Thinking of Kamen Rider clothing might at first bring to mind things like cosplay or sweet plastic armor getups. But if the Bandai Apparel Division has its way, it could soon be synonymous with stylish streetwear. That’s happening thanks to “Henshin by Kamen Rider,” a new themed clothing line based on the legendary tokusatsu franchise. The brand launched on February 4, 2021 and will go on sale via online stores and a pop-up location in Japan on February 10, 2021 [Thanks, Famitsu.]
The “Henshin” in Henshin by Kamen Rider is based on the iconic catchphrase used by every Kamen Rider to transform from a human into a hero. The line itself will also involve collaborations with various designers to bring fresh looks on the regular. The first batch of items comes courtesy of a double partnership. The first is with menswear designer Fumito Ganryu and fashion house Anrealage. Each label will contribute a handful of designer tops to supplement the core offering. The first collection focuses on three Heisei-era series: 2000’s Kamen Rider Kuuga, 2003’s Kamen Rider 555 (a.k.a. Faiz), and 2010’s Kamen Rider W.
The Fumito Ganryu designs use knit, pixel-art-like graphics to evoke the characters and the Henshin by Kamen Rider brand.
Meanwhile, the Anrealage designs are all based on Kamen Rider W and its “Gaia Memory” concept and are more abstract. They don’t invoke Kamen Rider much at all, until you turn the Instagram app’s AR filter on them. That causes them to manifest show-appropriate effects on the clothing and its wearer.
The most eye-catching items in Henshin by Kamen Rider‘s offering, though, are a bespoke line of sneakers. These are also themed after the iconic Riders.
From left to right, the designs are based on 555, W, and Kuuga. The Faiz-themed sneakers are in black with the Rider’s distinctive red lining, along with the silver armor and electronics patterns on the soles. The W-themed sneakers come in black and bright green, reflecting the two-toned default “CycloneJoker” costume. Finally, the red-and-gold Kuuga sneakers feature rounded leather panels polished to a reflective sheen, just like Kamen Rider Kuuga’s armor.
The Henshin by Kamen Rider clothing line will go on sale via a pop-up store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan on February 10th, 2021. Online pre-orders are being taken in the Hong Kong and Japan branches of the Premium Bandai online store. The prices aren’t going to be low, though. The cheapest item in the line is a pair of socks that have “Do You Wanna Henshin?” stitched on the bottom for JPY 2,200 (about $20 USD). The shoes range from JPY 22,000 to JPY 27,000 (about $208 to $255 USD) before shipping.