Tokyo-based label mastermind JAPAN was founded in 1997 by designer Masaaki Homma, following his years spent working for avant-garde virtuoso Yohji Yamamoto. Quickly attaining a celebrity following in North America, it was not until 2001 that the punk-infused brand saw wider distribution and recognition on their native soil. Homma’s premium menswear styles capitalized on artisanal Japanese manufacturing and introduced bold visual themes, with high-profile collaborations and the creation of their iconic skull logo ensuring global recognition. After fifteen years in the business, Homma chose to shutter the seminal label at the peak of its success. The designer’s current venture, mastermind WORLD, sees a more functionally-minded perspective take hold.