BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB / ICECREAM
ICECREAM and VANDYTHEPINK come together for a celebration of 00s style
“Japan has long been known for its vibrant magazine industry, most notably its iconic fashion bibles which provide readers with in-depth style guides to every niche corner of men’s fashion and lifestyle. Whether you’re into streetwear, high-fashion, the great outdoors or vintage denim, these publications cover it all. Anyone who’s flicked through the pages of titles like Popeye, Ollie or Lightning will know you don’t have to be fluent in Japanese to understand or get inspired by the contents inside. What makes Japanese magazines different from Western counterparts is the aesthetically pleasing reading experience they offer with stunning imagery, clean layouts and meticulous attention to detail.
With a generation that's preoccupied with archive fashion, niche subcultures and Japanese style, it's no wonder that many of these throwback magazines are beginning to resurface online. Cultural platforms like Tokyo-based magazine, Sabukaru are documenting Japanese counterculture in a way that has never been seen before, while other pages like Scanners93, Urahara Scans and Tokyo Milk Shop provide a time capsule back to Tokyo fashion scene in the 90s and early 00s with the archive magazine scans they upload daily. On these platforms you can find everything from OG BBC & ICECREAM lookbooks, to Harajuku streetstyle or interviews with underground designers. Never has it been easier to get a detailed insight and informed look into the underground Japanese streetwear culture.
This obsession with physical magazines and unearthing untold stories from the past is what inspired the new zine from ICECREAM’s upcoming collaboration with VANDYTHEPINK. ‘I remember looking at all these Japanese magazines for inspiration as a kid,’ says Joseph Au, Creative Director of Billionaire Boys Club, Icecream, and Beeline. ‘When you print something it comes to life. It feels special picking it up. We wanted to bring this energy and vibe back to a new generation.’
The pages of the new softback, which come free with every purchase of the collaboration at Complexcon, read like the pages of throwback issues of Urahara Jack, Takarajima Magazine or EYESCREAM with bold colors, playful layouts, and Japanese script. Photographed by Cian Moore, the images feature models posed against giant Cones n Bones cut-outs, bold graphic spreads and the typical infographics and written captions synonymous with throwback Japanese magazines. BBCICECREAM nerds will also recognise the cameo of Mick Moreno [Pharrell's first assistant] who is pictured wearing the Swarovski Burger Popsicle tee.
Both Au and Junghoon Son, the man behind VANDYTHEPINK, grew up during the peak era of Japanese streetwear culture in the late 90s and early 00s. They recall seeing NIGO and Pharrell coming together and the cultural impact they made both in Japan and overseas. ‘The graphics and visual language of early BBC and ICECREAM is important and what we grew up on,’ says Au on the fast food-inspired graphics and cartoon illustrations that defined early BBC and ICECREAM. ‘Looking back, it felt super exciting and new. NIGO truly shaped the taste and design language for a whole generation.’
In fact, it was this fusion of Americana and Asian culture that inspired Son’s use of fast food icons in his own brand. Just like the Cones n Bones or Running Dog characters, VANDYTHEPINK’s signature food and burger motifs were also conceived from Son’s lived experience in South Korea and America. The fast food icons serve as a singular expression of the memories, references and influences that he has collected on his journey from Seoul to Virginia, where he currently works and resides.
For Au, the partnership with VANDYTHEPINK was a natural way to bridge the past, present and future together in an organic and meaningful way. ‘We have a mutual respect for each other and I have been passionate about what VTP does from early on,’ Au explains of the inception of the collaboration. ‘Now I'm in a position to set the direction with this super iconic brand (BBCICECREAM), it’s important to work with someone like Vandy. As a new generation of designers inspired and excited by BBCICECREAM’s history, it was super invigorating to the way I thought about doing my work too. We’ve been around for so long but to bring someone new in like Vandy feels really special.’” -Samutaro