TAKA Original Goes Back to the Future With Streetwear Inspired by Old-School Tech
Pursuing his passion for street culture, Aka quit his job in the record industry to launch TAKA Original in 2012. The streetwear label has team members operating in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, and Guangzhou, with Aka describing TAKA as simply “Earth-based.” And when you think about how streetwear has gone global in recent years, that makes perfect sense.
TAKA Original’s SS19 drop taps into various contemporary trends while referencing the now-antiquated tech of the ’90s. Rendered in muted grays, electric purple, and flashes of neon, the collection features multi-pocketed tactical vests, hybrid cargo pants, hooded vests, PVC shorts, and graphic tees. A sad face motif that riffs on Microsoft’s Windows 95 logo can be seen throughout.
The aesthetic is reflective of TAKA’s previous collections, which channeled elements of merch, officewear, and cyberculture into streetwear in a way that somehow remained cohesive.
Aka has found inspiration for his designs in the computational procedure known as iteration, a process of repetition and looping that seeks out new solutions to equations, performing the process again and again until a specific set of conditions are met. It’s a standard component of creating algorithms. When applied conceptually to a fashion label, iteration can be thought of as a rigorous investigation of combining different styles.
“We focus on the expression of subcultures and the iteration of each era and try to find some intersection in the middle,” says Aka. “I think the iterative process of science and technology itself is a carrier that integrates the cutting-edge industrial aesthetics of each era. This process is very beautiful. There were great industrial designers and coders, and they made some really cool products and a lot of things which are now obsolete but represent products that can really inspire us.”
According to Aka, a great fashion brand “balances art and commerce,” telling us he wants to create a “cultural exchange of fashionable youth from around the world through TAKA’s products and styles.”
In accordance with this global and communal approach, TAKA Original has launched a project that encourages young artists to collaborate with the brand, such as on the SS18 lookbook, which involved a 3D-generated office designed by digital artist Yi Le.
Now, with TAKA Original having launched its online store last year and new drops happening every month, expect the brand to expand its reach even further.