Japan | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

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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Blue Blue Japan | The Indigo Obsessives

Jul 21st, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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A good friend of mine, upon being questioned about the lack of color within his wardrobe, replied that he “wears lots of colors, they just all happen to be blue.” His answer, aside from being a prime example of a good ol’ dad joke, could also be an unofficial mantra for men’s style in 2014.

From Carolina to cobalt to cerulean and every shade in between the men’s clothing spectrum has officially been (dip) dyed blue, and no brand is relishing in this indigo obsession quite like the aptly named Blue Blue Japan. Not all of BBJ’s broad collection is blue, but their most intriguing pieces feature at least one, if not many shades of the color.





Nice and Simple | Bags in Progress.

Jul 11th, 2014 | Categories: Bags, Jake Gallagher, Japan, Made in the USA | by Jake Gallagher

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At one point during my visit to her Garment District showroom, Chiharu Hayashi, the designer behind Bags in Progress, describes her bags as tool totes for everyday life. As she says this, Chiharu gleefully picks up one of her bags to show me how each interior has a specific purpose. One pocket is for an iPad, another is cut specifically fit a Moleskin, and one of the side slots is perfectly proportioned for a pair of sunglasses. A place for everything, and for everything a place.

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Muji | The Modern General Store

May 27th, 2014 | Categories: Design, Jake Gallagher, Japan | by Jake Gallagher

The Muji House in Tokyo

The modern general store can’t be found in Brooklyn, or Portland, or any other quirked-out city where the general store label is now affixed to at least a quarter of all vintage stores. No, the true contemporary general store is actually located in Tokyo, or to be more specific right online at Muji.us. Few, if any, current stores are guided by the same catchall attitude of the classic general store, but Muji is a true one stop shop, peddling affordable housewares, kitchen tools, office supplies, furniture, travel gear, healthcare products, various nicknacks, and even a complete clothing collection.

The Muji House

The Muji House





Two Step | Nike x Undercover Gyakusou

May 21st, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Shoes, Sports | by Jake Gallagher

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For many designers, somewhere along the way between concept and execution their vision gets lost in the shuffle, but not so for Jun Takahashi of Japanese label, Undercover. Takahashi is now approaching the fourth year of his Gyakusou collection, a collaborative effort with Nike that exists at the intersection between high fashion and performance running gear.

As anyone that has ever laced up a pair of sneaker can attest, running is as much an emotional pursuit as it is an athletic one. Takahashi has never been one to shy away from emotion in his work. His Undercover collections are often rife with quotes from shoegaze songs, dark tones, and lush textures. As for Gyakusou, which roughly translates into “running in reverse,” as a reference to the fact that Takahashi and his friends run the “wrong way” through Tokyo, the collection has always been a meditation on how runners interact with their environment.





Tokyo Meets New England | Mighty Mac of Gloucester

May 20th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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In 1909, Mighty Mac was founded in “America’s Oldest Seaport,” Gloucester, Massachusetts. Exactly one century later, the classic sea-ready sportswear brand was revived by 35Summers, an umbrella company based out of Tokyo. During that hundred year span, Mighty Mac followed what has now become a familiar trajectory for many American “heritage” brands – a steady rise throughout the mid-century, a sharp decline in the waning decades of twentieth century, and a resurrection led by a reverent Japanese audience. Even after the brand shuttered around 1990, the Japanese had come to idolize Mighty Mac of Gloucester for the same reasons that New Englanders were drawn to the brand during the early 1900’s.

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