As a result of extended time spent in Tokyo over the last year, in combination with a thorough spring closet cleanout, Adeam designer Hanako Maeda was inspired by looking back at her own early 2000s wardrobe.

At first glance, the collection simply looks like a versatile assortment of slightly preppy, unfussy daywear. However, ideas of Maeda’s schoolgirl uniform mixed with her love of rock ‘n’ roll, punk and alternative music (citing Nirvana, Oasis, Green Day and Blink 182), as well as popular fashions of skate and rock culture of the era were rendered lightly (almost to a point beyond recognition) on purpose.

The look: Maeda lightly transformed influences from her early 2000s wardrobe into a more modern collection of versatile and commercially friendly looks.

Quote of note: “I was imagining my wardrobe as I was cleaning out and thinking about the interesting mix of the preppy aesthetic with the skater/streetwear clothing, which became the starting point of the collection. Even though that was my inspiration, I wanted to make it more modern and wearable, because as someone who lived through the era, I see the literal translation on TikTok and it’s a little too much. You actually lived through it, so you don’t want to wear the same exact thing… you want it to be more modern and updated.”

Key pieces: A dark indigo denim on denim boxy jacket and mini skirt; an aqua cardigan and tank set (a nod to both the early Aughts pop princess style and Japanese Kawaii “cuteness”). Also, new versions of her signature convertible silhouettes: a brushed cotton cardigan with removable collar, a frock composed of a knit top (with style-able sleeves) and plissé “gingham” chiffon skirt (said stripes were pulled from skate culture’s signature check print), or mixed media knit and woven dresses and tops (like a T-shirt bodice with flannel-style sleeves and button-up hem). 

The takeaway: Maeda’s “back to school” take upholds brand codes and lightly touches on early Aughts nostalgia without diving deep into its reignited trends.