Bounty Hunter is a Japanese clothing and toy brand established in Tokyo by Hikaru Iwanaga in 1995. Iwanaga was born in 1968 in Sasebo, Nagasaki, where his mother worked at a Navy base. Japan experienced a profound cultural shift following WWII, which saw an influx of American consumer products and popular media. "I feel that because my mother worked within this American world, there was an Americanized aspect to the way she raised me,” Iwanaga has said. Consequently, he developed an interest in American toys and visual culture – ranging from G.I. Joe to Disney, Frankenberry to Star Wars.
Iwanaga later enrolled at the storied Tokyo Bunka Fashion College, where he met UNDERCOVER’s Jun Takahashi. The pair went on to form the punk cover band Tokyo Sex Pistols. Iwanaga found himself at the nexus of the emergent Ura-Hara scene, a small network of Harajuku backstreets that became an epicenter of Toyko’s youth movement of the 1990s. The neighborhood brought together hip-hop and punk-inflected street fashion, globally informed by Hiroshi Fujiwara’s cult column The Last Orgy. Ura-Hara notably gave rise to A Bathing Ape, NEIGHBORHOOD and WTAPS – yet Bounty Hunter stood out for its early emphasis on unconventional toys.
“When I first held a toy, [I thought] ‘Woah!’ It was so cool! When I first heard punk, the Sex Pistols, their look… These feelings were exactly the same,” Iwanaga explained. In the late 1990s, Bounty Hunter developed KID HUNTER and SKULL-KUN characters – distinctive figures recalling the American toys of Iwanaga’s youth, boldly reimagined with irreverent punk twists (SKULL-KUN drawing inspiration from The Misfits, for example). In the decades that followed, Iwanaga would expand Bounty Hunter’s punk ethos – collaborating with Rancid and Discharge to name a few. Beyond collaborations, Bounty Hunter has hosted shows like Punk Rock TV, which introduced countless punk bands from both the US and the UK to Japanese audiences. Bounty Hunter lays claim to creating the first ever designer toys, and consequently, has transformed the way toys are developed, produced, and collected today.
Supreme has worked with Bounty Hunter on a new collection for fall 2023. The collection consists of a Varsity Jacket, Bomber Jacket, Sweater, L/S Shirt, Jersey, Thermal, Hooded Sweatshirt, Jean, two T-Shirts, 5-Panel, Beanie, Backpack, Ring and SKULL-KUN Figure.
Available September 28th.
Available in Japan and Seoul September 30th.