TOKYO – Admittedly there were probably a few members of the audience at emerging menswear label 99%IS’ Spring Summer 2014 show who hoped that one, or more, of its famous fans would turn up at the
last minute.

However, those who just came for the fashion weren’t disappointed as its Korean-born designer Bajowoo sent out a tight collection of signature shapes minus his previously ubiquitous studs and spikes; the more streamlined looks came in black, white and chrome silver leather.

99is ss14 show at japan fashion week DECOR 1Reimagined rockers at 99%IS Spring Summer 2014 runway show at Japan Fashion Week.
Images: Wesley Kow

Having already established himself in his homeland by starting the first Korean punk brand, producing costumes for rock bands and even have an art career, Bajowoo travelled the world before settling in Tokyo in 2008. After enrolling at fashion school, he launched his label while he was still a second year student and hasn’t looked back.

Luckily for Bajowoo the creation of his label and his own particular style (and most likely, connections) led to his work being picked up by some of K-Pop’s biggest stars – G-Dragon and Daesung from Big Bang for example – as well as by one of the world’s top stars, Lady Gaga via her very own stylist, and designer in his own right, the half-Japanese Nicola Formichetti.

Despite the non-appearance of any K-Pop stars at the 99%IS SS14 runway show, there were plenty of Japanese superstars (or their stylists, which is the same thing really) in the audience.

Opening with his own riff on the classic blazer – the 99%IS oversize version comes with leather panels – Bajowoo worked through the classic shapes of rebellious pop culture; the motorcycle jacket, the 60s Mod coat, the skinhead’s flight jacket and even the hip-hop oversized t-shirt, all, of course, in black.

Moving on, the use of chrome silver leather lightened up the collection – it is for spring and summer, after all – before a series of pieces in similar shapes but bearing substantial white stripes.

99is ss14 show at japan fashion week DECOR 2The good and the ‘criminal’ white stripes at 99%IS Spring Summer 2014 runway show at Japan Fashion Week. Images: Wesley Kow

When the stripes were restrained they highlighted the sharp tailoring of the jackets and trousers; when there were bands of white on black from top to bottom of a look, the wearer looked like they had just escaped from an early 1960s prison movie.

Which possibly was exactly the look Bajowoo was looking for; after all, rebels with or without a cause, often end up on the wrong side of the law.


Overall it was a fairly assured collection with a strong central theme that both stuck to Bajowoo’s DNA and pushed it forward at the same time. No doubt we’ll be seeing a few of the strongest looks in a K-Pop music video some time soon.

The 99%IS Spring Summer 2014 collection show was held on October 18, 2013, as part of Japan Fashion Week. For more information about Japan Fashion Week, go to; follow it on Facebook at and on Twitter at @jfw_official