Issey Miyake, random Japanese manufacturer, 90s goals

Words by Joel Footring

HAI Sporting Gear was established in 1977 as part of Issey Miyake’s Miyake Design Studio. From the name alone you’d thing all HAI put out was sportswear, but that’s far from the truth. The outdoor, workwear, military influences we love to see are all there, and there are even hints toward the avant-garde work Miyake would later gain notoriety for. As a brand they released clothes into the 90s and… And that’s about it. There’s very little information available online about the brand. A deep dive into google is almost fruitless.

Other than listings for HAI pieces, a single article provides some insight but even that recognises that the brand was lost in time. A few other links seem promising; someone asking about the brand on reddit’s r/mfa, a similar post on StyleZeitgeist and an are.na board titled ‘mysterious hai sporting gear’ (which has now been ominously removed, and even questions Miyake’s involvement with the brand at all). YouTube has some results that are more promising; the entire 1996 spring summer show has been uploaded in two parts. The first featuring wide-cut colourful plaid layered upon more wide-cut colourful plaid while the second features next to no colour; instead the baggy cuts are in muted greys and whites.

There’s not much else online surrounding the brand. It remains something that was born and died in a pre-internet age. However, while there may not be a lot of information about the brand itself, there are a lot of pieces floating around the usual spots. Grailed, Ebay, Depop etc have the HAI hook-up, and thank god they do cause it’s all sick.