Graniph: Wrap Battle
Japanese and German design sensibilities are generally thought to be some of the most refined in the world, so it should come as no surprise that one of the hottest graphically focused clothing lines on earth comes from a creative combination of the two. Started in 2000 by German expats living in Tokyo, Graniph has been consistently knocking out some of the most exquisitely produced gear in a city where progressive fashion is nothing short of ubiquitous. Most of the company's t-shirts sell for around $25 USD (dirt cheap by Japanese standards) and they're constantly updating their collections, which can be perused at the tiny, cramped storefronts they've hidden throughout Tokyo. For the non-Shibuya-bound, Graniph also takes orders through their website–which will begin shipping internationally starting next month–and there is talk of a store opening in NYC sometime this year.
Having worked with a legion of graphic design's leading lights–among them Build, Vault 49, Deanne Cheuk, and Craig Metzger–Graniph is now opening up their line to the pixel-pushing superstars of tomorrow. Through March 31, 2007 the company is accepting entries for an international design award; winners will receive cold, hard U.S. currency and the opportunity to have their t-shirt design mass-produced. Jump on this shit before Lupe Fiasco raps about it.