A BRIEF HISTORY OF NUMBER NINE
Takahiro Miyashita’s Number (N)ine has been a particularly alluring new wave Japanese brand within the men’s fashion space since its inception in 1997. A mainstay of Number (N)ine is their iconic T-Shirts, perhaps the most wearable garment from the brand, which straddles the border between Streetwear and the avant-garde.
The name ‘Number (N)ine’ derives from the Beatles song “Revolution 9”, Miyashita being an ardent fan of the band, and it is said that the bracketed ‘(N)’ pays homage to the brand Nepenthes, where Miyashita first learned the art of constructing clothes. Music and pop-culture is consistently referenced and is indeed where the brand takes most inspiration from.
The style of Number (N)ine draws from Americana and traditional Japanese practices. Please see our full brand history here.
NUMBER NINE TEES AND THEIR LASTING LEGACY IN ARCHIVE FASHION
Number (N)ine’s is famous for adorning their T-shirts with graphic slogan designs and pop-culture icons. Miyashita was influenced heavily by the style of the Punk subcultures which were prevalent in both the UK and America during the second half of the 20th century. Vivienne Westwood's iconic and politically charged slogan T-Shirts come to mind when we analyse those of Number (N)ine.
Miyashita’s repurposing of Logos, type, and imagery from within pop-culture gives tees an enduring quality within fashion. Through re-contextualising and equating low and high culture, the designer creates a sense of irony which surpasses trends. We can see echos of Number (N)ines’s designs in the collaborations of the contemporary brands Palace and Supreme, and many more.
THE MOST ICONIC NUMBER NINE TEES
"MODERN AGE" DISTRESSED T-SHIRT, SPRING/SUMMER 2002
Spring 2002’s “Modern Age” saw heavily distressed garments which are some of the most sought after today. The Destroyed T-Shirt in short and long sleeve variants are highly coveted. I Heart Gotham and Nirvana influenced garments are also iconic.
"WELCOME TO THE SHADOW" FUCK YOU T-SHIRT, AUTUMN/WINTER 2002
Spring 2006 "Welcome to the Shadow" saw the common motif of aggressive slogans featuring the extensive use of expletives. ‘FUCK ME? FUCK YOU!’ , ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP’ and ‘sounds like bullshit to me’ are some personal favourites. Takahiro, here, took inspiration from Guns and Roses vocalist Axl Rose.
"GIVE PEACE A CHANCE" REPUBLICAN T-SHIRT, AUTUMN/WINTER 2002
Autumn Winter 2004’s “Give Peace a Chance” saw the Anti-War t-Shirt’s arrival, with classic white typography and sliced distressing.
"REDISUN" BAUHAUS T-SHIRT, AUTUMN/WINTER 2001
This T-shirt features a familiar Bauhaus motif, frequently used in clothes from other archival fashion brands. Bauhaus is the German minimalist design school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919.
SLOGAN T-SHIRT'S , ALL.
Number (N)ine has released too many slogan T-shirts to count. Hundreds of which can be found in TRUSS' database.