This past Saturday I had the pleasure of celebrating Ronin Division’s 10th anniversary at Alumni of NY with fellow fans and supporters of the brand, as well as some personal homies of mine. If you’re from NYC and haven’t heard of Ronin Division, not even once, you might’ve been living under some sort of culturally deprived rock.
Ok, enough with the teasing, but to tell you a bit about Ronin Division, it’s an NYC based menswear label with a keen eye for Japanese-Americana style motifs and philosophy. Run by @yoonronin, who I had the opportunity to meet for the first time last year, Ronin Division has constantly delivered amazing and creative pieces like Noragi jackets, fishing vests, karabiner grips and more. Yoon’s stalwart effort to bring great pieces is the crown jewel of Ronin Division.
The pop up had a host of special exclusive collaborations with friends of Ronin Division. There was a special pop up tee with Myth NYC (@mythnyc), Ronin and STEADY (@steadynewyork) came together for a set of 5, 1 of 1 Zabuton cushions made from flannel fabrics, and a 1 of 1 pair of Ronin Division Air Jordan 1s, hand crafted by Paolo del Castillo (@patchworkpaolo).
Each collab brought together the essences of the brands and creators behind them, bringing forth something really unique and awesome. I really appreciated how different the collaborations were from each other too, creating something of a Ronin universe that expanded the brand to multiple different realms, even outside of fashion. The entire event had a really homey feel to it as well, everyone there had a shared appreciation for the Ronin brand, whether they were friends that knew Yoon personally, previous collaborators, or just fans in general that were happy to be there and share in that 10th anniversary moment. There were drinks provided at the open bar, eats presented by My Sweet Grandma (not my actual grandma, @msg.kitchen), and I unfortunately missed the performances, but got to vibe with Gabe Etrata (@gabrieletrata) who was cuttin’ up on the turntables.
The whole vibe was lit and Alumni of NY in Flushing was really a great space for the event (and no I’m not only saying this cuz I’m a Queens Representative). The space was the perfect size for putting the brand on display, mingling, or hanging back fly on the wall style. There was also this really awesome installation made by musician and frequent Ronin model Arael (@arealsun) that featured the promo for the event made by killer 3D artist @lordstingray.
I got a chance to speak with Yoon during the pop up and pick his brain about this very big moment for him and his brand. Check out what he had to say:
20XX: I wanted to ask, what’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned throughout these past 10 years with Ronin?
Yoon: I guess it’s really believing in yourself. Like I know it’s a little cliche to say, but I’ve always challenged myself and always had self doubt. But once you push through that and believe in your vision and what you are creating is right for you and feel it in your gut, it all falls into place you know? Like it lines up.
What do you think is your favorite piece that you’ve dropped in these past 10 years? If you have one.
That’s a hard question… I don’t really have a favorite collection or piece because everything I wear is done for a purpose. I’m not making shit for money or anything like that, I’m making it because I like to wear it. To have that question, it’s just like man, I don’t know. It’s like what’s your favorite jacket? It changes every year, you know what I mean?
Are there any other avenues that you haven’t tapped into yet that you’d like to take Ronin to in the future?
I collaborated with Cal, my homie from STEADY, and we made these homemade, handmade repurposed flannel cushions. I really like home decor, so that is something along the lines of where I would like to explore a little bit more.
The interior design side of things, that’s fire.
Yeah man hell yeah.
And my last question for you is if you could say one thing to all of NYC right now, what would it be?