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Shopping for Slender A2 A-2 leather jacket in Japan - shop & brand recommendations?

rbnman

New in Town
Messages
2
Location
london
Hi All,
This is my first post here in fedora and was hoping for some assistance in my hunt for slim fitting leather A2 jacket in Japan.
I will be in japan for 9 days travelling between tokyo, kyoto and hiroshima and hoping to finally buy my first A2.

I feel in love with the a-2 ever since brand Visvim released their version of it in the form of 'elmendorf' (link to fit pic below)
http://www.musinsa.com/files/_old/old_fr_4e8787b069a6861615.jpg

my requirements are:
1. slim/slender fit (no excess leather material above waist ribbing)
2. colours preferred are black, burgundy, maybe some browns tones.
3. hand warmer side pockets preferred but not necessary (as shown in picture)

I am 175cm tall (5ft9). I'm not completely skinny but more lean/athletic with a 38/40 chest. most of my current Jackets measure 21" across the chest pit to pit. Jean size is 31"

I have searched the threads and recommendations have been Toys Mccoy, real mccoy, rainbow country & buzz rickson. I am assuming all these are japanese manufactures and as such, I assume they tailor the jackets to local clientele. I would purchase the visvim A2 but unfortunately the produce only a handful every winter, available only in their japan stores and they sell out instantly. Therefore my questions are:

1. Assuming budget/price is a non issue, which japanese repo maker offer the slimmest designs?
2. Which japanese company offer best quality?
3. Are there other brands worth considering which I may have missed out? e.g non-repo makers such as fashion brands?
4. I can find store locations & stockists based on the responses above, but could anyone recommend any good 2nd hand/vintage stores that stock these jackets? Whilst price is a non-issue, i'll never pass on a bargain :)

I have considered eastman slender a2 jacket, but unfortunately it is available in 1 type of leather & colour only. I have asked eastman if they would consider making the jacket for me a different leather & colour but they were not willing to do so.

Looking forward to your feedback and thanks in advance for the help.
 
Never heard of "Ranbow Country".
Buzz Rickson, the "McCoy's" don't tailor their jackets. They come in set sizes.
And their prices are at the top end of the spectrum....with several other manufacturers offering as good/better product.

Aero Leather, in your neck of the woods, custom fits/makes their jackets. They offer different leathers, with some different color availability...but not a lot.
Eastman Leather (again, in your neck of the woods), has a "Slim" A2 they just came out with, which it looks like you already investigaed;
http://www.eastmanleather.com/produ...d=265&osCsid=e2fd581775e1edc49d6b358dc137840a
They don't offer custom sizing (or, I should say they do to some extent, but they will not accept any returns on these items), and do not offer much in the way of different leathers/colors.
Goodwear Leather (John Chapman) is one of the most highly respected reproduction A2 makers around today.
He offers several A2 contract designs based on the original WW2 designs, different leathers based on what was originally used. Custom made. I don't know how willing John would be to vary away from the "standard WW2" specifications however, and the wait for a jacket is around 8 months.

In my experience, not many "authentic" A2 manufacturers are willing to wander away from the "classic" A2 design/leathers.
I suspect you may need to look elsewhere for a custom leather jacket maker, such as Johnson's Leather in San Francisco. If you were local to that area, I'd say drop in and ask them what they can do...get a fitting. Not being local, I'd have some concerns about trying to get it done from afar.
There must be somebody in London who does "custom leather" work.
 
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JakeHolman

One of the Regulars
Messages
175
Location
UK
Have you ever come across Free & Easy magazine? It's a monthly treasure trove of vintage and reproduction items and I believe they have a store in Tokyo - The Rugged Museum. A bit of Googling and you're sure to find many places over their, the Japanese have long been obsessed with American vintage wear.
 
D

Deleted member 16736

Guest
Rainbow Country is a high-end brand with a high-end price. Goodwear Leather is your best bet for a custom-fit A-2 at any price. There are a number of slim models John offers (Bronco and Werber are just two examples). I just ordered the 39 Werber in seal brown horsehide. Email John and ask him.
 
Rainbow Country is a high-end brand with a high-end price. Goodwear Leather is your best bet for a custom-fit A-2 at any price. There are a number of slim models John offers (Bronco and Werber are just two examples). I just ordered the 39 Werber in seal brown horsehide. Email John and ask him.

For a "brownish tone" leather A2....for certain.
For a black one....not sure. I seem to recall receiving a sample of black HH from John some years back...but don't recall ay since then.
For "burgundy"...highly unlikely.

I can understand why high end A2 makers wouldn't offer options...such as off color leathers...outside their "business model".
Having to deal with finding a few yards of quality leather to build one jacket...dealing with returns.....what a headache.

For something like a burgundy colored A2...I'd think the best bet would be to go to a custom leather tailor whose business is making all kinds of different "designer" leather clothing for an A2 "ish" jacket. They will have a wide selection of different leathers/colors to choose from, better able to deal with returns/alterations.

I had a neighbor who was a top end world class luthier who built custom flat top and arch top guitars for such folks as George Benson and Earl Klugh.
If somebody came to him to commission a guitar and asked for features used by another luthier/company, (ie, "build me a super "Gibson"), he would refer them elsewhere.
His philosophy was, he spent years perfecting HIS design and build techniques. If they want a Gibson, buy a Gibson.
 
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rbnman

New in Town
Messages
2
Location
london
Thanks all for the suggestions. I'm more inclined to spend money whilst overseas on holiday. Ill try my luck at japan first and if i cant find what im after, ill reach out to aero and goodwear and see what they can do. In one way or another im going to get an A2 :)

One thing i have learnt over many many self indulgent purchases is that to ensure the item of desire meets your ALL requirements, especially staple pieces of clothing like a leaher jacket. Otherwise like many of my previous purchases, they get given to family members or end up on ebay.

Any recommendations on leather tailors in london? This is where i am based.
Any additional suggestoins on vintage stores in japan?
 

Qinhan

Familiar Face
Messages
68
Location
Australia
You should definately check out Real McCoy's jackets while you are in Japan. On my last trip I tried on their Roughwear A-2 and it was fantastic. I'm not a big fan of the A-2 style, but I was seriously tempted by RM's offering. Like many Japanese reproductions, the RM cut is slim and fits perfectly over athletic/slight frames. Quality was outstanding too. Be prepared to pay for this quality if you decide to go down this road. I don't know if you read Japanese or not, but their list of dealers is here:

http://www.realmccoys.co.jp/shop/

As to vintage shopping in Japan, my honest advice is don't bother. You will find quality vintage items in Japan but the prices are ridiculously inflated. You'd have better luck on Ebay or other Western sources of vintage.
 

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