20471120; Masahiro Nakagawa & Azechi Lica Interview

20471120 Hyoma Robot futuristic
20471120 Well known for blending pop culture & fashion seamlessly, in this exclusive interview with MR.High Fashion in December 1997. We see an insight & sneak peak into what comprised of the world Masahiro Nakagawa & Azechi Lica created for 20471120. Creating life sized props & objects from fantasies & drawings Masahiro grew up sketching during class. 

Props displayed in Shop

20471120 Store Objects Masahiro Nakagawa Lica Portrait


20471120 Store

Circus, amusement park, Evangelion ... Because there are some things that I want to convey. You can see the nonsense created by two, male & female designers, is actually a certain sense by touching various expressions of 20471120. This brand which started by two Indies in Osaka to convey their world, has continued to increase fans at Locomi & now, has become an essential part of the Tokyo collection. The right page is a huge handmade object placed on the 2nd floor of a shop in Tokyo. Akihiko Tanigawa, a friend of designer Masahiro Nakagawa, created the motif of the image character HYOMA. The woman on the upper left of the right page is Lica, & the man on the lower right is Masahiro Nakagawa. These are the faces behind 20471120. The big mask is a purchasable item in the studio. Objects like horse legs are also on the second floor of the shop.

20471120 Custom hand made chair by Masahiro Nakagawa's friend furniture artist Nobuyuki Yoshimoto.

 Masahiro always put a high importance on incorporating works of art & collaborations with locals & friends. This chair shown on the left image is a Custom 1 of 1 Original  Futuristic chair made for 20471120 by his dear friend & Furniture artist Nobuyuki Yoshimoto. Going back to some of Masahiro's roots who often would watch the anime Evangelion & read many manga's which had envisioned futuristic fantasies as a world it is to no surprise he can create such wonderful intricate designs for not only garments but as well as collaborating on furniture & interior design such as this.

Masahiro Nakagawa Azechi Lica

Above photo showcases their office space environment along with their dog Choro-Q a Boston Terrier often seen in various store & office images.

20471120 store dog Choro-Q boston terrier

"(LICA).The photo above is Choro-Q sleeping soundly on a chair."

Store Design

 20471120 Store              20471120 store interior ferris wheel

As shown in our previous article based on 20471120 Store Interiors, we see a more in depth analysis on the philosophy of the store design along with words from Masahiro on why he went such a path. 

20471120 Store racks
The stores often featured custom interior designs, this store being one of the more iconic ones had very brightly lit walls along with unique displays for showcasing the garments.
20471120 Staff Picture
A shop where you can enjoy happenings. The Ferris wheel gracefully moves up and down with the shoes on, & the roller coaster hanging clothes, spins with a creaking noise. The shop in Harajuku, Tokyo, just near Meiji-street, is the "Cyber Amusement Park". The white and silver interior has a futuristic image, & the actual machine-powered display is the amusement park itself.
20471120 Store Ferris Wheel Display

"I wanted to create a place where people could communicate properly. Customers get to know each other. That's why I got involved with my friends around me, & that how the circle of friends expanded & they came to the store again." Masahiro Nakagawa, who himself designed the shop. LICA talks about the charms or attractions of displays. "When clothes move like that, I think that people will be conscious of looking at clothes properly, such as "Let's take that garment."  "Ah, that clothes, let's wait until the next one comes around", or he looks at the clothes while being nervous. " " So, even if you don't like the clothes, you can't put them back in their original place (laughs). There are happenings that you can't choose at other shops. "How do you get it?" Starts communication between customers & staff. "


This ideal for presentation helped break down the barrier between customer & staff. Masahiro & LICA working in perfect harmony. Using eaches own strengths to their advantages. 

20471120 Paper Recycling couture Denim Jacket Hyoma
Six Pocket Denim Jacket from  Autumn/Winter 1997-1998
Fun Fact: This jacket was also sold at a boutique in Paris, Ko Hislet. Sold for 35,000 ¥
20471120 from MR.High Fashion 1997 December

The huge neon that seems to be in Las Vegas on the outer wall of the shop is the image character HYOMA & the brand logo. I would like you to actually visit & check it out. Some people may be curious to see this, & young customers always come into the shop even during the daytime on weekdays. They walk around the first and second floors leisurely and chat with the staff at the counter, & they look very relaxed. “Our clothes are difficult to coordinate. Even though many of these have elaborate designs, when we see the customers who are happy to try on them at the shop, we are impressed that our theme is conveyed. I will do it, "LICA said. The standard size is 164 cm tall, but even small people are happy to adjust it with a safety pin & dress it in their own way. I sincerely hope that the design is well communicated & that the person who gets it will digest & wear it. Masahiro Nakagawa also said that he could cut his clothes with scissors to wear them. "I'm often informed by customers. I think it's not the right thing to dress normally, but clothes are a product of "challenge" and "freedom." I like fashion & fashion. That's what I thought, so when I see people dressed freely, I'm told, "Oh, that's right. If I lose sight of myself, I'm sorry!"


20471120 Staff
The staff on the bottom right are Akitomo Ariga, Kaori Uchida, Chikako Tanaka, and Ayako Ishida from the right.

Brand Origins 

20471120 Studio concept

To convey a realistic fantasy. LICA says, "They are the opposite type. I don't have much contact with what I like or what I'm interested in." Then Nakagawa answers. "I'm not thinking about the theme of what they have in common, but in order to understand each other to some extent, I'll talk with all five senses." The five senses such as sight and hearing are important elements for the painter Masahiro Nakagawa. Think about what you are interested in right now, pulling it out of your head drawer. The color of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" (common to both of us) that I was most addicted to recently, the sound of the words that came to my mind, along with the seriousness & humor, I try to express it honestly & sincerely. LICA accepts the abstract image he presents & retouches it as a finished product as a mode. "I'll keep what I think in shape for the time being, so I make a lot of clothes. Then I take off the clothes that I don't agree with & put the others for the show. But," I have such an image, so let's expose everything. "He's the type, he cuts it down as I say "this is different, different". So, he said "Wait, do it" (laughs) " "I'm drawing designs to evolve the details of clothes while I'm doing styling. "" Tomorrow, it's a show, but he's still like that. I'm trying to do something. "Let's make this" isn't the case anymore. "" But when the show is over, I wonder if it's okay." Their world is full of real fantasies of the younger generation, such as the Evoze Imperial Army & the near-future cyber robot HYOMA, which were born from the fun of the sound of words & evolved into a story.

Hyoma-kun Robo 20471120                Hyoma Statue 20471120

The joint show with Kinoshita Circus last year was a dream come true. This is the first experience for Kinoshita Circus to collaborate with fashion. I was persistent until I went to the region where they were entertaining & heard the story. It was a great pleasure to finally get an OK reply while being refused many times. "They were really nice people & they knocked me down. I can't help but refuse at first, because I've managed to get along with the locals over there," (Nakagawa)."I wanted to convey my feelings & excitement, so, when it comes to dreams, it's a circus!  The figure is Asuka Langley Soryu, a character from "Evangelion". 

 Neon Genesis Evangelion 20471120 collab

20471120 SS197 NGE
20471120 Pin Badge Poster and VHS Runway
The upper right of the photo is a novelty badge when
a joint show with Kinoshita Circus was held. The bottom three points are pages that Masahiro Nakagawa wrote with illustrations at the request of the magazine "TOKION". The English text was created by the editorial department of "TOKION".
20471120 Kinoshita Circus SS 1997

Studio Tour

20471120 being such a conceptual brand in itself & forward thinking it should come to no surprise that the studios nooks & crannies are filled with unusual & unique miscellaneous items.

20471120 Brand Concept and origins

The studio of the brand concept. When I was a student, Masahiro Nakagawa, a graphic student, & LICA, a fashion major, met. After graduating, Nakagawa continued to paint, LICA became a designer for an apparel maker, & at the same time started an INDIE brand. The two who joined the work when the Indies from Osaka gathered to make a visual magazine decided to jointly design fashion and established BELLISSIMA in 1992. Continuing active activities such as participating in the Osaka collection and opening a directly managed store in Abeno, the company name & brand name were changed to the current company name & brand name in August 1994, as well as In January, the Tokyo collection debuted at Lady's. "I was asked to participate in the show in Osaka, and my school teacher told me that,” I can do it, I can do it, get out" “(LICA).”Then I opened a shop in a building with a spiral staircase, made clothes in the studio above, & when it was done, I immediately took it down." (Nakagawa). I moved my studio to Tokyo last year to improve my work efficiency. I moved again in September of this year to the current spacious. The studio where you can really feel the brand concept of "Art, Character and Mode" is also a treasure trove of wonderful goods.

Masahiro Nakagawa 20471120 walking down stairs

1. Masahiro Nakagawa walking down the stairs in studio, with a visible monster head prop seen visible in background hand made 1 of 1 for masahiro by his dear friends.

20471120 store interior

2. An abstract work drawn by Masahiro Nakagawa with a ballpoint pen, which will be the first image cut of the collection start. He has been highly acclaimed in the exhibition for his clear & concrete paintings, which are a mixture of reality & fantasy. "Painting is a fundamental theme that I have by nature, so it's embarrassing to show it to others, he says. It's like a diary. ” 3. LICA is my favorite card behind my desk.

Neon Genesis Evangelion 20471120 in studio figures

 4.  Advertisements on the front and back covers of the magazine "FRUIT" 5. A figure of "Neon Genesis Evangelion" displayed on the desk by two people. It is said that the influence given by this animation that became a social phenomenon is great. (Fun fact the following year a collection was dedicated & inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion!)

Lica Azechi from 20471120 Co Founder

7. Lica Hard at work

20471120 studio dog

7. There are as many as four dogs in the 7 studios. This puppy is a Boston Terrier Kerokko (right) and Choro 8. In the studio a few days after moving. A space where their favourite pop & classical music live together.

20471120 Poster in store

9. A large poster framed. The two people on the left are models Arata and Mayumi Kai. The scene of giving a business card to Ultraman is humorous, but Nakagawa Masahiro finds a well-dressed businessman in a tailored suit attractive.

 20471120 1997

10. Masahiro Nakagawa's CD collection that this is still only a part.


Written by: Samir Farah

Translation: Mirana Shinnuyu


Full Scans Below!

20471120 hyoma

 Lica and Masahiro Nakagawa

20471120 store hanging racks with clothes & interview

20471120 Abeno store with hanging rack and ferris wheel

20471120 Studio objects

20471120 store interior evangelion

20471120 dog and studio office, interview with masahiro nakagawa and lica founders of the company

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