W)Taps is a Japanese fashion label that produces street wear. W)Taps’ lead designer, Tetsu Nishiyama (TET) has been a leading figure in the field of streetwear design for some time now, producing large ranges of quality clothing that utilizes both western and Japanese style aesthetics to bring a punk imbued style to the Shibuya, Harajuku market. Tetsuya Nishiyama is currently the creative director of both Blackflag in Aoyama, Tokyo and of Hoods, a conceptual shop that has locations in Japan and various strategic locations in Europe and North America. He has also worked as the chief editor of the free, street culture magazine, Philosophy Zine, which is currently not in print.
TET stared his first brand in Harajuku in 1993, working under his own name at the time. He soon after started working with SKATETHING under a new name, 40% Against Rights. The new brand produced t-shirts and various related accessories, mostly completed with silk screening. In 1996, TET established W)Taps, using a new military influenced appearance with sturdy design and similar style patterns and integration of styles that his previous work had. TET introduced a conceptual bag in 2002 through W)Taps under the line Cargo as a collaboration with the Yoshida Bag Company, a project he would use to define the future vision of the company.
In 2003, W)Taps opened the Philosophy Store in Harajuku, the source of the Philosophy Zine which TET would later take up and produce. The overall philosophy of the brand was directly injected into both the store and the magazine.
Since 2003, the W)Taps brand has grown beyond its military inspired designs and outdoor fashion sense to include a collection of new signature styles, including “trad” and “ivy”, two more upscale looks that cater to the athletic/academic hybrid of many brands deemed as “preppy”.
Recent collaborations have teamed TET and W)Taps up with some of the largest designers in the field, including Supreme, Stussy, and A Bathing Ape. A major international collaboration started in 2006 between W)Taps and the Vans skate shoe brand. The new relationship allowed TET to release a specially designed W)Taps shoe through the Vans Syndicate line.
W)Taps products are currently made available in a number of TET owned and operated stores, including Blackflag in Aoyama, and the various Hoods locations throughout Japan. Additionally, Neighborhood in Osaka currently carries the products as well. Various locations worldwide carry the W)Taps brand as well, including the Vans Syndicate line of skate shoes in all major Vans and skate supply shops.