John Lawrence Sullivan is a Japanese clothing brand designed by Arashi Yanagawa. Unlike many designers from Japan, Yanagawa started his career as a professional boxer. His inspiration for John Lawrence Sullivan came from the boxer of the same name who, in the 1880s became the first true champion in heavyweight boxing. Yanagawa’s influences do not include only boxing as he has touched on multiple interests both in his personal life and in his design work. Included in these products are everything from aviation to professional sports and his design is almost completely self taught.
The John Lawrence Sullivan label made its debut in the 2003/2004 Autumn Winter collections in Japan and has risen quickly in the industry due to its unique outside perspective. Yanagawa, born in Hiroshima, Japan, has worked extensively with many outside sources to develop the name recognition of his brand, creating boxing gear in collaboration with Lonsdale and making headways in shops around the world including the likes of H. Lorenzo in Los Angeles, California.
Premiering on the Tokyo Fashion Week Runway during the 2007 season, John Lawrence Sullivan’s clothing items have long displayed a wide array of varying influences. In 2006’s spring/summer collection for example, a large number of seatbelts and braces from airplanes made their way into the clothing while boxing cut shorts were featured in the shorter shorts. Yanagawa may be well known for the variety of style and influences in his clothing, but his claim to fame has been the suits produced for John Lawrence Sullivan. The suits, created with all English materials gathered from English houses and factories, are known for sharp cuts and slimming designs – they are also the most wearable parts of his collections and have gathered much international acclaim.