From Kurt Cobain’s ripped jeans that epitomised grunge, to Aaliyah’s baggy styles that set the tone for hip-hop fashion, denim in the ’90s was more than just casual wear—it was a statement. Jeans were in the middle of a cultural renaissance, signalling allegiance to musical subcultures and social movements. It was against this backdrop that the G-Star Elwood silhouette was launched in 1996—signalling a radical departure in design from the prevailing oversized or distressed styles.
Fast forward to the present day, and G-Star RAW’s relaunch places the iconic jeans in Tokyo—a city that, like ’90s denim, combines heritage with boundary-pushing innovation. The campaign features Shounan’s The D SoraKi, a dancer who has made waves globally and claimed the title of Redbull’s Dance Your Style World Champion in 2022, and Osaka native Kyoka, who made the shift from karate to dance at age eight and went on to co-found the dance crew Rushball. Both dancers represent a new generation’s approach to an art form that itself saw a meteoric rise in the ’90s, when street dance and fashion were vehicles for youthful rebellion.
Captured against the backdrop of a city that effortlessly melds its obsession with cutting-edge tech and its reverence for heritage, the campaign explores how clothing interacts with the body in motion. And while the relaunch features a range of fits and sustainable fabrics, it pays homage to the G-Star Elwood’s original 3D design elements—think 3D knee patches, heel guard, saddle patch, and uniquely angled pockets.
The G-Star Elwood launches 6th September on G-Star.com.