Swagger is a Japanese hip hop clothing brand catering to both Japanese and western audiences. The brand was started in 1999 by two members of the Japanese hip hop group, Shakkazombie, Iggy and Big-O. The two planned to created multiple new business ventures in the tradition of western outfits like Sean Jean and Rockafella. The brand, while starting as a hip hop extension of the its real life musician owners, the Swagger brand has become a premier name in high end urban clothing known around the world.
The basis of the Swagger clothing line’s concept is the extravagance of New York hip hop clothing mixed with the care to detail and quality of Japanese fashion in general. However, Swagger has also gone on to diminish the idea of the hip hop genre by making it widely available and a standard in fashion. Most of the brand’s flagship stores will display a heady mixture of tongue in cheek humor such as stacks of cash alongside well presented, quality interiors.
Following the success of Swagger, Big-O decided to start a second line named Phenomenon which marketed toward luxury apparel, with a switch into high fashion. The new line, while a bit of a gamble paid off with such high profile endorsements as Kanye West.
Swagger currently has 6 flagship stores in Japan in addition to 60 retail locations in Japan, Australia, Hawaii, and Taiwan. A flagship store in Taiwan opened in 2007 and a recently opened showroom in New York City has created a great deal of buzz and demand for Swagger clothing in the United States and Europe as well. Since arriving in New York, Swagger clothing has appeared in magazines such as XXL and complex and has been sold in many boutiques such as Pieces, Blue, and Union throughout the city.