All About the Details | TO KI TO SS11

As is the custom in Japan, my best friend Rob and I took our shoes off when we entered Tokihito Yoshida’s studio in the beautiful Daikanyama section of Tokyo. It was a little disarming for me to be meeting with someone in my socks, a feeling that certainly wasn’t the intention of Tokihito. He is soft spoken, courteous and welcoming. There was a language barrier at play as well. He doesn’t speak much English and I don’t speak much Japanese, luckily we had a translator. Oh, and we can talk through the clothing he designs.

Tokihito is probably best known (though I think he still flies largely under the radar) for his wildly successful (and completely badass) Barbour Beacon collection. Outside of that, Tokihito and his own line TO KI TO don’t have much of a presence outside of Japan, something that needs to change. Tokihito has some serious design skills and is deserving of all of the good words that can be sent his way. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t be afraid to say he is one of the best designers in the world. I’ve never seen a better straight-up outwear designer. Bold statements be damned, the man is good. The details and shapes are equal parts logical and totally unexpected.

The TO KI TO SS11 collection is small. A few jackets, button-down shirts and some pants. The pocket detailing on all of it is off the charts, which is what I think makes him such a good outerwear designer. Some of the pants and the shirts were really over the top, but I can see the genius is in there. It is all very Japanese, but I think when applied correctly (like in the case of Barbour) the results are pure gold. I’d kill to see an Arc’teryx TO KI TO collection or collaboration. I could probably come up with a hundred more. In Daikanyama the future is bright for Mr. Yoshida, I suggest you stay tuned.

Comments on “All About the Details | TO KI TO SS11

    Nicolas on January 7, 2011 1:20 AM:

    Makes me wish I was a cyclist just to justify the purchase.

    louise and nivaldo on January 7, 2011 5:38 AM:

    What great stuff!

    TO KI TO on January 7, 2011 7:54 AM:

    Wass Up!Michael.
    Thank U for your any comments and up some photos.
    I hope join you at NYC..with single malts!

    TMH on January 7, 2011 8:40 AM:

    I think it’s more shooting than cycling. I think. Yeah?
    Either way I like the stitching on the shirt.

    Robert@AmericanAntler on January 7, 2011 9:35 AM:

    Thanks for introducing this designer to your readers. I love the 1920’s feel of the line. Great stuff.

    Greg D. on January 7, 2011 10:26 AM:

    These garments pull nothing from cycling. The denim shirt confuses me – it has a double game bag in the back – one of which is normally on the inside of a coat and folds down for cleaning or to use as a seat when sitting in a wet blind. I’d remove both and keep the buttons and stitching on the front as is. The jacket on the right has some resemblance to an upland coat, but again with the double game bag in the back I’m not sure what purpose it serves or where you could where it without looking like another urban lumberjack (maybe Japan?). Remove the game bags and I like them. Less is more.

    Other than Williamsburg, not sure where you could get away wearing this stuff.

    Jonathan on January 7, 2011 10:47 AM:

    Love the look of the shirt – I have a Barbour TOKITO military jacket which I hav’nt had of this winter so would love to see his true range…

    Nicolas on January 7, 2011 11:22 AM:

    The purpose of the double game bag is the same as the accordion and raglan shoulder design and lengthened backs; for cycling.

    If it were for hunting, a high end collaboration from an outdoor sporting outfitter would presumably include the right details. I always identify hunting shirts and jackets by their recoil shoulder patch.

    Michael K on January 7, 2011 11:30 AM:

    One of To Ki To’s Barbour jackets is actually a cycling jacket, so the connection with cycling here would make sense. Anyway, I LOVE IT!

    Greg D. on January 7, 2011 11:54 AM:

    Cycling? are you sure? Not to say he hasn’t done something like that before but the theme for these pieces is obvious. The ONLY semblance to cycling any of these have is a rear lower pocket. No weather resistance (waxed cotton), no wool – all old school cycling is wool, and certainly not fitted or made to be via waist belt – see Barbour International. Ok, that’s a touring jacket, but still..

    Look at the pics of the front of the jackets, second pic up from the bottom – They look like they have an old school fishing vest sewn on the front of them!

    To Ki To – which is it hunting/fishing or cycling?

    Michael K on January 7, 2011 12:06 PM:

    You know what the best part is? I’m not sure its supposed to be any of these. Maybe its just THAT good. Anything worth something will always keep us guessing. Well done. Check out his website too, it doesn’t seem to be functioning properly for me, but it looks pretty cool anyway.

    Logan on January 7, 2011 12:26 PM:

    Greg D. I was following you until you invoked Williamsburg. I think we’re all a bit better than to take such obvious shots.

    Michael Williams on January 7, 2011 12:27 PM:

    Logan — thanks for saying that, I agree.

    b on January 7, 2011 12:36 PM:

    Just enjoy the amazing designs. If you are a serious hunter or bicyclist these aren’t what you are going to wear. Lets stop prentending we are outdoorsmen, we would all get laughed out of a hunting store like Bass pro shop talking like this.

    Greg D. on January 7, 2011 12:41 PM:

    OK, cheap shot aside, I was being serious.

    Michael K. – you are probably correct.

    Rob on January 7, 2011 2:26 PM:

    Given the high rate of gun use/ sales in Japan, it is definitely a hunting jacket.

    jiheison on January 7, 2011 3:06 PM:

    This doesn’t seem intended to be “technical” wear. You could cycle (casually) in the shirt and use the pockets as one would use a cycling jersey/jacket’s pockets. You could (probably) carry game in the jacket. They don’t seem ideal in either case. I ride bikes, but don’t hunt. The cut and materials are certainly not what I’d want for cycling. Is anybody really going to mistake these for purpose-built hunting garments, or an attempt to create them? If not, then how would wearing them be posing as anything?

    I suspect these elements are there to distinguish these garments from the run-of-the-mill and make them interesting to design, appreciate and own.

    Noah on January 7, 2011 3:49 PM:

    I think the clothes are beautiful. For me, its the stories that gave birth to the odd details such as the pockets that make the clothes so interesting. I have several EG and Woolen Mills pieces covered in odd pockets, but I love the fact that they are rooted in classic function even if I don’t use them that way. I’d love to hear what inspired him to design these peices, where the ideas come from.

    john on January 7, 2011 4:26 PM:

    With the lightness of the fabrics shown it makes sense to wear these pieces as jackets to cruise around with on a bike or walking around. Imagine cruising by an outdoor market and grabbing a few items to go. Those pockets are perfect for just such an occasion. I lived in Tokyo about 6 years ago and i never once had to use a car or taxi, the public transportation system is fantastic and very accomodating for the use of biking or walking.

    Ed on January 7, 2011 4:39 PM:

    Back pocket has three divisions. Bowmore in one side, The Mcallan in the other. What’s the third for? Something from the Lowlands?

    unitedstyle on January 7, 2011 5:45 PM:

    Apparently Tokihito’s English gets better, and livelier, with a couple of single malts in him. I think the stuff looks okay, I’d probably have to see it in person to judge it better.

    russell on January 7, 2011 5:58 PM:

    These designs are great….and could certainly be cycling oriented. Keep in mind, cycling is changing…its not just a bunch of skinny guys in lycra, but daily lifestyle…..check it,

    personally I’m with Ed…fill the pockets with Single malts and bourbon…I mean…that’s what I do with my cycling jerseys even on the bike

    CWW on January 7, 2011 6:21 PM:

    Does it actually matter if the reference is hunting, or cycling, or rocket ships, or avocados or whatever? Design for the sake of design has its place. That said, if you don’t like it, you don’t like it, who cares why or how you would redesign it.

    Personally, I would store a nice foot long sub in the back pocket of that killer chambray number.

    jbjones on January 7, 2011 9:10 PM:

    these are obviously basketball jackets

    Joseph on January 8, 2011 12:47 AM:

    where can i find in tokyo his collection? Or any website?

    K-Y on January 8, 2011 4:24 AM:

    Don`t forget To Ki To`s work for Woolrich… I know for FW11 its gone from 4 pieces till 10-12 pieces!

    the uses of literacy on January 8, 2011 2:17 PM:

    I have the cycling jacket he designed for Barbour and while I appreciate aspects of the design (its very light and surprisingly warm) I am very disappointed with its robustness. The zip broke within a week of purchasing and one of front the fastener buttons tore off the jacket recently. Finally the elasticated hood pull broke last week during a snow storm – the first time I had actually tried to use it. The jacket is on its way back to Barbour for repair now and I’m curious to see what they say when they receive it. Obviously I wouldn’t buy one of his collaboration jackets again…

    tim on January 9, 2011 12:02 AM:

    Its just great design – why quibble over if its shooting or cycling? very Japanese and very cool.

    mike on January 9, 2011 8:27 PM:

    anyone have any idea who will stock this in nyc or online (if anywhere?). that denim shirt is a sure buy.

    My Affair with Michael Bastian on January 9, 2011 9:37 PM:

    Nice jackets.

    Peter Valcarcel on January 10, 2011 4:41 PM:

    As always great article…I own a Barbour TO KI TO jacket and I wear it all the time.

    Michael K on January 10, 2011 6:53 PM:

    Very jealous Peter. I just spent an hour poking around the Filson and Barbour jackets at Hilton’s Tent City, but walking home all I could think about was how much I want one of these! The new Filson jackets are really awesome though.

    Joseph on January 10, 2011 6:59 PM:

    I have totally fogotten about this brand .re-born lately? with 90`s revival? I liked that.

    chris on January 11, 2011 2:24 PM:

    Seems like, for the most part, purists are hating it. Whereas those people not coming from such a staunch background, are loving it for its detailing and design inspiration.

    mat buckets on January 11, 2011 3:22 PM:

    very cool design indeed

    Tofu on January 11, 2011 4:19 PM:

    loving the clothes !!!

    Michael K on January 12, 2011 12:24 AM:

    Chris… I think you hit the nail on the head my friend.

    DmC on January 12, 2011 4:18 PM:

    Having used hunting jackets for hunting and fishing vests for fishing I would have no problem using either one of them for cycling. I think that crossing over is where creative design can happen. Many of these designers are taking inspiration from things that interest them. The game pocket comes from upland bird hunting but why can’t you carry a sandwich or a spare innertube there instead? It’s a good pocket. The back pocket on Woolrich field coats and Filson cruisers is for maps and supplies and stuff like that. It’s in the same place but you wouldn’t put a bird in it. I do have an EG anorak that isn’t waterproof. That’s slightly annoying but it’s still a good jacket.

    elizabeth wilson on January 12, 2011 9:56 PM:

    i love your blog and sensibility. you might also like ours. we have been handmaking clothes of interesting (mostly Japanese) textiles for 34 years. we call it “slow clothing”. we rarely court publicity – nor do we get it, being in kansas city — but we have an incredibly faithful and loyal clientele. i would love to have you take a look. thanks. elizabeth wilson/asiatica

    Gary G on January 15, 2011 10:57 AM:

    Thanks for doing a write up on this. I have been lusting after the barbour/tokito jackets for awhile. I think this is the season for to finally purchase one.

    ben s. on January 15, 2011 8:41 PM:

    so my regular Barbour cost about $300 and was made in England, my tokito Barbour cost about $700 and was made in Indonesia

    What is up with that?

    DGT on January 24, 2011 5:02 PM:

    Keep an eye on JCrew for these,

Comments are closed.