Why only Japan makes high-quality jackets?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Jamesonisliar, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Sadly, that was largely the conclusion the court came to here in London when the Savile Row people got together and challenged those King and Allen trouble makers! (Not that I'm likely ever to be able to afford to trouble the Row with my business, but.....).
     
    dannyk likes this.
  2. antoine p

    antoine p One of the Regulars

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    Fantastic post, what a high level of knowledge and experience. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
     
    handymike likes this.
  3. red devil

    red devil My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Yeah, when I am getting a bespoke jacket, I always have to add "a pattern is being made for me" to make sure it is clearly understood.
     
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  4. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    bespoke sounds too british, probably spoken by people who also drop the word "dapper" every ten minutes:eek:.... I would just say custom
     
    Mil likes this.
  5. Mawashi

    Mawashi One of the Regulars

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    I don't know where this is going lol but the Japanese are for a lack of a better term a rather precise bunch.

    That's not to say the British, Italians or anyone else aren't able to produce high quality gear.

    I won't delve too much into this but I'm pretty sure a Langlitz, is as good as it gets and the equal of better than a lot of more expensive brands.

    I'm a relatively simple guy so it it fits, looks and feels good I'm happy.

    Cheers
     
  6. Justhandguns

    Justhandguns Practically Family

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    I hop between the two continents (Europe & Asia) quite often, there seems to be quite a different in the preference of jacket brands, mostly on more subjective views than facts, and one important factor, fits. I think most of us will have no objection about the excellency of Japanese craftsmanships, the search of perfection. This has been etched into the very mind of many Asian buyers. Say for example, the vintage scene in Hong Kong and Taiwan are mostly influenced by Japanese, the chance of any high-end A-2s that you see are of Japanese origin is much higher than seeing a Eastman or BK. The availability is one issue as there are distributers of RM all over Asia where as the presence of Western makers is zero. Secondly, size does matter when it comes to jackets. Jackets offered by RM and other Japanese makers are designed or modified for the Asian slim fit, I am sure members over here always have hard time finding jacket sizes larger than 44" from Japan. Hence it explains why we have more 'bespoke' services in Europe and the States. The philosophy is completely different. Anyway, I always take the words of sales reps with a pinch of salt.

    Japan is renowned for their skill in 'packaging', you will never see something raw. It does help!
     
  7. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    UK broadcasting law has long mandated a clear separation between programme content and advertising, for good reason. You get a lot of ads for cars during ad breaks in shows featuring objective car reviews...

    I wish I could find some sort of vintage scene in Beijing, but (like punk rock, really) it's very much in the underground. Mainstream fashion has far more of a hold - I gather I need to go to Shanghai...

    Ha, not when I say it it doesn't... It is the technical term all (English-speaking) tailors will use, though.

    Langlitz I'd love to try. Never seen one in the flesh in the UK; they don't seem to make it over here.
     
  8. Justhandguns

    Justhandguns Practically Family

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    From what I observe from my own shopping experiences, be it for jackets or any other stuffs, every country has it's own philosophy. This actually reflects pretty well with their respective car industries. Interestingly, you mentioned Italy, my impression is that they still make beautiful stuffs. Sadly, while looking beautiful and pretty, they don't usually last. In the mean time, I wish Italy well as the CoVid-19 virus is sweeping through the country.
     
    tropicalbob, dannyk and Brettafett like this.
  9. regius

    regius My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I haven't read through everyone else's response, but the "made in Japan is the best" is really a hype, just like any expression that bears similarity to this. My Buzz Rickson WW2 gloves had thread come undone in 3 days, and their magnesium spring loaded Crown zipper (probably made by MASH) fell apart at the slide. I don't know what the definition of "high quality" is in the mind of the original post, but I would not risk manhandling a Japanese leather jacket vs. an Aero. The Aero jackets truly take a beating, but I'm sure BK, Gibson Barnes and Goodwear go too.
    I can name a few examples of "poorer quality", and for my, it always refer to craftsmanship, NOT choice of raw material. So, aforementioned Buzz Rickson (and their peacoat's buttons are about to fall off now), so, stitching/thread tension, button, zipper, these are the places where "quality" shows. Vanson Leather displayed poor quality, for that the lining was stitched to the leather shell poorly on one jacket that when I put it on, the sheer stiffness of the leather torn the lining apart (and the friction against by shirt), so, well, it's a combination of bad stitch job and lining material. Also, some Vanson stitching ran amok.
    Schott 618, the cuff was not folded properly so it ballooned out, also, hanging loose thread ends.

    In the US, the MOST IMPRESSIVE craftsmanship for me was seen on Gibson Barnes jackets, they meticulously match the leather panels, computer prevision stitching. Goodwear, of course, represents a combination of top raw material and craftsmanship.
     
    Mawashi likes this.
  10. Justhandguns

    Justhandguns Practically Family

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    Really sorry to hear that, I guess these are always a hit or miss thing. Honestly, I find the QC of Japanese products a bit doubtful in the past 10yrs or so. I heard from my Japanese friends and colleagues that they now have to compromise a lot because of their poor economy. Good responsible companies should address these quality issues by fixing or providing replacement services for free, and in extreme cases, money back guarantee.

    I cannot judge which company has the best craftsmanship, and how consistent their products are at any given time. As all of the jackets are basically handmade by skilled cutters/machinists/tailors, there is always a chance that you jacket is made by some fresh trainees rather than experienced masters. And at the end of the day, you really have to buy a lot for a long period of time to gauge one's quality. I am sure even John Chapman may have an off day at some point or let down by his supply of raw materials.
     
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  11. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    It is also about demand. Japanese has the market demand for heritage brands and repro products. They were the ones who started the Levi's Vintage Clothing line. Lee Japan is the only affiliate of Lee that still produces repro models of Lee jeans.
    Owing to their demand of jackets from Lewis Leather and Langlitz etc, they were able to start 666 ,Addict, Four Speed etc local brands. They were originally made for their home market only. They weren't looking to export their products. In fact 666 imported their jackets from England.
    Owing to their demand for vintage style Red Wing boots, Red Wing basically catered to the Japanese market when it comes to engineer boots.
    They bought Danner and White's because there is a demand.
    There is simply enough of a local demand to sustain that many repro companies while the rest of the world has to move on to cheaper or more modern products owing to a lack of demand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
  12. diabel

    diabel Familiar Face

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    Goodwear/John has had challenges in the last four years such as fulfilling orders, answering emails, or returning voice messages. I have experienced them myself and I'm working with John on addressing them. Design of his jackets is great though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  13. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    ^^
    That is what I call a first post with a bang!
    Where is my popcorn?
     
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  14. ton312

    ton312

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    Plenty of CD-ROM’s still available. LOL. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
     
    AeroFan_07 likes this.
  15. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 I'll Lock Up

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    Your first post and it's "Not reliable supplier?!?!" :eek::D
     
  16. diabel

    diabel Familiar Face

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    Sorry. I just happened to run into this thread mentioning Goodwear and felt like I had to vent based on my own first hand experience. Goodwear has beautiful design and uses great materials. He is a genius, Michelangelo, of the jacket making and arguable makes the best looking jackets in the world. Period. I know because I have one which I sent to John for small correction (small superficial cut in the back during my jacket production) but strangely John doesn't bother returning it back to me for two years even though I prepaid shipping. He is very nice and professional when he responds - once in two years. At this point I'll take it back even without fixing it. Enough of the pleading with John. I'm moving on. (That said if I ever get my jacket back i'd do the review because as I said it is a work of art.) I do want to have a high quality leather jacket. So I'm watching Himel videos now. I'll order soon and I'm thinking about modified FROBISHER jacket. To be honest his design is not as stunning as John's but c'est la vie.
     
  17. ton312

    ton312

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    Dude you can’t wait 5 years for a jacket? Do you even patience?:D
    All kidding aside. I really would love an Arcadia. It’s the best trim Halfbelt on the planet IMHO.
     
  18. Colin G

    Colin G One Too Many

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    I deleted my post but you must have quoted me just as I did it. Figured it was a pointless opinion but I would never wait 5 years for a jacket.

    Lots of love here for that Arcadia but I just don't jive with it for some reason. I think its the piping I don't like.
     
    ton312 likes this.
  19. ton312

    ton312

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    Your repair has been away for 2 years?? I can save you a lot of grieve and recommend a highly skilled leather care expert if and when you get it back. That’s pure insanity.
     
  20. ton312

    ton312

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    That’s the part I love! Reminds me of all those old Campus HH halfbelts. I had one. It was nice but the GW repro just annihilates the original in this case. I’d never get in that queue either. Not even for a free jacket as the wait and frustration alone would send me to an early grave.
     

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