Archival is thrilled to be working with Barley Harvest Season, the distributor of our bags and apparel in Japan. One of the original motivations for the Archival blog was my wish to document the US heritage products sold in Japan – but not available stateside. Now, I take great pleasure in redistributing images of our own products making guest appearances on Japanese blogs and web sites. Lacking translating language skills, I focus on store display methodology and the bag-on-model shots so expertly deployed by Japanese web shops. Here are some recent snaps from the blog/shop King, Inc.
Posts Tagged ‘shopping from Japan’
Per Peter Allen – Everything Old is New Again. I’ve been browsing through the pages of Men’s Club magazine from Japan. Who needs a costly Free & Easy subscription when everything about outdoor and inspired cycling garb has already been spelled out in 1977. Here are a few sample views:
I love the mixed view approach of Japanese magazines: model the fashion and then provide a beautifully arranged, spatialized shopping list of essential supplies. Even in 1977, Brooks saddles, lace up leather cycling shoes and French cyclo-tourist bags were the final word.
Add these old Patagonia pants to the list of garments I’ll stick to admiring from afar. They remind me of the Gramicci pants that were everywhere in the early 90s in Oregon. But when I showed them to Lesli, she immediately thought of traditional Japanese monpe pants, a simple pull-on affair once worn by farmers or merchants.
A few months back, the gents from Huge magazine visited Archival to photograph (on film!) our bags for a feature on Oregon manufacturers. We haven’t seen the final print publication but our Huge contact, Takuhito K, just posted this preview of the new magazine cover by Illustrator Claudia Pearson. I love seeing all these rugged, made in USA goods rendered as larky line drawings and watercolors. It reminds me of the work of another favorite Archival Illustrator – and Brooklyn denizen –Ryan Blomberg, creator of our original Archival blog banner:
Here are a few snap views of Post O’Alls vests from my personal collection. Inspired by vintage hunting and shooting vests, the Post O’Alls vest features an internal poacher’s pocket and four outside flap pockets. The cargo capacity rivals that of an AC Rucksack. A fan of the hyper layered look – I wear mine interchangeably over wool and cord blazers.
Since it’s nearly impossible to source Filson Italy in the US, I’m prepping this catalog of images for wishful shopping. My images come from the official Filson Italy site, Japanese webshops and flickr. While I’ve known about Filson Italy (and the Black Label) for awhile, I recently discovered that they now have a “Donna” collection for women. I’m not wild about most of the line, but I do love the unfortunately named “Golddiggers” coat (essentially an upland game jacket in red plaid wool). When I emailed Filson Italy to inquire about the jacket, I was told that it would only be sold in Italy–and not via web shops. Hoping to have a custom version made in the US, Filson informed me that their wool is too thick to support the design of the coat (and further, that their custom order program is closed through April 2012). So–despite our internet age, not all the glitters can be owned.
Addendum: check out the new Filson Japan lookbook, Ballad of Portraits 2011.
Dry Bones is a terrific clothing company out of Tokyo, Japan. While their primary focus is on denim, Dry Bones also makes beautiful, 50’s inspired outerwear. My favorite is this insulated, wool tweed car coat (google unreliably translates the model name as “Pharaoh“). I love the two-tone flecked wool, exposed 2-way zip and knit ribbed collar and cuffs. The inside of the coat looks as stylish as the outside. This is one of those pieces that absolutely looks like it has been shopped from past.
Good news for women. Dry Bones also sells a line for women. Last year, I picked up this pin striped coverall jacket via rakuten (first spotted at Self Edge in SF). But, o my, the offerings for this year look a little less heritage themed.
by Tiffany Thornton
I’ve been brand-stalking Chimala for a while now (via Lark: Chimala was started in 2006 by a Japanese designer, and is named for an imaginary mountain in the Himalayas… The brand concept is new vintage casual with a touch of “good old days” feeling. The design inspirations and sources are mostly from the 1940’s through to the 1970’s daily wear. The universal design often seen in military work wear is given a modern twist.)
After mulling it over for some time (Chimala is very expensive; about $400 CD for a shirt gave me about a year’s worth of pause) I decided to pick up a Chimala chambray work shirt from Lark. I pestered the kind folks at Lark for about a day and a half on sizing (I am small of frame, but have broad shoulders), and then made my purchase and hoped for the best. Despite being slightly uncomfortable with dropping that much on a single shirt, I have not regretted the purchase one bit.
The chambray work shirt I picked up recently is apparently produced each season with different details each time. The details that sold me on this Spring ’11 version were: the slightly contrasting chest pocket, the contrast blue button, and the yellow stitched “pencil slot” on the pocket. The material is a pale blue chambray that is light, but not flimsy, and thus far seems to breathe well. Perfect for wearing to work in the Spring and Fall. The color is versatile, and could go with just about anything; I prefer to pair it with some brown corduroy trousers for the time being. It is also something of a relief to me that the Chimala medium size fits about perfectly: most button downs always seem to fit awkwardly on me because short torso + broad shoulders = unaccounted for by most clothing manufacturers.
In general, I’m very pleased with this shirt: it is well crafted, attractive, comfortable and versatile. The major downside is the prohibitively high cost, but if it’s an issue that can be rectified, I certainly would recommend checking out Chimala if you’re in the market for something new.
Quality Gunslips is a UK bag brand that I know best via Japanese web shops. Per company literature, all Quality Gunslips bags are “hand-made using the highest quality British materials at our workshop in the small rural hamlet of Sarnau, Mid Wales.” Their main line of fishing and game bags are made from our favorite materials: double texture proofed cotton canvas, leather strapping, solid brass hardware and the mil spec webbings England produces without effort. The bags clearly share a familial link with other UK bag brands like Brady, Hardy, Billingham and Chapman.
Here are a few views of the Quality Gunslips Japan-only bags and their UK equivalents.
We’ve been working with Weinbrenner, the parent company of Thorogood, to digitize some of their company archives. There’s some tremendous material in there. We’d love to have the power to just point at a few boot examples and have them re-issued (we’re working on it). Click to enlarge these great scans.
Of course, the Japanese are already on it.
Apparently the Roofer boot (above, still available) is very popular over there, and here’s a vintage boot in a recent issue of GO OUT STYLE.
They’re made in Weinbrenner’s factory in Merrill, Wisconsin, from American-tanned leather. The worksmanship is tidy, although the star rivets holding the speed lacing studs on have sharp ends (but that’s only noticeable when you pull the double tongue apart).
They came with decent stock insoles, although I swapped them out for my favorite Filson cork insoles. They broke in within a month and are now very comfortable. I like the Vibram wedge soles better than other wedge soles, they seem to have better traction on wet surfaces. I’m not wild about the blingy MADE IN USA tag on the outside of the boot, but that’s easy to solve with 30 seconds and a knife.
Available in an endless variety of widths and sizes, down to 6 and up to 14. All this is to say – they’re basically Red Wing killers, and for $130, they’re pretty much half the price. Get some for this fall and winter.