Two, zero, four, seven, one, one, two, zero. What do these numbers mean? It’s actually the name of the brand created by Masahiro Nakagawa and Azechi Lica in 1992. But what significance do they hold for the brand’s identity? In an interview conducted by Oliver Leone at YOURFASHIONARCHIVE, Nakagawa reveals the inception of the name, stating, “I had a dream that I would have as many people as possible on the November 20th of 2047 gathered together to say 'Cheers' to life and the memories they made that would continue to eternally shine. (In 2047) I thought that there will be a world where diversity and individualism are advancing as fast as computers and mobile progress. I thought that individualism and expression would have become the mainstream of fashion. And when I thought of the brand name, I felt that the numbers of that year represented a future of diversity, individuality, and creativity.'' By understanding this profound meaning of 20471120, we can begin to see how it presents itself in every facet of the brand’s identity.
The book '20471120' by Masahiro Nakagawa documents the history of 20471120 while masterfully capturing its essence. It opens with pictures from their Autumn/Winter 1998 Collection 'Link.' The season was presented in exhibition style within a large gallery in Tokyo. The brand’s mascot Hyoma is present throughout the book: A child bearing a goofy smile along with graffiti on his face, often sporting a colorful outfit. He is also diffused into other similar characters, like him with bunny ears, or a panda face. Towards the end of the book is a flowchart depicting a service the brand provided called the Tokyo Recycle Project System, a Margiela-esque process that reconstructs garments and repurposes them into something new. 'Recycouture,' as the brand calls it.
20471120 became quite popular during its lifetime, especially in the Harajuku street fashion scene. Its playful nature fit perfectly with the aesthetic, becoming synonymous with it in the process. Beyond the wacky concepts and mesmerizing charm, I feel that Mr. Nakagawa’s possibly prophetic dream can easily become a reality. We are already seeing a huge shift in the way people express themselves, especially due to technology. We will just have to wait until November 20th, 2047 to find out.