......if you wish to hunt elephants, then you must go where the elephants are.
In this case the elephants are unrepresented, extremely high quality, artisan made clothing brands, and where the elephants are is Tokyo, Japan.
I am leaving for Tokyo in two days time to meet with and hopefully begin the first international retail relationship with two of the Japanese clothing scenes best kept secret brands (cliche, I know), those brands being Trophy Clothing of Shinjuku and Jelado of Ebisu.
I first saw Trophy around nine months ago when I was staying at my friend Beatles house for the weekend, we had begun a discussion about the amount of quality brands in the world who are simply not accessible for the average consumer outside of their own country. This thought stuck in my giant, bald head and resulted in my waking early and taking to Google to see what I could see of these brands, the first few I found (without mentioning names) were offering pretty much what was already on offer in the market, but when I came across Trophy I saw that they offered something entirely different.
Trophy have a very distinct aesthetic, it is born out of the love and passion of the brands owner, Masaki Egawa, you see Masaki loves vintage motorcycles and everything associated with them, he proudly rides his 50's Indian bike and looks every inch the rebel biker in a very classic sense of the term. It is therefore no surprise that his clothing range reflects this, Trophy clothing is classic cut, quality made, high quality, high detail and simply exudes class. It is not rough work wear, it does not masquerade as anything other than what it is, the passion of a man with a great eye for quality and detail, expressed through clothing and accessories.
Likewise we will also be meeting with Jelado, owned and operated from Ebisu in central Tokyo by vintage clothes enthusiast and competitive kick boxer Yohei Goto. Jelado are a brand who make and sell everything you could ever need for your wardrobe, from jeans to jackets, to tees, sweaters, hoodies and caps. As you would expect from a vintage clothing enthusiast they take inspiration from the past for their designs, patterns and materials, and there is a distinct Americana vibe in everything that they do. Where Jelado differ from other brands which may be seen as paying homage to past eras is that they are making the items and designs which no one else is doing, their denim cuts are wide, just as they were in the 50's, their athletic wear fits short and boxy just as it should, and their leather jackets are the stuff of dreams for any aspiring rock star.
I believe that if we can bring these brands into the Western market from Japan that they will shake the tree so to speak, they both offer items and styles which no one else does, they are very different from each other but also very similar in the respect that they have a definite potential to rumble with the established big boys in the Amerikanji work wear market.
I'll keep you updated about how we progress, and hopefully we can put you in some Trophy Dirt Denim, and a Jelado hoody before the end of the year.
Trophy Reservoir Hood jacket, and Trophy striped chambray.
Trophy Continental Shawl jacket.