Graniph is a clothing design company based out of Shimokitazawa, Japan that specializes in providing designer graphic T-Shirts.
Established in the latter half of the 1990s by three graphic designers intent on bringing Western style designer T-shirts to Japan, Graniph now sells a wide array of products including handbags, bracelets, lighters, and CDs. The first Graniph storefront opened in Shimokitazawa in 2001. They became known for their willingness to sell single T-shirts for only 2000 Yen or $20US, a price almost a quarter of what most other companies were selling their T-Shirts for at the time. Today, the price has increased to 2500 Yen for a single T-shirt, but two can still be had for only 4000 Yen.
Graniph uses a unique design strategy, with as many as 100 new designs released every month, and as many as 130 in the summer, including all cut and sewn products, bags, and cap designs. The design process is largely collaborative with only 30% of all designs being completed in-house.
Another 30% are completed by Japanese designers, 30% by international artists, and the final 10% are collaborations, special event or award T-shirts created for special circumstances. In house designs are created with the aid of European Design books from the 1960s and 70s as well as old flyers and catalogs. A wide variety of illustrations, designs, and photographs have been integrated into Graniph designs. Each Graniph design is only printed in a limited supply to ensure unique designs are consistently available in the market. Reproductions are rarely made. In 2007, Graniph introduced an International design competition targeting any young artists from around the world who were interested in presenting a design for Graniph. More than 15,000 T-shirt designs were received as a result.
To date, Graniph has multiple stores throughout Asia, including Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. The first Graniph Australia store opened on February 28, 2008 and talks are ongoing to develop and open storefronts in both the United States and Europe. International availability of Graniph products developed in 2007 with the launch of the company’s new English language website as well.
Graniph shop locations are generally chosen based on the local fashion scene. Locations with a thriving community are chosen for placement of small, antique outfitted storefronts.