Cyberpunk 2077 Special Shoot Report ② -
Photo Shoot Styling Concept for Tyger Claws and The Mox

Cyberpunk 2077 Special Shoot Report ② Photo Shoot Styling Concept for Tyger Claws and The Mox
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To commemorate our collaboration collection with Cyberpunk 2077—undoubtedly the hottest game of 2020—SuperGroupies is excited to bring you this special behind-the-scenes look at our Cyberpunk 2077 photo shoot!

In this second half of our report, we’ll take a closer look at the styling for the Tyger Claws and The Mox.

INDEX

Behind-the-Scenes Video Interview

Don’t miss our special video interview with Tsuyoshi Takahashi (in charge of styling and creative direction) and KAIHO (in charge of special effects makeup and prosthetics)!
The video captures the vibe of the shoot, the weight of the props, and other details that photos can’t do justice.

How the Featured Gangs were Selected

In Night City, the megalopolis serving as the stage for Cyberpunk 2077, the gangs are the ultimate rulers of the city's night. Starting with original character designs, creative director and stylist Tsuyoshi Takahashi shares with us his creative processes behind designing for the Tyger Claws and The Mox.

── With so many different gangs available, how did you come to the decision to go with the Tyger Claws and The Mox?

Tsuyoshi: As Tyger Claws are predominantly Asian with heavy Japanese influences, I wanted to showcase them in particular as we are in Japan and can therefore bring forth the most elemental aspects of a Japanese style.
As for The Mox, I chose them because I felt they’re a gang worth designing for. With V, there isn’t much skin showing and the overall vibe is quite conventional. The Tyger Claws and Moxes are on the other side of that spectrum stylistically so I wanted to highlight that contrast with these two gangs.

How the Featured Gangs were Selected

The Tyger Claws rule Japantown and you can get a sense of their presence from the area itself, with its many neon signs in kanji and the gang’s use of katanas as weapons.

The Mox got started as a team standing in defiance of ganger lawlessness and they stand out amongst Night City’s numerous gangs. When we first saw Tsuyoshi’s hand-drawn concept designs, we were very curious about how he would bring such designs to life.

Let’s take a closer look at the creative processes between the Tyger Claws and Mox designs!

“Exquisitely Bad Taste”—Tyger Claws Styling

A design easily understood in art

── Please tell us about the inspirations and concepts behind your designs.

Tsuyoshi: Because I needed to make an original character for the Tyger Claws, I went into it with the idea of an outlaw group with a specific Japanese flair.
I looked through a lot of different sources, such as bōsōzoku (motorcycle gangs in Japanese youth subculture), anime movies like AKIRA and Shonan Bakusozoku, Be-Bop High School, and so on. The titles are a bit on the older side and the design concept can easily be understood in the art itself.

A design easily understood in art

A persuasive work of fiction

──  Please tell us what things in particular to look out for in the Tyger Claws costumes and props.

Tsuyoshi: Definitely the bōsōzoku boilersuit that they traditionally wear as uniforms. You can still find some bōsōzoku wearing these to this day, as well as at coming-of-age ceremonies in Kyushu. We contacted a specialty manufacturer in Okayama Prefecture to get this boilersuit order-made. The materials are also what would traditionally be used, we just slightly altered the sizing for this project. We had them do all the text and logos in embroidery as well.

A persuasive work of fiction

A white boilersuit with considerable weight to it. The Tyger Claws gang logo sits imposingly on the back and large swaths of beautiful embroidery run over the legs. The back collar states “日本男児,” nippon danji, a term that represents Japanese masculine values. Even the buttons on the cuffs exude the bōsōzoku vibe─this is as authentically real as something fictional gets.

As well, with the shoulder pads and distinctive mask:

Tsuyoshi: With the prop pieces, I wanted to mix the ideas of something that seems like it’s not too far off in our future with something that represents Japan very traditionally. The traditional Japanese mask has new additions made near the fangs, for example, and I wanted the rising sun as a central motif.

KAIHO: I wanted the upper part of the Tyger Claws mask to light up because just a single light can add a lot of cyberesque energy to an item. I found a tiny light with a tiny surface area...I had to fix it so many times to make it all work.

A persuasive work of fiction

The final look was completed with bold white face paint, a look taken from traditional Japanese theater. With bright green as a base color, the golden fangs jutting out from the mask really give a monster-like impression. The light and acrylic and synthetic materials combined to bring the Tyger Claws look to life. Cyberpunk 2077 is a future that doesn’t seem so far away, and Tsuyoshi told us he wanted to use a mixture of materials to give off that perception.

Tsuyoshi: For the shoes, I wanted to make them with a rough martial arts vibe, like those that would be used in judo or kendo uniforms. Non-Japanese people may feel confused by them at first and I hope to convey to them that these come from Japan’s most traditional roots.

A persuasive work of fiction

To pair with the Tyger Claws shoes, we have toe-split socks. Multiple materials and clasps have gone into these socks. This is a costume with deep Japanese influence from head to the literal toes.

一The hardest part was finding the right model

── There must’ve been many difficult parts in the creation process. Can you tell us what the most challenging things were?

Tsuyoshi: Challenging...challenging...maybe there wasn’t anything too challenging! We had a great team of professionals to rely on in each part of the process, which really made creative directing easy for me.
But, well...if there was one thing that was hard, it was finding the right model for this Tyger Claws look. The model is the absolute most critical part of the look.

Tsuyoshi couldn’t be happier with the fantastic model he found. The full-body tattoos you see are all the model’s real tattoos! The Japanese aesthetic in every aspect is incredible.

A golden sword

A golden sword
── Was this sword also made from scratch?

Tsuyoshi: We actually got a replica silver sword and asked professionals who work with sheet metal to help us gild it. After, KAIHO made the hilt and put it together.

KAIHO: The hilt design was actually CG, along with the patterns and lettering. The final product after cutting was exactly as designed.

A golden sword

Tsuyoshi seemed extremely pleased as he showed us the sword during our interview. Of course the gold blade makes a strong impression, but as an overall sword with the hamon pattern and slip-resistant hilt for a true grip, we could really imagine this as a functional sword!

Not Your Average Clothes—The Mox Styling

Compared to the intentionally conventional design of V’s jackets and the realistic portrayal of the boilersuit and gang accessories for the Tyger Claws costume, styling for The Mox is intentionally ostentatious, almost as if boasting about its fictional roots. Endless rows of cone spike embellishments on the arm covers, poofy fur, flashy strips of cloth woven together into a neon vest—this isn’t an outfit you’ll soon forget.

Not Your Average Clothes—The Mox Styling

Striking a visual balance

──  Please tell us what things in particular to look out for in The Mox costumes and props.

Tsuyoshi: In my mind, I wanted to show how The Mox have an essence of almost unreality, that it would be the most reasonable to encounter their existence in a video game.
The panties are made of rubber, or take a look at the chest pieces. The Mox items were intentionally made with a costumey look in mind. When you put all 4 models together, each has their own unique flair and style of expression.

Striking a visual balance

During this interview, the rubber panties really did make an impression on us. It’s probably hard to imagine how a piece of clothing can be made of rubber, but once we saw the actual panties that looked almost like they were made of some sort of plastic, we totally got it. They paired unbelievably well with the body makeup and prosthetics to give the model a true cyberpunk vibe.

The most challenging part of this shoot:
The Mox special effects makeup

── Please tell us about the special effects makeup for The Mox.

KAIHO: It was so difficult because there are cyberware lines running over the whole body, plus the additional presence of tattoos. The designs on each leg are a bit different so we had to find a balance, as well as pay attention to the finer balance of all the tattoos gathered together on the right leg.
With the boots and panties, we couldn’t assess the whole aesthetic until everything was actually on the model, so we did a lot of redesigning and last-minute touch-ups once on set.

The most challenging part of this shoot: The Mox special effects makeup

You can see from Tsuyoshi’s hand-drawn concept designs (included at the beginning of this report) that the cyberware lines and multiple tattoos truly extend all over the body. While we initially wondered how this vision would become a reality, we watched in fascination as it all slowly came to life in KAIHO’s careful and capable hands. Special effects makeup took up the bulk of the styling time for the shoot, but it’s understandable once you see the patient and precise measures taken to ensure perfection.

The most challenging part of this shoot: The Mox special effects makeup

A striking purple bat studded with bolts

──  Please tell us about The Mox model’s weapon.

KAIHO: We attached a lot of bolts to the bat but each bolt had its own individual characteristics. We carefully selected every part to have the same collective look as the concept art.

Tsuyoshi: We were working with a real metal bat so we paid particular attention to giving it realism while we worked, such as the overall texturing and weight.

A striking purple bat studded with bolts

We had fun looking at the bat with its popping purple color, but it still truly is a metal bat, studded with bolts. While it may be something originated from fiction, it has true weight in our reality.

Tyger Claws and The Mox, in the Studio

Standing in front of the cameras, you can really tell that this is the combined work of talented professionals.
Can you feel the powerful presence of the gangers who rule the Night City streets?

Tyger Claws and The Mox, in the Studio

Tsuyoshi: I hope they can both be used in the actual game! (laughs)
Steeped in Cyberpunk 2077’s aura, our creative director’s vision has been realized.

Almost a full year after this project first began, the shoot comes to a close

── Please tell us your thoughts and feelings now.

Tsuyoshi: Extremely fulfilled. It was a long preparation process up until this point and we really took our time as a team. You can see that in the final product and I’m very pleased with it.

── Were you able to make everything the way you had imagined them?

Tsuyoshi: When we enhanced each item in tandem with the model wearing or using them, it added even more realism to each look. With the finished makeup and hair styling, I think everything turned out even more real than I had imagined! I’m the creative director and even I’m excited just looking at them (laughs). We did excellent work as a team and in that sense, I couldn’t be happier.

Cyberpunk 2077
Collaboration Collection

Check out our expansive 20-item lineup inspired by the game’s elaborate world, the protagonist V, and the numerous gangs that rule the city nights!

Cyberpunk 2077 Collaboration Collection

Profiles

Creative Director and Stylist, Tsuyoshi Takahashi

Graduate of Musashino Art University.
The stylist for countless musicians and actors with experience in a wide array of advertising, Tsuyoshi has in recent years expanded his skills repertoire into CD album jackets and apparel advertising as a creative director.

Some of his more notable work includes: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure x Shiseido collaboration, musician Miura Daichi’s tour costumes, styling for Japanese artist the dresscodes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show stageplay image visual designs, etc.

Special Effects Artist KAIHO

Graduate of Nagoya City Industrial Arts High School’s Design Department.
With special effects makeup and prosthetics as a skill base, KAIHO also works as an art and graphics director for popular music videos. Whether for movies, commercials, TV dramas, stageplays, advertising, live events, or any other modes of media, KAIHO has experience working in all of them.