Shot in Kami-Kitazawa, Tokyo, Japan

Blackmeans is an English transliteration of the Japanese word burakumin, meaning “village people”. Yep, that’s right: a brand called “village people” selling leather jackets. You couldn’t make it up. Any term translated from one language to another risks losing something of its meaning in the process, and as you might have guessed, there’s a little bit more to the Blackmeans backstory than a few ropey Village People gags.

It’s this outsider status that 
Yujiro Komatsu, Masatomo Ariga and Takatomo Ariga were hoping to tap into when they founded Blackmeans. Brought together by a shared passion for punk music and motorcycle culture, this underground design collective has since evolved into an international brand with a global cult following. I travelled to the brand’s off-the-beaten-track atelier in Tokyo to tell their story.

Music - Oneohtrix - Point Never
Director - Jacopo Maria Cinti
DP - Erik Norlund

© 2021 Jacopo Maria Cinti