Fashion and music have always worked well together, and there are a number of pop singers who have their own style and beauty brands. So it’s only natural that one of the most stylish musicians in Japan would have his own fashion label.

Rock star Hyde, lead vocalist of legendary rock group L’Arc-en-Ciel and also Vamps, is known for his theatrical costumes on stage and his eclectic style offstage. He’s described as having a personal style with “an air of otherworldly mystery that also conveys a strong iconic transgressive rock atmosphere”, and he’s been featured in many magazines and commercials.

His fashion label is called Switchblade, done with Hiromu Takahara, a Japanese designer who founded the luxury brand Roen and a namesake footwear brand.

Switchblade is a streetwear brand that has an urban feel with an edge. Photos: Switchblade Instagram.

Launched in December 2017, it’s a street-wear brand with designs for men and women. The look is that of casual separates that can be mixed and matched with edgy pieces. Things that can be thrown together without a thought but still has that cool rock star vibe which Hyde is known for.

There’s also a kind of vintage feel, akin to that of favourite pieces from your wardrobe that’s been well-worn over time.

During the brand’s launch in Tokyo last year, models with different body types walked the runway. The idea was to show that anyone can wear the clothes and it’s more on how you adapt the clothes to your personal look.

A checked jacket and pants is paired with a T-shirt for a relaxed look.

Takahara had previously collaborated with Hyde on special items like T-shirts. He’s also worked with Yohji Yamamoto and Gackt, another J-rock singer. Pieces from the collection include leopard prints, python and plenty of shine, as you can’t have a rock star’s brand without some shimmer!

Hyde is in Kuala Lumpur for his Hyde Acoustic Concert Tour 2018 Kuro Misa Asia show tonight (May 12, Saturday). Malaysia is the only stop in Southeast Asia.

This is actually the first time in 10 years that he’s starting back his solo activities. Backed by an ensemble of strings and piano, he’ll be singing his solo numbers and songs from L’Arc-en-Ciel and Vamps, which have been rearranged for the acoustic concert.

Hyde in an example of what he would normally wear. Photo: The Star/Yap Chee Hong

Star2.com caught up with Hyde to talk music, fashion and personal style. The blonde-haired singer was in full rock star mode, sporting a brimmed hat and round frame sunglasses – all in black, of course.

He had on a long T-shirt, black jeans with frayed edges, and a leather jacket. A selection of rings completed his look. “My style is rock but not really rock. In-between,” he says. He can’t explain what it really is, but it’s a more of an instinctive kind of feel when it comes to fashion.

On Switchblade, Hyde says it came about after Takahara left Roen. They started talking then thought why not start a fashion brand? “The clothes are similar to what I wear,” he says. He’s very much involved in the creative process, with discussions and ideas on the look and feel of the brand.

You can dress up or dress down the pieces to suit your mood.

Regarding his concert, he says it’s going to be something different: “Because it’s an acoustic performance, you will experience the music in a different way. For example, you’ll be able to hear subtle nuances in the voice and the different dynamics of the instruments.

“I’ve been singing a long time, the concert will be a combination of all that because I’ll be going through the whole history of my music. So I hope fans will enjoy the performance.”

On his upcoming album he says, “My previous (solo) albums were a softer sound, so I want to do more of a hard rock kind of music.”

To his Malaysian fans, he says he’s really thankful and grateful that there are people who like him here and tomorrow, he will try to repay that kindness with his performance.


Switchblade is available exclusively online at switchblade.jp.