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No Rules: Anonymous Ism

No Rules: Anonymous Ism

No Rules: Anonymous Ism

When asked how he would describe Tokyo fashion, Akihiro Joseph Ono replies: “No rules.”

And it seems the same applies to his mysterious sock and accessories company, Anonymous Ism.

Akihiro has been designing socks, bags, hats and gloves for Japanese brands for more than 20 years, and started his own sock company in 1993.  His point of difference? His company is invisible. And Ebisu-based Akihiro would like to keep it that way. 

Born in Nara, the sock factory capital of Japan, Akihiro started making socks because he couldn’t find any that he liked.

Using the perfect mixture of wool, cotton and acrylic, Anonymous Ism socks achieve that rare feat of being perfectly sized for both a winter boot and a skater shoe – which is why it works so well in the Tokyo market.

But it’s Akihiro’s 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. 

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,” Akihiro explains.

Akihiro 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."

Anonymous Ism releases new collections seasonally – not that you’d know.

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

Anonymous Ism doesn’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.

Your best bet? Stop looking so hard.


A limited range of Anonymous Ism socks is available now.