Wacko Maria, an infamous fashion brand taking over the streets of Tokyo, has created a unique mix of romance and glamour in their apparel. With the music industry leading their inspiration, Wacko Maria pulls from the glitz and glam of music, films, and art to instill these messages into their work. The results are tremendous, which is why it is considered one of the top fashion brands in Japan. Each piece of Wacko Maria garb is flowy, unique, and usually encompassing a wild and rebellious aesthetic. Although Wacko Maria is booming in Tokyo and parts of Europe, we have yet to be hit with the fashion empire here in the West. Rather, Wacko Maria is still a kept secret amongst fashion enthusiasts and streetwear brands everywhere and is only sold in stores internationally.
While Wacko Maria offers a variety of funky patterns, strong embroidering symbols, and many other works of art incorporated into their work, they also have one of the most unique yet bizarre origin stories of any fashion brand. First established in 2005, Wacko Maria was founded by two J-league professional Japanese football players, Nobuhiro Mori and Keiji Ishizuka. What makes their story so interesting is the pair actually started a joint venture together by opening a bar. The bar was called Rock Steady, located in Tokyo, and was made for musicians and music enthusiasts. Thanks to the crowds this brand was attracting, Nobuhiro Mori and Keiji Ishizuka noticed one thing: the fashion. Everyone that came into their bar was extremely fashionable, dressed to encompass the Tokyo music scene. As the bar business began to boom, it eventually took the business pair down a hole they didn’t expect to fall into – a high end menswear line.
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Soon, Rock Steady was sold and Nobuhiro Mori and Keiji Ishizuka evolved their brand into Wacko Maria, a high end menswear line geared towards the music, film, and arts scene that encompassed completely whimsical romantic, yet bold designs. Inspired by Nobuhiro Mori and Keiji Ishizuka’s love for the punk rock subculture, the two created an entire line of menswear that shouted punk rock, but also included many Latin American influences – a mix yet to be accomplished in Tokyo’s streetwear fashion scene.
Wacko Maria Brand
Well, as it turns out, a bar isn’t the only thing that the pair succeeded at in the business arena. Before they knew it, their innovative patterns, eye for creativity, and sheer passion for the art industry soon paid off greatly. Wacko Maria was soon launched into a widely successful business. Known for their bizarre, ornate shirts, bomber jackets, wild pant designs, and other outerwear that is embroidered with both classical and traditional Americana artwork. The successful fashion brand, although booming in Japan, is not quite as popular in the United States as of yet. However, you can still cop a pair of the Nike x Wacko Maria leopard print Janowski’s if you’re looking to buy from the brand.
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Creators Nobuhiro Mori and Keiji Ishizuka have developed quite the addicting brand, and continue to reimagine and reshape the image of Wacko Maria with the changing times – but all with the leading inspiration from the art’s industry. There is a quote on the Wacko Maria website by Ernest Che Guevara that goes like this, “If it were said of us that we’re almost romantics, that we are incorrigible idealists, that we think the impossible: then a thousand and one times we have to answer ‘yes we are’” (1).