Ninjas don't wear sweatshirts. Yoshiyuki Ogata, a Tokyo fashion designer whose street fashion is stocked in upscale L.A. and London boutiques, took his fashion cues from the rich traditions of local design, but not from some Parisian or New York City atelier.
Hence, instead of a hip-hop hoodie, Ogata wears a sleek hooded jacket that zips up to show only the eyes, a self-made creation inspired by what ninjas used to wear during their stealthy missions.
"Because Japan was an isolated island for so long, there is so much that is unique about our culture," says Ogata, whose design for the Japanese contestant in the 2006 Miss Universe pageant won the best national costume award.
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