Rough & Rugged
Words by Billy George
In today's rough city environment, I do at times love to bring it back to some rugged roots - not that I come from a rugged past. I'm not from the country where I wrangled a herd of cows daily or spent hours in a field working towards sowing a crop of wheat.
Bring it back to the simplicity of a rugged look, for me, means I get to spend the day in not only comfort, but a look that I adore. A look that I've identified with for, at least, the past two years.
I remember I picked up this pair of denim jeans in Tokyo during my first visit in September 2016, and I instantly fell in love with them. Tokyo instantly resonated with me as their take on Americana is exactly how I felt a lot about how I put together my outfits. As I mention in the opening, I never really grew up in a country environment where a lot of that Americana ideals are based from.
I'd like to say about a decade ago, the Japanese took it and ran with it. I always loved brands like visvim and appreciated the talent behind Junya Watanabe but unless you go and experience for yourself first hand, you don't really understand the flow.
The number of smaller and independent labels that are around Harajuku and the surrounds astounded me. I saw raw denim and workwear inspired brands and stores scattered around that dedicated themselves to the theme. I saw a number of custom hat makers in back streets and off the beaten track around town that displayed the spirit of workmanship. Coming from a culture that is traditionally know for their passion and dedication, it's not hard to believe that such things exist.
Seeing it from afar, it's almost impossible to tell how much they love the Americana lifestyle, yet when you experience it first hand it's everywhere. One other example - is their love for anything Hawaiian. There are so many Hawaiian restaurants and eateries around. The other is burger shops. They're are a fair few amazing burger spots you can visit around that will have you salivating.
I hear you saying big whoop - but you got to understand that beyond burgers and these Hawaiian themed restaurants, you really only have Japanese food. Japanese food rules the scape in Japan, it's not like Australia or America where you can go anywhere and get Chinese food, or Malaysian. Or Eastern European. In Japan, those eateries are few and far in between. Yes you can find them but holy hell it's hard.
What I Wore
Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply jeans
Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers
Akubra Squatter hat
Bailey Nelson specs