American Heritage, Japanese Style

November 6th, 2011, byJeremy Freed

Like the zeitgeists of grunge-wear and fluorescence before it, the wave of heritage brands and heritage-inspired clothes that has consumed the fashion world for the last couple of years, shows no signs of slowing. I have absolutely no issues with this, as for the most part these heritage brands, like Red Wing and Filson, pride themselves in both old-school quality and onshore production–two of my biggest concerns when it comes to the clothes I buy and wear. I also happen to love the way they look.

While workwear and heritage are going strong in America, the enthusiasm shown here is nothing compared to that in Japan, where–in typical Japanese fashion–they have taken an American idea and, by way of obsessive attention to detail and exhaustive research, perfected it.

Every denim-head knows that the best denim is made in Japan, mostly on obsolete American looms. While these machines are less efficient than the ones that replaced them in the States, the fabric they weave is far superior. It’s a classic case of quality over quantity, a principle that’s at the heart of heritage fashion.

If you happen to be in Tokyo this weekend, I’d heartily recommend you check out the Inazuma Festival, a gathering of jeans-wearing, Harley-riding, denim-0bsessed Japanese Yankeephiles. Among the brands represented there are some of the best examples of American heritage-meets-Japanese style. For one, The Flat Head, a company specializing in denim and sweet leather jackets like this one. Another is Buzz Rickson, which makes incredibly faithful repros of U.S. military gear and workwear.

Additionally, there’s this guy, who runs probably the coolest shoe repair store ever. There’s no guarantee he will be at Inazuma, but he’s worth a visit either way. Like so many others in the land of the rising sun, he’s making American heritage look better than ever.

 

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Last modified: November 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm