KIKS TYO is a Japanese clothing brand started by well known designer Shinichi Izaki. The brand focuses almost exclusively on offering streetwear and footwear from modern influences and has been highly successful since it was first launched in 2006. The name of the designer played a major role in the brand’s quick ascension within the industry, while the various different international interests helped boost it even more.
KIKS TYO launched in 2006 under hobby:tech, the street name of well known designer, top club DJ, and cultural icon Shinichi Izaki. Previous to starting KIKS TYO, Izaki was a partner in BROWNRATS, a different street wear brand that focused on similar topics. However, he decided to leave BROWNRATS in 2006 and start his own company based around what he personally was most interested in, sneakers. The new company was named KIKS TYO and allowed hobby:tech a much greater degree of freedom in his designs.
The first KIKS TYO boutique opened in Shibuya in 2007, quickly followed by a second store known as html (hobby tasteful merchandise laboratory) in Ikebukuro. The first collection from the brand was launched shortly after the stores were opened and after appearing exclusively here, started appearing in department stores in Japan and countries around the world.
KIKS TYO announced the release of hobby:tech’s personal pet project, the Sneaker Lover photobook on January 31, 2008. The guide featured bikini idol and actress, Aki Hoshino and was photographed by Tokyo photographer Yasumasa Yonehara. The books were then distributed to a wide aray of different newsstands and bookstores throughout Japan, as well as to other countries through KIKS TYO’s online store.
The book was both conceived and directed by hobby:tech and published by [[Goma Books]. It was also the first time the famed photographer Yonehara had worked with Hoshino, a cultural icon in Japan. The full color book was released to much acclaim with images of Hoshino in Hong Kong and Macau all shot in the traditional style Yonehara has become so well known for. In addition to the photobook, KIKS TYO released a limited edition of six print t-shirts featuring Hoshino and Yonehara’s work. The t-shirts were released in KIKS TYO stores and through their online store front.