High-end street vol.1

The next culture featured by SENSE

We all know that American cultures have been the biggest influence on SENSE in various aspects. But what is American culture to us? I believe it is nothing but American street culture: for example, the cultures of rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop, motorcycles, skateboarding, hot rods, etc. The cool fashion that came out of these scenes turned into a high-end street style and had imposed an overwhelming impact in the world. Kiyo is an expert of this high-end street culture which originated in the United States. Let us bring you the latest information from him!

#1 “Fashion from the 80s and the 90s / Roots of the high-end street”

Hello everyone. My name is Kiyo Uekusa, and I run a company called I AM Co., Ltd. In this serialized project, I would like to talk about the high-end street from a broad perspective from the latest information to its deep roots. I hope you enjoy it.
In this first episode, I would like to feature Chris Stamp, creative director of STAMPD and my business partner for many years. Without him, it wouldn’t possible to talk about high-end street, the title of the series.

High-end street and luxury street styles have swept across the world, but in the 2000s, there was no such concept, and there was only a rough framework of “street culture”. Back then when caps from street brands cost about 30 to 40 dollars, STAMPD, acting like a heretical brand, sold leather caps and studded caps for 200 or 300 dollars! Haha. This is because STAMPD had an ambition to divert itself from the unorganized framework of street culture and achieve a high-end style in the fashion industry. It is now a laughable story, but we were totally mocked back then. It’s understandable because we had many staff members among us who did not study fashion in school or lacked real-world experiences. Consequently, we faced many situations where we were looked down upon, embarrassed, or made to feel unpleasant. This experience nurtured our rebellious spirit that we wanted to prove them wrong or have them acknowledge us. I think this fostered our urge and motivation to break free and do something cool.
We lived the streets of the 80s and the 90s, and from the streets, various cultures emerged, including those of hip-hop, rock ‘n’ roll, skateboarding, surfing, and basketball. In the meantime, the next generation of star designers called the Antwerp Six emerged, which included Martin Margiela, who was the designer of Hermès back then, Ann Demeulemeester, and Helmut Lang. They focused on military items, and this movement gave us the premonition that gradual changes in the idea of what was high-end were about to happen. The concept of “street” varies from time to time and from person to person, but we believe that the street style remains as the origin for all cultures and trends. That is precisely why STAMPD eventually reached this idea: “let’s make something that can be accepted as fashion and rooted in the streets.”

You all know that the situation have turned favorable for the street style in recent years. KITH by Ronnie Fieg, a long time friend of ours, received praise, Virgil Abloh launched PYREX, and then OFF WHITE had a breakthrough sensation. All these events led to one big swell and have spread all over the world. That’s why I think that Chris Stamp holds an extraordinary presence as a pioneer of this culture.

So, continuing to the next episode, I would like to introduce various cultures of the 80s and the 90s, not limited to fashion, but centered in the high-end street topics.


A brand from Los Angeles created by Chris Stamp in 2009. The brand concept is “Made to Make It.” The brand’s first flagship store opened in Los Angeles in October 2015. STAMPD is only available for purchase in select multi-brand shops in the United States and throughout the world.

Chris Stamp

After graduating from Cal Poly, Chris Stamp established a brand named after himself called STAMPD’LA. The brand then partnered with Cornerman Creative in 2009 and changed its name to STAMPD. He received Men’s Best Designer Award at the GQ Awards in 2015.

“Chris was active as a professional surfer and a photographer in his 10s in the United States and fostered many relationships with famous artists. I think his sensibility as an artist, the environment he has lived in, and the things he’s been influenced by allow him to express the clarity and world of STAMPD. We have been friends for over 10 years, and he is the kind of person who constantly sees and learns from various things. He is very much the same wherever he is: He always wanders off and loves nightlife! He is also very popular among women. (lol). He looks cool in photos or on Instagram, but he has a funny side and loves joking around. He can talk about his trade passionately. He is a guy who even other guys think is cool! I believe the reason why we have been able to work through difficulties and joy is that I am simply in love with his creativity. I personally think there aren’t many designers whose creativity surpasses his.”

・ Favorite brand

・ Favorite movie
Lost in Translation

・ Favorite music
Hip Hop

・ Favorite book
The Alchemist

・ Favorite phrase or quote
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

・ Favorite color

・ Favorite sports
American Football / Surfing / Snowboarding / Golf

・ Favorite place
Mykonos, Greece

・ What kind of girl do you like
Honest, intelligent, funny.

・ What kind of girl do you dislike
Lying, fake

・Who do you respect
People who can become successful through doing what they truly love.

Kiyo Uekusa

Director of I AM Co., Ltd. As “director I am Kiyo Uekusa”, he manages direction and design projects. He leads the direction of Ann Demeulemeester and STAMPD in Japan’s domestic outreach. He is also a director and designer for many brands in Japan and internationally. As an owner of The Gallery and The Showroom, he introduces new cultures generated from art and fashion to the world.