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Cyberpunk Fashion

Cyberpunk 2077 sci fi fashion

Cyberpunk Fashion

What does cyberpunk fashion look like? Cyberpunk, to put it simply, is science fiction that emphasizes topics like technology and its effects on society. It has been called a civilization of “high tech low life” because it combines cutting-edge technological and scientific advancements like cybernetics and information technology with some degree of social order breakdown or radical transformation.


The term “cyberpunk” was coined in 1983 by author Bruce Bethke in his short story “Cyberpunk,” which was later published in the anthology Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology. Li’s Sprawl trilogy novels (Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1986), and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988)) are probably the most famous early example of the cyberpunk genre. The Ghost in the Shell anime film adaptation and its sequels are probably the best-known Japanese cyberpunk works.

In addition to this list, there are several notable video game series set in a cyberpunk universe, including Deus Ex, Syndicate, System Shock, Shadowrun, Transistor, SNATCHER, Chulip and The Matrix Online

Cyberpunk is also featured prominently in anime and manga: Akira, Bubblegum Crisis and its remake Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (which can both be considered a cyberpunk take on the Magical Girl genre), Appleseed, Serial Experiments Lain, Ergo Proxy and Ghost in the Shell all have certain elements that make them recognizably cyberpunk.


Game character from Syndicate



cyberpunk 2077 fashion character

Game character from Cyberpunk 2077


What does cyberpunk fashion look like?

Cyberpunk fashion is inspired by the aesthetics of cyberpunk characters in works of fiction such as Blade Runner and Akira, characterized by asymmetrical cuts, neon colors, and leather jackets and low-cut trousers. Imagine punk rockers living in a magical sci-fi dystopia.

Many people might be familiar with the well-known cyberpunk outfit worn by the Manga character Kei in the film Akira, which consists of a motorcycle jacket, black leather leggings over combat boots, and a white turtleneck sweater.  been ridiculed countless times but this outfit is still one of the most recognizable examples of cyberpunk in fashion.

Cyberpunk fashion often includes vibrant colors and oversized shapes. In outerwear, leather and other synthetic fabrics, often with asymmetrical cuts are prominent.  Boots or high heels with the aforementioned boots or heels being made from synthetic materials such as plastic or vinyl are also common.


Deus Ex Cyberpunk fashion

Character from Deus Ex


Thierry Mugler cyberpunk fashion

Thierry Mugler A:W 1990 and S:S 1991


Some of the fashion brands taking inspiration from cyberpunk.

Many brands reference direct cyberpunk influences in their product designs or branding. Some intersect cyberpunk fashion and so-called “tech wear” aesthetics. Raf Simons’ Spring/Summer 2018 menswear collection, for example, refers directly to the aesthetics of Blade Runner. Rick Owens debuted a cyberpunk collection for his spring/summer 2014 Paris Fashion Week show – a designer that’s constantly playing with the relationship between humans and technology.

Off-the-shelf cyberpunk clothing is trickier to locate but there are niche e-commerce players with clear cyberpunk influence such as Psylo, Cryoflesh, and Cyberdog.


Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas collaborated on the Y-3 brand, which is clearly inspired by cyberpunk and tech wear styles as well as Acronym, a German fashion company.  Japanese streetwear company A Bathing Ape is another company that has adopted the cyberpunk look (BAPE). A line of apparel and accessories that references to cyberpunk concepts has been produced by BAPE in association with several cyberpunk franchises, including Ghost in the Shell and Akira. In the streetwear community, BAPE has built up a significant following.