Anonymous Ism

To say it was difficult to track down Anonymous Ism is putting it very mildly.  The makers of these bespoke Japanese socks don’t have a website, a Facebook page or an Instagram account.  Their twitter account consists of one lonely tweet and links to a parent company with a corporate philosophy outlined in mysterious Jenglish and a non-translatable contact page.

And Ebisu-based, gyoza-loving designer Hirotsugu Yoshimura would like to keep it that way.  

“We try not to make images for advertisements because we are Anonymous Ism,” he explains.

There is obviously something quite intriguing about a man who purposely makes his business almost impossible to find.  But the man becomes more intriguing still when one discovers the quality of his output and realises he could easily be taking over the world, sock by sock, if he wanted to.

Hirotsugu has been designing socks, bags, hats and gloves for Japanese brands for more than 20 years, and started his own sock company in 1993. 

"I was born in Nara where many socks factories based and I was proud of it,” says Hirotsugu. 

When he realized that there weren’t any of the kinds of socks he’d like to wear at any of the stores where he shopped, he decided to make them himself. 

Using the perfect mixture of wool for warmth and acrylic for size, Anonymous Ism socks achieve that rare feat of being perfectly sized for both a winter boot and a skater shoe.  Despite a decidedly après-ski punk personality, we’ve even seen them worn with Swedish clogs.  And, unsurprisingly, they look good.

"I like vintage clothing, native patterns, military wear and work wear, so I get inspired by them,” Hirotsugu explains.

He visits the US and Europe a couple of times a year to keep his designs current and relevant.

“When I am in other countries I see that everything is different from a Japanese point of view, like smells, sounds and people. All those difference inspire new ideas. 

It’s this eye for motifs, like birdseye, duck camo, and wigwam patterns, paired with an obsessive attention to construction, fit and quality that makes Anonymous Ism socks some of the best in the world. 

All you have to do is find them. 

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Anonymous Ism's Alaska Socks are now online.