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Double Helix Works?

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,419
I've tried four of their styles and I have to say that I'm quite impressed. Great attention to detail and most of the patterns are suited for the western physique. I've tried the 'classic 1920s' the 'bounty hunters' the 'deviant' and the 'hugging the curve'. I've tried them in my regular size which is 42 and they were all a good fit except for the 'hugging the curve'. As you can see the sleeves were too short and too narrow. The chest also felt somewhat restrictive.

F0F5F4BD-78E7-45B9-9B14-95D876488D65.jpeg


2009595C-0348-47C5-AAD6-E5EA06B1755E.jpeg

'Hugging the curve' size 42

As you can see this carcoat, also a size 42, is a much better fit.

48CCEAFE-918B-4B7A-BDC9-4A597337EBEC.jpeg

'Bounty hunters' size 42

Double Helix makes nice jackets and their pricing is competitive. On their website the 'hugging the curve' costs 173.800 jpy which is about €1200.

Overall I feel like their designs are rather boring. Their 'hugging the curve' is basically the same 'single riders' style jacket as so many other repro makers are doing, think of the FW Mulholland, the ELMC Highway Star, the RMC Nelson or TFH 'single riders'. Similarly they offer a Type II, a j100, j24, snake plissken, j31, a LL lightning copy etc etc. Where's the creativity!?

'The Bounty Hunters' car coat

I can't explain why but I always felt like car coats are old men's jackets. Or like @ton312 says they're for 'guido's'. Not a style I could see myself wearing.

But this DH carcoat is something different, something no other repro make is offering. It's a classic carcoat but with playful western style details like curved pockets and double front yokes. Overall it has a bold look to it, not an old men's jacket at all.

88187B3D-E37C-4F8E-A4E2-2E1214C4754D.jpeg
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As you can see the finish is nice with fancy french seams and double top stitching everywhere.

C0D4DCD8-C01C-4114-83B7-FD2EE39C16E7.jpeg

The cuffs are interesting as they are curved. Yet another small detail that sets this carcoat apart from the rest.

E6E6EB8A-0B65-44B0-8BE2-C18C3594B7AB.jpeg
EAE35AE4-009E-4E6A-89C0-012A427EC056.jpeg
495B70D1-A084-4834-BEA4-984518C04C0E.jpeg


Is there anything to dislike about this jacket? Well maybe dislike is not the right word but I'm not a fan of the wool sleeve lining. Just like the body the sleeves are lined with a very luxurious feeling wool cashmere blend fabric which is nice and warm but it doesn't slip on as easily as cotton drill or cupro would. Especially when wearing a sweater.
 
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sshack

One of the Regulars
Messages
291
Location
California
I've tried four of their styles and I have to say that I'm quite impressed. Great attention to detail and most of the patterns are suited for the western physique. I've tried the 'classic 1920s' the 'bounty hunters' the 'deviant' and the 'hugging the curve'. I've tried them in my regular size which is 42 and they were all a good fit except for the 'hugging the curve'. As you can see the sleeves were too short and too narrow. The chest also felt somewhat restrictive.

View attachment 468034

View attachment 468035
'Hugging the curve' size 42

As you can see this carcoat, also a size 42, is a much better fit.

View attachment 468033
'Bounty hunters' size 42

Double Helix makes nice jackets and their pricing is competitive. On their website the 'hugging the curve' costs 173.800 jpy which is about €1200.

Overall I feel like their designs are rather boring. Their 'hugging the curve' is basically the same 'single riders' style jacket as so many other repro makers are doing, think of the FW Mulholland, the ELMC Highway Star, the RMC Nelson or TFH 'single riders'. Similarly they offer a Type II, a j100, j24, snake plissken, j31, a LL lightning copy etc etc. Where's the creativity!?

'The Bounty Hunters' car coat

I can't explain why but I always felt like car coats are old men's jackets. Or like @ton312 says they're for 'guido's'. Not a style I could see myself wearing.

But this DH carcoat is something different, something no other repro make is offering. It's a classic carcoat but with playful western style details like curved pockets and double front yokes. Overall it has a bold look to it, not an old men's jacket at all.

View attachment 468038 View attachment 468039 View attachment 468040


As you can see the finish is nice with fancy french seams and double top stitching everywhere.

View attachment 468043

The cuffs are interesting as they are curved. Yet another small detail that sets this carcoat apart from the rest.

View attachment 468046 View attachment 468045 View attachment 468044

Is there anything to dislike about this jacket? Well maybe dislike is not the right word but I'm not a fan of the wool sleeve lining. Just like the body the sleeves are lined with a very luxurious feeling wool cashmere blend fabric which is nice and warm but it doesn't slip on as easily as cotton drill or cupro would. Especially when wearing a sweater.
These are great pics. The fit pics are also a great help. I'm definitely putting Double Helix on my watchlist when I visit Japan. As for the Double Helix "boring" designs-- I can see your point. They are not pushing the boundaries on steadfast designs. They're playing it safe I guess, selling styles that are popular, tested, and in demand.

From a business perspective-- I think it's a sound strategy. Even if it's boring and "safe"-- you have to make what the people want or risk going bankrupt.

However, as you pointed out-- the devil (or beauty) is in the details. The leather quality at the price point. Stitching. Drape. Fit and finish. It's a subtle and quiet creativity. It very "Japanese" in a sense.

If you're a watch guy-- I kind of think of it as the Seiko Spring Drive watch or Grand Seiko. They are far from the iced-out, bejeweled platinum watches that go $1 million. If you don't know what you're looking at-- a Seiko Spring Drive looks like an off the shelf Seiko that you can get at Anywhere, On Earth. But to those in the know-- it's an artistic and technological marvel. You can do your own google on it... too much to describe!!!

Another analogy from the movie biz-- 1 generic Horror movie that is a hit, will fund 4 Oscar-contenders that will get prestige, but no box-office success.

But again-- great pics. Great posts. Very helpful!!!!
---------

EDIT-- Took a closer look at the DH designs. Yeah, a lot of them are the usual suspects. Car coats aren't really my thing either. Flight jackets look nice-- but have to see it in person to know for sure. And some fans of these only like them if they are "authentic."

My faves: 1920's shawl. Hugging the Curve.

AND-- the Helix Rider UNUS. A Cross BUTTON jacket. Or as I like to describe it-- A gentleman rider's jacket for those who don't ride and don't want to pretend like they ride. Thedi makes a version of this... but this DH version just looks more "boss." https://doublehelixworks.com/product/helix-riders-unus-browndh/
 
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Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
766
Love the classic designs but it’s nice to see a manufacturer and sing new unique design details like those curved pockets and sleeve cuffs.
Fits you great too
 

Despot

Familiar Face
Messages
56
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Great fit pics Marc!
I’ve been absent from this thread for a while - I changed phone and had a horror of a time re-verifying my account - sorted now.

In the meantime I’ve put a good few miles on the DH Deviant. It’s not perfect … and there are still things I prefer about the FH Delraiser over it … but the fit is better for my slightly barrel chested body type. That being said I’m still breaking it in - and it’s a long way from broken in now. I’ve only really knocked the initial stiffness out of it (the ‘why do you look like that coat is wearing you’ look) … so I’m curious to see how it looks after heavy use this winter.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,419
That being said I’m still breaking it in - and it’s a long way from broken in now. I’ve only really knocked the initial stiffness out of it (the ‘why do you look like that coat is wearing you’ look) … so I’m curious to see how it looks after heavy use this winter.
These relatively thick leathers definitely need to be broken in. Noting like CXL though.
When I just got the jacket the shoulders felt a bit on the tight side while now after a couple of months of regular wear they're perfect.
 

Canuck Panda

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,446
I've been interested in this brand for some time now too. Double Helix. The brand is quite new so not a lot of supply on the used market. Next time Rakuten Ichiban sale happens I'd probably go for one of their indigo truckers, white core with the almost teal blue overdye. I believe they are the only brand that is using the white core leather without dyeing it through. Would love to see how the aging effect works.
 

JoeNiblick

One of the Regulars
Messages
266
Location
Alaska
Don't mean to be obtuse... but can someone explain pricing differences? There's a retailer/dealer in California that sells a trucker style Double helix jacket for around $1700 US. On the double helix works website, you can order the same one for $1100 US. Add about $75 for shipping. Either way, it's MUCH cheaper to buy direct from Japan. Plus, I imagine the dealer in US isn't paying retail Japanese prices.... What accounts for the big price discrepancy?

I don't think anyone has answered this yet. I don't know what the normal markup for specialty clothing is, but in a lot of other shops, it's 50%. My guess is that this shop has a formula they use, and the increased sales price reflects a higher than average cost to obtain the merchandise.

What does this mark up cover? It pays for shipping from Japan, and sometimes shipping from the shop to the customer, including packaging (Free shipping isn't free). It pays for overhead, like staffing, rent, utilities, insurance, licenses. And it has to cover the cost of lost/damaged merchandise. The shop owner also has to make some money, too, which is why they're engaged in this activity in the first place.

Ideally, the shop would offer some sort of benefit to buying from them: Can you try it on in the shop? Do they have stock on hand for you to purchase and take home immediately? Is it easier to return/exchange an item if it doesn't fit? My guess is that they continue to sell these items at a higher price, because customers see a value in the services they provide, and not just because they didn't know they could order it for less money if purchased directly.
 

Aloysius

One Too Many
Messages
1,510
If you're a watch guy-- I kind of think of it as the Seiko Spring Drive watch or Grand Seiko. They are far from the iced-out, bejeweled platinum watches that go $1 million. If you don't know what you're looking at-- a Seiko Spring Drive looks like an off the shelf Seiko that you can get at Anywhere, On Earth. But to those in the know-- it's an artistic and technological marvel. You can do your own google on it... too much to describe!!!

I can’t think of a GS or Spring Drive that looks like an off the shelf standard Seiko. GS has almost overly high end finishing (the dials and brushed/polished case finishing grab the eye) and the design language is very deliberate. Even my non GS Spring Drive has very distinctive design language. Easily one of the most unusual watches I own.
 

sshack

One of the Regulars
Messages
291
Location
California
I can’t think of a GS or Spring Drive that looks like an off the shelf standard Seiko. GS has almost overly high end finishing (the dials and brushed/polished case finishing grab the eye) and the design language is very deliberate. Even my non GS Spring Drive has very distinctive design language. Easily one of the most unusual watches I own.
This is taking the thread in a different direction... but... I know many people who wouldn't know which one is a masterpiece. I guess my point is, Grand Seiko is often a stainless steel watch with no gold, platinum, diamonds, etc. All the "distinctive" features you point out are only "deliberate" if you know what you're looking for.

Only one of these cost $6,000. The other two are $hundreds. Which is which? Easy, if you take a closer look and you know what you're looking for.

And to bring this full circle, my (insert spouse here) wouldn't know the difference between a Thedi, Aero, Five Star or a Macy's $99 Pleather Perfecto. Anyone still reading this thread could point out the obvious design differences with one eye closed at 85 MPH. If not, do some more time on FL!


SUR369_1_1135x.jpg



images.jpg


s-l1600-8.jpg
 
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sshack

One of the Regulars
Messages
291
Location
California
I don't think anyone has answered this yet. I don't know what the normal markup for specialty clothing is, but in a lot of other shops, it's 50%. My guess is that this shop has a formula they use, and the increased sales price reflects a higher than average cost to obtain the merchandise.

What does this mark up cover? It pays for shipping from Japan, and sometimes shipping from the shop to the customer, including packaging (Free shipping isn't free). It pays for overhead, like staffing, rent, utilities, insurance, licenses. And it has to cover the cost of lost/damaged merchandise. The shop owner also has to make some money, too, which is why they're engaged in this activity in the first place.

Ideally, the shop would offer some sort of benefit to buying from them: Can you try it on in the shop? Do they have stock on hand for you to purchase and take home immediately? Is it easier to return/exchange an item if it doesn't fit? My guess is that they continue to sell these items at a higher price, because customers see a value in the services they provide, and not just because they didn't know they could order it for less money if purchased directly.
I believed you've just chronicled the slow death of retail brick and mortar. But in all seriousness, some retailers can survive and thrive against the Amazon threat.

BUT-- just think about the online side of the equation. Most of the brick and mortar benefits don't apply to online purchases. Didn't some other reader point out the more stringent return policies by a domestic retailer? So... why would you pay more to order from a DOMESTIC ONLINE (and BM) retailer? The Japanese ONLINE (and BM) retailer deal with similar overhead issues, yet can sell it to you FROM JAPAN for considerably less (including shipping!)

That's an easy value proposition for an online buyer. For a business owner, I wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of that business model. Basically, it means you're hoping to sell online to Japanese Jacket enthusiasts who don't know about the Japanese online stores. Which means you're relying on selling to uneducated/uninformed customer base. Or a customer base who is rich enough not to care. To me, not a great business fundamental. Especially to FL-type customers who know their sh-t.
 
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Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,419
I believed you've just chronicled the slow death of retail brick and mortar. But in all seriousness, some retailers can survive and thrive against the Amazon threat.
I bought my Double Helix jacket from a brick and mortar store, Burg & Schild in Berlin. Little chance I would have bought this jacket online.

I was on a weekend trip to Berlin with a friend. We visited a couple of stores where they sold leather jackets but I really wasn't planning on buying anything. But at B&S we had a nice talk with the guys working there, they told us about restaurants and clubs we could visit. We discussed different jacket makers and I showed them pics of my vintage jacket collection. I tried on a couple of jackets from different makers, RMC, Mr Freedom, SB and DH. Meanwhile we drank some beers and had a few laughs.

We had a good time and even though I wasn't planning on buying anything, the DH carcoat went home with me. Now the jacket is a nice reminder of the great weekend I had with my buddy in Berlin.

That's brick and mortar fun shopping vs ordering an item online.
 

sshack

One of the Regulars
Messages
291
Location
California
I bought my Double Helix jacket from a brick and mortar store, Burg & Schild in Berlin. Little chance I would have bought this jacket online.

I was on a weekend trip to Berlin with a friend. We visited a couple of stores where they sold leather jackets but I really wasn't planning on buying anything. But at B&S we had a nice talk with the guys working there, they told us about restaurants and clubs we could visit. We discussed different jacket makers and I showed them pics of my vintage jacket collection. I tried on a couple of jackets from different makers, RMC, Mr Freedom, SB and DH. Meanwhile we drank some beers and had a few laughs.

We had a good time and even though I wasn't planning on buying anything, the DH carcoat went home with me. Now the jacket is a nice reminder of the great weekend I had with my buddy in Berlin.

That's brick and mortar fun shopping vs ordering an item online.
Yes, this is one of the advantages of Brick & Mortar-- there's a term for it-- experiential shopping.

But I'm comparing oranges to oranges. Meaning, given two similar online purchases with equal "experiences"-- I have a feeling that most buyers would pick the one with several hundred dollar savings.

Just curious-- how much did your DH Jacket in Berlin cost?
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,419

sshack

One of the Regulars
Messages
291
Location
California
Very interesting. Just to dive a little deeper in pricing disparity, there's something called the Big Mac Index. Basically, it compares prices of a similar/equal product all around the world. By comparing the price of a Big mac in Sweden, USA, Japan, Brazil... one can THEORETICALLY see if a product (or currency) is under or overvalued. This works better when the BigMac is locally produced...

Since the product in question (A DH Bounty Hunter Jacket) is made only in Japan, this becomes more interesting (at least to me!).

Price in Berlin 1299 euro or $1348.
Price in Japan $1258
Price in US -- Not sure.
Unscientific biased conclusion: Not bad... you'd expect Berlin retail price to be more in Berlin to account for shipping. Price disparity is cool, the world is safe.

Price of Deviant Jacket.
Japan 165,000 yen or $1193 US
Berlin 1799 Euro or $1865 US
California $1985
London $1916. Thanks BloodEagle for the data point!
Unscientific Biased conclusion: Huh? Approx $800 difference? Call in the Avengers!! Hmmm... Maybe I'll buy it online from Japan. Actually, I'll buy a cheap ticket to Japan on Zip Air, sleep in a capsule hotel, buy it in person in Osaka, then gorge myself on kaiten sushi. Fly back to LAX. Price would be about the same. Almost. You get my point, I hope.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all about supporting local business. But isn't buying online from Japan the same thing? You're buying from a local Japanese business. Which helps the Japanese economy. Which helps the Japanese Jacket factories stay in business. Which means more jackets in our closets. If you care about that sort of thing...
 
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BloodEagle

A-List Customer
Messages
314
Location
UK
Coincidentally, as the deliberation if going on, I am really interested in a DH Deviant jacket, but find myself in a similar quandry to the one discussed above. I could get it direct from DH in Japan, hope that they are able to work with me on the imprt/customs fees/ and make a really nice saving on the UK retail price (£1595 at Rivet and Hide), however this means I wont have the option of returning it if it is no good for me fit wise or Im just not feeling it. Going down to London to R&H check it out in person isnt really an option (time constraints coupled with the shit show that is the UK rail network at the moment), so what to do? Take a chance and wait for the direct order to show up, or pay a fair whack more for next day delivery and the option to return it if its no good? Any thoughts gratefully recieved. More specifically, can anyone tell me how the Deviants fit - true to size (UK 44 in my case) or slim fitting like the old RMC J24s?
 

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