The Flathead Rider Jacket (Last Ever?)

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Arizor, May 10, 2019.

  1. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

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    Actually there's quite a difference. Flat Head not only made far more complex fabrics, especially for shirts,cbut they were also much more far reaching in their range of products. That said, they're definitely in a similar category so without a cult like iron heart has, it's not surprising that iron heart will probably make it out while flat head is ending
     
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  2. Arizor

    Arizor Familiar Face

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    Thanks for the feedback folks. No other sizes available, and I doubt there ever will be now...!

    The angle of the first photos misleads slightly as the camera is pointing down, so makes it look longer. The final photo is much more straight on; the jacket ends just covering my belt, which I’m fine with.

    My only issue is the shoulders (as ever with FH!), but as the jacket softens the shoulders are collapsing and I actually quite like the comfort afforded by a bit of wiggle room. I can also layer without feeling like the jacket is going to burst, which is nice.
     
  3. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    Was going to say just that. IH has a really devoted following and their gear is much more generic/mainstream than FH, which seems more period concerned. Plus they have constant pieces that continually sell out (sometimes in a matter of hours) so they know which side their bread is buttered, and they can bank on it. The two companies have little in common really. To my eye IH is overbuilt, multi-era gear. FH is super niche, repro workwear. Totally different customer base.

    I’m also not surprised this Japanese obsession is in recession. It’s been a long time coming and the market is saturated.
     
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  4. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    Maybe I’m mislead by the Rivet and Hide selection of the Flat Head but to me it really seems similar to Iron Heart. I don’t see them being very repro oriented like The Real McCoy’s.


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  5. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    I’m just judging by the styles offered. Seems to me FH is more concerned with with pre-1950’s stuff where as IH will go past that point with their jackets especially. Jeans too. They even have bell bottoms (boot cut) which I’m wearing right now.
    Edit: yeah the rivet page could easily been IH.
     
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  6. Graemsay

    Graemsay Practically Family

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    Iron Heart have a bigger international presence than the other Japanese brands, and Giles thinks that this will offset any downturn in their domestic market.
     
  7. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

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    Very well said. The deeper you go the more different these brands become. I'm not surprised either about them and possibly others having to shut down soon. Many will definitely survive, but the downward trend has been happening for a while.
     
  8. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Notoriously fickle Japanese fashion sense pendulum swings away from heritage work wear towards fast fashion?
    Yeah, probably.
    Over saturated market.
    Plummeting population.
    Increasing taxes and decreasing wages.
    Currency manipulation impacting quality of life.
    When I arrived here twenty years ago, every university girl had a two thousand dollar plus designer handbag. You almost never see that anymore; people are just poorer.
    It doesn't surprise me that the heritage workwear market held out longer than most- it markets itself on 'durability' and 'good old fashioned quality' but ultimately even their customers start to fail to justify the prices when they can't pay the bills.
     
  9. sinnedk

    sinnedk New in Town

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  10. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    IT puts me in mind of - and most likely is patterned after - the British centre-zip / shirt collar jackets favoured by Ton-up boys. Things similar to some of the models produced by Rivett's of Leytonstone under their Highwayman brand in the alte fifties, also brought into the Lewis line from 1962. Notably re the standard Aero Highwayman, it was patterned initially after an original Rivett's jacket from 1959 which a customer brought in to Ken's shop, but in agreement with the customer they gave it a slightly looser fit, more like the late fifties US jackets of that period. The "Original 59er" version of the Highwayman that Ken introduced a couple of years ago is a straight repro of the original Rivett's jacket, which would be very close to this Flathead in style and cut. (The Ton Up niche has its own specific following in Japan - I believe there's even a franchised Ace Cafe out there now, one of several worldwide, so it's not surprising to see Japanese makers do some models that are much closer the British style than US. There are, of course, others who have done outright repros of the Lewis line - 666, Ozzy and Adict among them.)

    I always forget yahoo auctions still exist in Japan. Funny how they survived there where elsewhere they died the death.

    I highly doubt any of the sort of Japanese brands we favour in these parts ever really appealed to the masses!

    Ha, if only...

    The domestic market for any such stuff must surely have its limits; one would think an international market for this sort of thing would be the best way to stave off a domestic slump.

    We've seen it happening more generally in the hertiage leather jacket field for some time; smaller firms come and go and others still struggling to get a foothold because it's simply a market which has found its level re number of high end manufacturers.

    IH also seemed to me to be more aimed at the international denimhead market than vintage strictly speaking, which probsbly means a bigger market. (A lot of us more vintage leaning folks might not wear jeans often enough to justify that sort of money, while also the hardcore denimheads who buy into the 'no wash' philosophy seem to need to replace their jeans more often as the rot and them blow out at the crotch.)

    The beauty of ecommerce is,of course, that a business which might be too niche to survive in one limited area can do well by mrshalling a niche on the global level. Be interesting to see if any of the
    Japanese labels currenty focussed internally switch to this tack, though if they catchon to Western sizing some of the Chinese could give them a good run for their money.
     
  11. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @Edward, the Japanese just don't do e-commerce. It's still a fax and name stamp business culture.
    Yahoo auctions Japan is a Japanese majority owned outfit, and is seen as 'safe' which is why eBay has never caught on in Japan whilst yahoo auctions was destroyed by eBay in other markets.
    Even Rakuten, Japan's biggest online shopping operator, only survives because it has local offices that inspect and vet applications to open a store on Rakuten IRL. And (because the Japanese are about 20 years behind), offer cash on delivery payment options because so few people have credit cards or the means to pay over the internet.
    And, TBH, they'd rather not have to bother with non Japanese language speakers, and international consumer protection laws and standards. It's too bothersome.
     
  12. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    Global Rakuten works fairly decently if you ask me. They do accept PayPal most of the times. Agreed that on average japanese websites aren’t great at all and they offer an early 2000s shopping experience but it isn’t much different for Aero or Lewis Leathers to name a couple of western retailers popular around here.


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  13. Arizor

    Arizor Familiar Face

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    Interesting discussion. Rakuten also works well for me, on the rare occasion I use it, but yes the average Japanese commerce site (at least for Heritage menswear) seems quite far behind.

    For those wondering on length etc., more balanced fit pic of me wearing in natural light at a neutral angle:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Yeah, absolutely. I have no difficulty nor worries about paying online for my Rakuten and Yahoo Auction Japan purchases, but I think you'd be surprised by how many people pay cash on delivery or have their purchases delivered to their local convenience store where they go to pay cash when they collect.
     
  15. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I remember back twenty years ago, at the start of my career, whenc my post was paid for by European Commission money and most of my work was on the ECLIP (Electronic Commerce Legal Issues Platform). As the UK partner, our area was payment systems. (How I wish I'd bought a few Bitcoin then!) I remember reading at the time about Japanese ecommerce being slow to take off and working around the desire for cash. Interesting that hasn't changed. Mind you, maybe the Japanese will come out ahead on that in the long run: Which (consumer protection organisation) in the UK are now fighting for the "right to use cash" as more and more cash machines disappear ni the UK, especially in rural areas, as a reaction to increasing card usage. Ten years ago, cards were around 30% of transactions; now around 70% of trasnactions in the UK are by card. I don't mind using a card most of the tiem myself, but on principle I would prefer always t have the option of cash. It's a privacy thing - and if we're not careful, those with an anti-privacy agenda (you know, the "nothing to fear, nothing to hide" types, to employ Goebbels' phrase) will win out.
     
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  16. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    The only cash I carry around these days is £1 coin for the shopping cart, that’s it really everything else can be paid by card in London.
    It’s so convenient not having to worry about withdrawing cash all the times.


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  17. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @Mich486, yeah, I only use my plastic for internet shopping now and do everything else with cash (which I never did back home) and I like it too.

    @Edward, yes, I think you're right. The Japanese system has inadvertently 'caught up' with the future; I was just reading a couple of days ago about San Francisco banning cashless stores.
    When it comes to the whole privacy thing, people who say that they don't mind because they've got nothing to hide are kind of like people who don't mind losing their free speech because they've 'got nothing to say'.
     
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  18. Rich22

    Rich22 One of the Regulars

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    Those are unusual shoulder measurements, especially for a Japanese made jacket. I’ve been in Asia for most of the past decade and it’s fairly clear the chaps here aren’t so broad in the shoulder as Westerners. I have a big chest and back from weightlifting, and my chest measurement makes many jackets look sloppy at the shoulder, so it’s something I always have to pay attention to for a nice fit.
     
  19. Arizor

    Arizor Familiar Face

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    Yeah the Flat Head have notoriously large shoulder measurements; the standard folk tale is that it's based on the founder's unusual shoulder to chest ratio.

    What are folks thoughts on the latest fit pic? The shoulders are softening and creasing which might look cool really worn in, and the chest is comfy, not too tight when zipped, and the sleeve length feels good. Just those shoulders, sometimes I really like the look, other times I worry. But perhaps that's the nature of any expensive leather jacket (or indeed any expensive item), where you just get neurotic.
     
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  20. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

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    I think this jacket looks great man! I liked it from the first photos you posted last week and I think it is only getting better the more you wear it.
     
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