Number (N)ine

Started in 1997 by designer Takahiro Miyashita, Number (N)ine has always been a hit in Japan, with a devoted fan base remaining to this day. Due to the rise of archive fashion in recent years, Number (N)ine has quickly garnered attention in the West. With piqued interest, more information has become available to us, with runway footage, editorial scans, and interviews to name a few, with more being uncovered by the day.

Although the brand started in 1997, the first two years consisted of establishing its standards and creating basic items. It started to get more creative two years later, with a total of 21 unique seasons spanning from 1999 to 2009. Fashion shows were conducted in Japan from 2000-2003, and shows in Paris were from 2004-2009. The brand name stems from the Beatles song 'Revolution 9,' a cacophony of musical elements with monotonous vocals repeating the words “number nine,” over and over. Frequent references to Kurt Cobain, The Beatles, and various other musical artists allow this brand to become instantly appealing to any music lover. Yet, the brand is also accessible to anyone due to its streetwear aesthetic at first glance; Americana and grunge themes are ubiquitous, and always find their way into the collections. The more you look into the brand however, the more you appreciate the subtle details and references prevalent everywhere. A melancholy tinge paints over the brand, with a somber atmosphere for some of the shows, and clothing being affixed with references to pain and sorrow. This comes as no surprise, with Mr. Miyashita being no stranger to reflecting on his mental hardships. He even thanked his doctors on the back of the staff tee shirt for SSAW2003. Number (N)ine becomes the literal embodiment of the phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve.”

It is no surprise that Number (N)ine remains relevant to this day, most likely because of Mr. Miyashita’s seamless blending of musical elements and meticulously crafted garments. Through his work, we can begin to appreciate the connection between these two different mediums of art, giving rise to a truly unique experience which separates him from the rest. Although Number (N)ine under Takahiro Miyashita has been defunct since February 20th, 2010 (Kurt Cobain’s birthday), his legacy now continues through his current brand TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist.

Writer: Zack