappers were in the late 90’s. “I always loved Mauri because of the way they used exotic skins in their designs,” says Kawanishi. “I wanted to incorporate a similar sensibility into this collection so we could bring an element of luxury back into today’s streetwear conversation.” Kawanishi accomplishes this idea—not only by styling models in Mauri footwear—but by applying plackets of alligator and stingray skins to the pockets on LANDLORD’s hats and oversized work shirts.
This season LANDLORD also debuts a capsule collection, inspired by Kawanishi’s 2010 visit to the James Howard exhibit at Saatchi Gallery in London. He was enamored with the artist’s cut-copy-paste style of digital artwork, particularly because it was reminiscent of the Texas-based graphic design team, Pen & Pixel, whose gaudy, diamond-encrusted hip-hop album covers helped define the “bling bling” era of the early-aughts. Kawanishi’s sense of nostalgia combined with the cynical, ironic nature of Howard’s visuals, led to a “LANDLORD X JAMES HOWARD” collaboration of graphic T-shirts and hoodies, which can be seen throughout the Fall/Winter 2017 collection.