Korrupt Label got its humble start when in classic punk rock tradition, designer Henry Miyoshi began creating patches and selling them on the street, out of a suitcase renegade-style.
And 13 years later, Miyoshi and Korrupt are both still going strong.
The core of Korrupt Label’s artistic identity echoes with inspiration from gritty, old school, punk rock anarchy, a diverse frame of reference that Miyoshi was first exposed to through street fashion and underground music as a teenager in Hawaii.
"Los Angeles’ eclectic, worldly, non-stop party scene broadened my creative point of view immensely. I immersed myself in the music pretty much every waking minute,” Henry continues, “and the music went hand-in-hand with fashion, so it was also during this time that I started taking cues from the lush variety of cultures and styles I saw represented all around me every day. Much like my favorite fashion icons, including Vivian Westwood and the late Alexander McQueen, I find it important to tell an array of stories in my designs, and strive for inclusion of new perspectives.”
But while Miyoshi's influences draw deeply on the west coast’s non-conventional music, art, fashion, and lifestyle scenes, the beginnings of his story lay a world away in Thailand.
Born and raised in Bangkok until he was seven years old, it’s no wonder that Henry’s designs also reflect exotic, curious and dark concepts. Steeped in centuries of dynastic Thai civilization, Miyoshi’s early childhood provided the rich underpinnings for his “outsider” point of view.
From these seeds would grow provocative metaphors, using atypical concepts of eccentricity, history, strife, dissent, and propaganda, often to provoke thought and reaction.
In fact, the mere mention of propaganda points our conversation in the direction of freedom of thought and expression, and its erosion by modern life.
“Individuality is constantly being watered down by ‘fast fashion’, disposable clothing made abroad, each garment an exact replica of the hundreds of thousands that came before it.” laments Miyoshi, "What people wear has become less about representation and making a personal statement, and more about perpetuating uniformity as a substitute for actual, true inclusivity."
Miyoshi has made it his mission to provide an alternative to that stale, soulless conformity. Since Korrupt’s aesthetic emanates from the broad, diverse drivers of counterculture, a similarly divergent audience is drawn to what the brand has to offer.
“My journey has been enriched by so many 'non-traditional' communities and concepts, and I’m all about celebrating them", Henry asserts proudly.
"I realize that Korrupt Label may never receive ‘broad acclaim’ (whatever that means), and I may never be handed a CFDA Award”, Henry chuckles, “and luckily that’s not my goal. I’m not interested in seeking the approval or endorsement of narrow-minded establishment…been there, done that."
"Through Korrupt Label, I advocate for and encourage others to pursue genuine self-expression”, he shares earnestly, “Hopefully, the brand communicates that value clearly, and inspires others to find and share their individuality, whether it is through their clothing, music, or other outlets.”
Henry’s intention seems to come across, as evidenced by the solid appeal of Korrupt Label’s vibe to a broader demographic: those who feel saturated by and wary of systemic bias, and cookie-cutter marginalization.
In fact, there seems to be a wider appreciation than ever for the insightful and unvarnished truths of artists, punks, rebels, revolutionaries, justice seekers, and other shitstarters -- the wellspring from which Korrupt’s scrappy fundamentals are derived.
Miyoshi further muses, “I believe my number one job as an artist and a maker is to foster a thoughtful exchange between peoples, especially because our freedom to do just that seems to be vanishing beneath division and hatred.”