Japan | A Continuous Lean.

Ralph Lauren and The Boy Scouts of Nippon.

Oct 20th, 2014 | Categories: Camping, History, Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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There are vintage finds that make you cry tears of joy. There are vintage finds (mostly of the stained variety) that make you weep for what could have been. And then there are vintage finds that simply leave you scratching your head. A few weeks back, in a downtown consignment store I came upon a vintage find so confounding, so downright unexpected that it has sent me on a quest. The shirt itself was nothing out of the ordinary. Two front pockets, patches on each sleeve, epaulettes up top, really, it looked like any old scouting shirt. Which is why I was drawn to it. Why was this shirt here? Why would a store that sells everything Thom Browne, Rick Owens, and Junya Watanabe be selling a regular old Boy scout shirt? And then I saw the tag. “Boy Scouts of Nippon Designed By Ralph Lauren.”

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Brooklyn’s Japanese Textile Mecca.

Oct 9th, 2014 | Categories: Brooklyn, Jake Gallagher, Japan | by Jake Gallagher

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The first thing Stephen Szczepanek pointed out after I arrived at his 1,200 square foot at the tip of McCarren Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was that the various stacks of fabric thoughtfully laid out throughout his apartment were organized by type. As he explained that he’d just returned from Japan this past month, Stephen pointed at the neat piles, listing off names like Shibori, Sashiko, and Kasuri. In two minutes he had casually rambled off more information about antique textiles than most so-called clothing connoisseurs could amass in their entire lives, but as I discovered over the next hour, this was just a glimpse of Stephen’s nearly encyclopedic knowledge on ancient fabrics, which has manifest itself as Sri Threads.

Sri was born during the last gasp of the booming early aughts, after Stephen decided that it was time to turn his love for Japanese fabrics into something more than a passion project. Prior to Sri, Stephen had worked as an art curator, overseeing a private collection of, among other pieces, Asian art, which gave him a first hand introduction to the world of Far East fabrics. After growing weary of his curatorial position, Stephen started his own business in early 2001, opting for the optimistic name Sri, which is a title for the Hindu goddess of prosperity. Unfortunately, in the wake of 9/11 the U.S. economy plummeted, and Stephen struggled with levering the weak dollar against the yen, but he persevered, and over the next decade both his stock and client roster rose steadily.

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Frisco Ivy | Beams Plus A/W ’14

Sep 24th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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“Go west, young man.”

In 1851 John Babsone Lane Soule coined this phrase in reference to the “Manifest Destiny” seekers of the mid-nineteenth century, but his words were still ringing out over a century later as America’s hippified denizens made the pilgrimage to San Francisco. From the Gold Rush onward, San Francisco had been a proverbial land of opportunity for this country’s itinerant masses, a place for like-minded misfits to come together and find acceptance. While this atmosphere has now unfortunately spawned the monoculture of Silicon Valley, the vibrant and volatile spirit of the sixties still burns on.





On Stands Now | September’s Japanese Magazines

Sep 17th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Magazines, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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While the state of the American magazine seems to get murkier with each passing month, we can say with absolute certainty that the publishing world is alive and well in Japan. It was just a handful of month’s ago that we did our first dive into the world of Japanese menswear magazines and even in that short time several new titles have sprung up to join the stalwarts that made us turn towards Japan to begin with. Some of them teeter on the edge of ridiculousness (particularly “The Barber Book,” which is dedicated solely the style of barbers) but the majority of them are still worth perusing, even if you can’t read a lick of Japanese. Regardless of your respective style there’s undoubtedly a magazine tailored specifically for you, so here’s our round-up of ten Japanese menswear magazines on newsstands now, to help you select the right reading (or should we say, looking) material for this month.

Go Out
Theme: “2014 Autumn New Item Express”
Most interesting feature: A twelve page spread on Bozeman, Montana which boldly claims that it’s going to be the next big outdoor hotspot.
Strangest product placement: A custom camo sleeve for disposable coffee cups
Photo shoot aesthetic: Orderly lay downs of products from scores of outdoor brands that are virtually unknown here in America.
Key brands: KletterwerksMystery Ranch, and Goruck
Length: 170 pages





Chimala | Pre-Worn Workwear

Sep 10th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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The Chimala website contains just two pages – home and contact. In this era of over-cooked brand concepts, their stripped down site is both refreshing and incredibly frustrating. Collection images, stockists, even an about me page, all these things were apparently deemed too frivolous for Chimala. When we look at the site’s of certain Japanese brands like Chimala, we often think – simplicity does create a certain allure, but why must we go on an archaeological dig through the internet just to find a few photos? Fortunately, what Chimala has that many such brands do not is actual accounts, including heavy-hitters like J. Crew, Barneys, Unionmade, and Totokaelo. These stores might have very limited stock of Chimala’s pieces (probably due to sticker shock) but they were drawn, just as we were, to the care that the brand puts into each garment.

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The Real McCoys New NYC Americana Outpost.

Aug 28th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear, New York City, Shopping | by Jake Gallagher

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When Japanese designer Hitoshi Tsujimoto founded The Real McCoys back around the turn of the millennium, he did so with the clear intention of creating garments that were not merely vintage inspired, but were as close to authentic reproductions as the modern man would allow. By meticulously recreating garments from the forties and fifties to their exact specs, Tsujimoto appeals to those that share his proclivity for the past, which as it turns out is quite the considerable audience. Over the past decade or so, The Real McCoys has become the destination for men that like their jackets lined in deerskin, their tees loopwheeled, and their jeans cut like Brando’s, no matter the cost (which at The Real McCoys can be eye-poppingly steep.) This success has certainly led to an uptick in stockists for the Real McCoys here in America, which no doubt has influenced their decision to finally open a proper shop at 10 Greene Street in SoHo.

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Hender Scheme Pays Hommage.

Jul 25th, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher, Japan, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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Leather shoes are all about potential. The real appeal of a pair of leather soles lies not in how they look today, but how they’ll look tomorrow. “Character,” is that intangible factor that compels us to purchase a pair of shoes based at least partially on its ability to age along with us. Japanese footwear label Hender Scheme is driven by this notion, as their collection of raw leather shoes are distinguished by their promise of an incomparable patina. Unlike most leather sole labels though, Hender Scheme isn’t best known for dress shoes (although they have recently begun to enter into this market), instead they focus primarily on sneaker silhouettes. These shoes, much like paying a visit to your hometown as an adult, are at once both familiar and unknown.

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