K&H Leatherworks – Beagle coin pouch

K&H Leatherworks is an up and coming workshop that’s popped onto my radar this year. Tucker Gasho first began leather working in 2017, driven by a desire to create with his own hands. My meeting with Tucker digitally comes at an exciting time for K&H, which is gradually becoming a full time pursuit.

K&H is short for “Koda & Hobbes” by the way, the names of Tucker’s pet dog & cat. At this time, all of K&H’s wallets are named after dog breeds, which is a pretty neat idea.

Tucker’s coin pouches made quite an impression on me; given that it is not often I’m attracted to smaller pieces, I thought his “Beagle” pouch was worth showcasing on this blog.

This particular Beagle coin pouch was made as a reverse version of Tucker’s own coin pouch, based on our shared liking of natural & organic colours. This little Beagle is rather fun – let’s take a closer look.

 

Design

The Beagle coin pouch is a double layered, bifold pouch design.

It measures 8 cm tall and 9 cm wide, being slightly less than palm-sized.

The spine measures 5.5 cm.

The flat layout is a figure-8 in shape.

When loaded and compressed, the Beagles comes in at 8 mm thick.

Opened up, you’ll see the mouth of the pouch on the top portion of the Beagle, the widest point measuring 7 cm.

Coins are held in the lower portion of the pouch, which is sealed off when the pouch is snapped shut.

 

Leather

This particular Beagle is a customised version, being made from Badalassi Carlo’s Pueblo leather, in the Walnut and Olive colours.

The leathers used here measure 3 oz (1.2 mm).

This very curious Italian leather has become quite popular recently, especially with makers of minimalist or gentlemen’s style carry goods.

Pueblo is a top grain leather, cut from the shoulder of cattle, being fully vegetable tanned, dyed through and having quite a bit of oil.

The surface is distressed in such a way to produce variegation, and the grain definition (pores) is not visible when new.

Over time, the contrasting texture will begin to fade, and the grain growth will increase in visibility. The colour darkens and the sheen increases relatively quickly too – I attribute this to the oily nature of the Pueblo.

The texture is somewhat fluffy and suede-like at first, the temper is firmer than other Italian leathers, but not quite as stiff as Buttero leather. They have a similar smell…buttery, almost sweet.

 

Function

The Beagle has been made for one purpose: carrying coins.

As a coin case, it performs as intended, being able to carry a fist full of coins.

The Beagle folds easily and snaps to closure securely.

Its relatively small size allows it to slip into all types of pockets, whether it be on vests or pants.

Simple, but functional.

 

Construct

The Beagle is an entirely handmade piece.

The panels have been hand-cut and hand-sewn.

The curved edges are smooth and the panels well matched.

The saddle-stitching is sewn with thick, green polyester thread, coming in at 6 SPI.

The coated brass snap is firmly installed.

The K&H logo is inked onto the backside of the leather on the top portion.

A smaller logo is stamped onto the grain on the bottom portion.

The edges are sanded and burnished, all completed by hand.

The edges of the internal opening has been finished too.

 

Thoughts

This Beagle coin pouch is my first piece from Tucker at K&H Leatherworks, and I’m impressed by the calibre of this coin case given the relative youth of his crafting. The Beagle has stood out, for me, among his current works as a piece that is particularly pleasing to the eye, and also meeting my personal needs.

I’m not a minimalist when it comes to wallets, and my preferred carry style is a combination of a bifold/mid-wallet and a coin pouch. Whilst there is no end to folded, full-sized wallets, nice leather coin pouches are a rarity. Certainly, a pouch like the Beagle, featuring the same hand-made detailing found on wallets, is hard to find.

During the creation of this review, I found the Beagle to be exceptionally photogenic – much easier to photograph compared with most card wallets and pouches. The circular shape and the relatively thick thread compared with the small size of the piece contribute to a very pleasing look. With the use of natural colours, the Beagle has an organic aesthetic. I’ve found it to combine very well with fabrics of all sorts, anything from indigo denim to much more complex weaves.

Tucker, being a denim head himself, seems to also value ruggedness – the Beagle, afterall, was made fairly sturdy despite its relatively small footprint. When folded, the pouch offers almost 5 mm of folded leather. This helps the Beagle keep its shape, even with the punishment that comes from back-pocket carriage.

Whilst relatively small – it is a coin pouch after all – the clean layout allows the Beagle to showcase the Pueblo leathers very well. I neither like nor dislike the Pueblo leather: on one hand, it is stunning on fine leather goods when new, but on the other, it is not a good choice for leather purists as the grain has been purposely distorted. I must concede, however, that Badalassi Carlo does colours better than most Japanese and American tanneries, and the use of the Pueblo on my Beagle pouch is one of the main reasons why it is so photogenic.

Tucker’s dedication to the hand-made process is commendable. Even on a smaller piece, no short cuts have been taken. The same cutting, sewing, sanding and burnishing all completed by hand, as they would be on larger wallets. Given the K&H workshop is only less than 2 years old, I’d say the quality of the work here is beyond what I’d expect for a new craftsman. It’ll be exciting to see how far Tucker can go with leather work in the next couple of years, as he begins to dedicate more time to K&H.

The Beagle has much potential as a design. First, a finer edge finish will certainly elevate its appearance further. Also, the Beagle would be a fantastic showcase for wild leather and thread colour combos. Finally, for a top tier experience, I could see custom hardware being used instead of brass snaps.

All in all, much like a Beagle dog, this Beagle coin pouch is a trusty & sturdy companion. It is rare that a smaller piece catches my eye, and the Beagle has to be my favourite coin pouch so far. Tucker will have the Beagle available in stock saddle leathers from Wickett & Craig, with a choice of nickel/brass/black snaps, but I reckon it might well be worthwhile to have a custom order for colour combos of your choice.

At $85 USD per Beagle, the pricing falls firmly in the minimalist card wallet range. Yet, the Beagle has great utility by the simple fact that it has been made to only carry coins, and thus it is something that everyone can enjoy, even as a side piece for folks who are into larger wallets. For collectors too, the Beagle is a fantastic way to showcase leathers, and, truth be told, I wouldn’t mind a few more Beagles in weird & wonderful leathers.

Definitely, check out the Beagle and some of Tucker’s other work at K&H Leatherworks’ website. I see much potential in this workshop, and hopefully I’ll be able to showcase more of Tucker’s new designs in the next couple of years.

In the mean time, you can either contact Tucker through his website or via Instagram (@khleather) for some custom Beagle action.

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Supplied West – “Miland” key hook

You might remember the Madsen coil key hook, made by Ryan at Supplied West, which I previously reviewed in 2017…

It’s been my daily companion for two years now – my most well used piece of EDC – still serving faithfully and oxidizing gracefully.

I’ve looked into other metal key hooks here and there, but really, IMO, nothing compares – once I tried Ryan’s handmade version, nothing else interested me that much.

Indeed, others than leather goods, EDC gear compatible with Japanese denim is hard to find, let alone handmade pieces.

Well, its 2019, and Ryan’s got some new key hook designs available in his brand new collection.

The headliner design is The Miland key hook.

The concept here is to upgrade and streamline the traditional coil hook, creating a key hook which is more compatible with the modern work-wear hobby.

Let’s take a look at how this Miland key hook compares to the tried & true original.

Material

The new Miland key hook utilises the same American copper from which Ryan creates all Supplied West copper hooks, yet the metal is thicker here compared with the previous coil hooks.

As I’ve mentioned on the blog in the past, I do believe that copper – rather than silver or brass – is the true companion for denim, leather and indigo dyed goods. The colour both new and with oxidation provides pleasant contrast to the blues and browns of our hobbies, synergistic in a way in which brass and silver cannot quite match.

In the photo below, you can see the differences in thickness between the old and the new key hooks. Further, the results of two years worth of oxidation and a couple of sandpaper polishes are on display on the older, coiled Madsen hook.

Certainly, the very raw, elemental copper featured here has oxidised in an elegant and appreciable way with just two years of use – this is partly the reason why I favored the Madsen hook these two years above all others. Given my experiences so far, I’d say the new Miland hook promises quite some patina in the next years, certainly.

Design & Construct

The Miland key hook has been designed to be heftier, yet simpler, compared with Supplied West’s other hooks.

Three major design features stand out – the thicker hook, the removal of coils and the addition of a chain of jump rings.

The hole attaching the hook to the first jump ring is precise.

The ring glides & spins effortlessly, but the hole is just the right size so that the ring also does not bounce or rattle.

Both ends of the hook are trimmed down and smoothly hammered.

The hook will not snag your clothes.

The spacing between the two parts of the hook is well done – it will pass through a thick belt loop with gentle effort, but it’s not too open so that the hook might be in danger of detaching.

Ryan has carefully bent the copper to shape, and thus the spacing is fine tuned.

The spacing can be further adjusted by the user of course – copper is pretty bendy as far as metals go, so no worries about breaking the hook.

The entire key hook is smooth and gentle to the hand.

There are no rough surfaces or sharp edges.

This is achieved through intensive & repeated hand filing and hand sanding.

The jump rings are made of thinner gauge copper, and are all precisely made.

The circular alignments are perfect – the rings glide over each other smoothly without snags.

Finally, Ryan has updated his hook designs to feature black-coated, solid copper Japanese split rings. The black coating has been designed to slowly wear off.

Thoughts

I can say with confidence that the range of metal hooks from Supplied West is some of the very finest in this hobby of ours.

Doing away with frills such as leather tassels and glass beads, Ryan’s work focuses on the hook itself, both in terms of material and design.

Whilst the Madsen hook from 2017 was an upgraded replication of the Japanese key hook commonly encountered in the denim hobby, Ryan’s newer designs can been seen as fundamentally different variations of the coil hook, progressively streamlining and minimizing.

The Miland key hook, however, represents a significant departure from the coil designs – modernized, more simplistic – an interesting blend of the elegance of elemental metal and the ruggedness of a handmade tool.

The streamlining of the key hook design has been executed well. The traditional coil hook can appear more hectic or folksy, due to the copper coiling around the body of the hook and the prominent curves.

Yet, with this new design, the need for coiling has been eliminated. Further, Ryan has reduced the curves on the body of the hook, opting for slightly more angular and minimalist edges. These changes lend a more industrial, yet cleaner, aesthetic.

This new style would be a smart choice for fans of minimalist carry or current generation Americana fans.

The meatier hook feels nicer and more substantial to the hand as well. Again, a careful balance heft, practicality and sleekness has been achieved here.

It is interesting to note that I also have a couple of blacksmith-made iron key hooks in my collection, which are thicker and more angular than the Miland. Yet, I never use these monster hooks, as they tend to cause rather severe wear & tear on my pants. There is no such issue with Ryan’s make – the copper is thick, but not excessively so, and the smoothed surfaces make it rather used friendly.

The oxidation potential of the copper metals here is also much greater compared with the average brass or cooper hook. Ryan has not just left the copper raw & uncoated – indeed, the hook has been extensively hand-finished through filing ad sanding, to intensify the patina development.

This is something I do myself on my brass and copper gear once every year or so, to achieve greater depth and flavor in the aging of the metal. It’s good to see a maker who is also a hobbyist, with an understanding of why brass and copper are important aspects of our hobby.

The chain of jump rings also introduces a new element to the hook, giving it a fluid feel when handled or used, adding an interesting dimension to the aesthetics. I also appreciate the fact that the jump rings are entirely handmade and hand finished to match the hook – Ryan has not taken any shortcuts at all.

The only aspect of the hook which Ryan has not made with his own hands is the Japanese black-coated split ring. This is, however, a very high quality split ring made from solid copper, which will fade from black to copper in time. The contrast between the ongoing oxidation of the hook and the fading the split ring from black to copper should prove very interesting.

The black on copper combination is my favourite too, and I’m glad to see Ryan consolidating his range of hooks based on this arrangement.

As part of our denim, work-wear and leather hobbies, I do believe that our outfits, in their entirety, need to be cohesive – a certain synergy and congruence between the component pieces is required. EDC gear such as a key chain or hook are parts of this equation too, and I do believe that Ryan’s key hooks will serve as perfect companions for denimheads and work-style enthusiasts. Whether it is the complementary aesthetics of the copper hook or the consistent philosophy of buying & using hand-made goods, Supplied West key hooks are a great choice regardless of where you’re at in our hobby.

At $60 USD, the Miland key hook is priced very well – not only is it entirely handmade by one man out of the finest raw materials, it will also give you years and, perhaps, decades of graceful service.

Skip the generic hooks and check out Ryan’s key hook line-up on the Supplied West website.

Wild Frontier Goods – Vault Rider wallet

I’m a huge fan of the Fallout series of games, and in particular the art in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 really captured my imagination. I remember spending hours exploring these in-game worlds, filled with fictionalised post-war Americana designs. Sadly, I don’t really have time to game so much these days, but my fascination with the retro-futuristic aesthetic continues.

Mike at Wild Frontier Goods, no stranger to pop culture, has been creating some wild wallets recently, with some very unique patterns which showcase leathers and colours nicely.  After some discussion, he came up with a great idea to combine one of his new wallet designs with the blue & yellow colour theme of Vault Tec, an important part of Fallout lore.

So it is a very warm welcome-back to Wild Frontier Goods on the blog for 2019, as Mike & I embark on our first video-game themed wallet project. Let’s check out this custom Vault Rider trifold wallet!

 

Design

The Vault Rider wallet is built upon Mike’s new Makimono trifold design.

Makimono translates to “scroll” in Japanese – fitting for a trifold – and according to Mike here in lies a reference to the Elder Scrolls series of games, also by Bethesda.

This is a pretty radical new layout aimed at Japanese leather fanciers and denim-heads alike.

When folded & closed, the wallet measures 11 cm x 8.5 cm.

It is 2 cm thick when fully loaded.

The wallet is closed via a band on the exterior.

The pull-tab is reinforced by an additional layer of leather.

The internal paneling has created 2 quick-access card slots, 2 card compartments, 1 notes compartment and 1 coin compartment.

Each panel of slots contain 1 access slot and 1 compartment.

Top top access slot allows for quick, single card retrieval.

The compartment allows for multiple card storage.

Sandwiched between the coin compartment and the outshell, the notes compartment is also wide enough to further store cards.

The notes can be stored folded, or straight out in a horizontal fashion, beneath the panels.

The coin compartment is held closed by a snap.

There is enough room for a handful of coins, without any distortion to wallet shape.

The layout is such that it might store everything from guitar picks to receipts.

Of interest, the right-sided panels are attached only at the top, allowing the card slots there to be flipped out.

This would be useful for a travel pass or key card.

Overall, this is a larger wallet – with a bit of heft, between the size of a billfold and a mid-wallet, with a storage capacity in the same range as traditional layouts of comparable dimensions.

 

Leather

The blue and mustard coloured saddle leathers here are fully vegetable tanned and lightly glazed from Tochigi Leather tannery in Japan.

You’d have seen the natural version of this leather a few times on this blog already, though I must say Tochigi’s coloured offerings are very impressive also.

This saddle leather is tanned using Mimosa extracts, which impart a reddish tinge at baseline to the natural leather. Grain growth is dense, tight and fairly deep, giving the appearance of fine but intense texture.

The colours are bright, organic & consistent in appearance.

The choice of colours here is worth mentioning. Mike has picked out a royal blue that matches the blue on Vault Tec’s vault-suits very closely, and indeed a wonderful colour it is.

The yellow colour is a little trickier.

Way back in Fallout 3, the yellow trimmings on the Vault-suits were almost neon – a very bright, blue-toned yellow – this worked well for logo and environmental designs, but on clothing & accessories it fell a bit flat, almost tacky looking.

This issue was not as glaring in game, as the weathered appearance of clothing had softened the brightness of this particular yellow. When Fallout 4 was released, the neon yellow was updated to metallic gold on the Vault-suits, which looked much nicer.

For a sleeker & period correct mix of colours, Mike found a nice mustard colour from Tochigi’s range. It is warm, with a red tinge. The combination of the blue & mustard works very well, I feel. This is not the pale yellow of Fallout 3 or the gold of Fallout 4, but it’s very close to the optimal colour for this blue/yellow combo as far as real-life clothing is concerned.

 

Construct

Similar to other Wild Frontier Goods pieces featured on this blog previously, the Vault Rider wallet has been hand-made. This means hand-cutting, hand-sewing and hand-burnishing.

Hand-sewn saddle-stitching feature throughout this trifold.

The thick white threads and 7 SPI density impart a Japanese work-style aesthetic.

The cutting and paneling on this wallet is very neat.

Indeed, precision is key here, as a trifold design will end up rather wonky even if a few millimeters of error is made.

Mike has used a high quality Hasi Hato snap for the closure of the coin compartment.

You’ll notice here too, that each panel is indeed firmly stitched in, without use of glues.

Finally, all the edges of this wallet has been beveled and burnished.

The result is not only very clean edges, but also a fantastic sandwich effect where the blue and mustard panels overlap.

 

Thoughts

Regular readers of this blog would know that the garments and leathers featured here are mostly derivative of post-war Americana, whether it be an artisanal Japanese interpretation of the aesthetic or a modernised, heritage-revival styling. This is likely the closest way of dressing, IRL, to the retro-futuristic designs in the Fallout series, without veering into cosplay territory.

On this same note, I’ve been fairly disappointed with Fallout merchandise clothing over the years, mainly because they have failed to capture the authentic vibes of Americana. Take Fallout merchandise wallets for example – mostly very boring bifolds, either very poorly constructed or offering no further design evolution from a basic billfold. Of course, most gamers cannot afford a $200+ wallet, so it is understandable that gaming merchandise are poorly made, yet I feel it is a shame that Bethesda has not thought to release a limited line of genuine, Americana style loot.

That being said, there is plenty of opportunity to incorporate some of the themes and motifs of Fallout into my wardrobe, which does include many custom pieces, and this Vault Rider wallet from Wild Frontier Goods is perhaps a first attempt at such.

Of course, no leather wallets have been shown in detail in any of the Fallout games, so it is hard to say what an in-game wallet might have looked like. However, I think the Fallout concept has been executed very nicely on this Vault Rider wallet by Mike, both in terms of the play in colour combination and creating a retro-futuristic look.

The Vault Rider has managed to capture the style of Fallout game-art through careful colour selection and sleek construct. I can imagine one of the Tunnel Snakes or Atom Cats carrying this wallet in the Fallout universe, for sure.

The Fallout theme aside, Mike’s Makimono design has taken the basic trifold wallet and amped the curves and detailing right up. The paneling is novel, yet easy to use. It’s not necessarily the most space efficient, and neither has carrying capacity been maximised, but I don’t think that’s what Mike had in mind for the Makimono.

This Vault Rider wallet, similar to its other Makimono brethren, is all about showcasing the colour & grain of leather – it has a unique flavour, a futuristic yet somewhat rustic vibe. The outshell layout will tie together different colours nicely, or it can thoroughly showcase a single leather.

The wallet is also practical, allowing quick use of cards, easy access to cash and secure storage for coins.

The relatively bulk of this wallet – at 2 cm in thickness when fully loaded – is not for the beginner. The Makimono wallet is an addition to your wardrobe that would only make sense if you have already started wearing heritage-style garments, with more rugged fabrics and retro details.

It is, however, a fantastic wallet to complete an Americana outfit. The layout of the wallet has much customisation potential, thus the Makimono comes highly recommended if you are after a specific colour combo – this really is a great piece with which to personalise your kit, as you can see with this one off Vault Rider version. Denim and work-wear fans in particular, I feel, will really enjoy this new design.

Other than the new layout, Mike’s crafting of this wallet and the materials selected are both top notch. The sewing and finishing on the Makimono is one step above what I have experienced with Mike’s previous wallets in 2017/2018 – there are no notable errors or imprecision in its making. The materials continue to be high end, and very Japanese, even if the more folksy elements such as indigo dyeing or persimmon painting have not been used on this Vault Rider.

In considering how these individual aspects add up to a very coherent & refined whole, I’d say the RRP of the Vault Rider (slightly more expensive than the original Makimono) at $240 USD is good value indeed.

On an interesting note, as far as natural leather is concerned, whilst I favour Shonan’s saddle leather over Tochigi’s version, Mike feels the opposite. This is my first time seeing Tochigi’s coloured saddle leathers though, and handling this Vault Rider in person I can definitely understand why Mike likes them so much. The grain has good growth whilst still retaining a relatively regular appearance, the colours are vivid, and the sheen is just right. The leathers feel good to the fingers too.

All in all, this Vault Rider wallet from Wild Frontier Goods is a pretty awesome piece. One of the most unique wallets in my very large collection, and to be honest it turned out better than I thought it would have based on my preconceptions when chatting with Mike about imitating the Vault Tec colour combo.

More than just a Fallout themed wallet, I do think the Makimono is a great design to spice up other Americana outfits, whether it been denim streetwear or retro sportswear – it allows great showcasing of leather character and colour, not to mention its unique layout and fairly distinctive looks.

I’m actually already thinking about a Nuka Cola themed red/white wallet…

Wild Frontier Goods’ current portfolio of work is definitely worth checking out, and if you are wanting personalised colours on your wallet, then Mike’s your man. Visit his website or contact him on Instagram – let him know the other Mike sent you!

12 oz denims – indigo challenge!

A few people have asked me on both Instagram and reddit what I thought about the current state of light weight denim jeans, as far as top end Japanese makers are considered.

Acknowledging that 12 oz is hardly ‘light weight’ – most shirting grade denims sit around 8 or 9 oz after all – I thought I’ll take a look at three of the 12 oz models for summer 2019. Shout out to Denimio and Oni Denim, from whom I received the early Kiraku sample, and also thanks to Corlection for letting me sample the Momotaro Jeans and Pure Blue Japan jeans.

 

Oni Denim ONI-902KIRAKU

Read my full review of this very cool pair here!

I’ve spent almost one week with this fabric, and I think the Australian heatwave has really helped with the indigo fades. The photo above was taken just today, one week on, in natural light.

The Kiraku fabric has a great shade of blue – the natural indigo really comes alive here – and the texture is heightened further after a quick machine wash. It drapes nicer than heavier denims of course, and also breathes very well.

Despite the grainy texture of the warp, it’s rather nice against the skin on the weft face. The Kiraku breaks in readily and does have a little stretch. The waist expanded by 1 inch after 3 full days of wear.

 

Pure Blue Japan 1143

Another intensely textural 12 oz denim.

This summer denim from PBJ retains their trademark balance of slub and colour in terms of fabric highlights. The warp is slightly dry, with an intense but ‘smaller’ or finer texture compared to the Kiraku. The denim has a surprising amount of body for a light weight fabric.

This denim is really fantastic, but I did find the presentation/detailing of this pair, overall, to be a little lacking. The basic patch and rivets does make the appearance of this pair somewhat rougher than the price tag would demand.

Great denim, but IMO the jeans design needs reworking at its RRP.

 

Momotaro Jeans 0405-12

Momo’s take on the 12 oz is perhaps the most ‘plain’ out of the three denims here. People keep telling me that Momo’s denim game is very different from brands like Oni or PBJ, but I do feel that the texture of this pair is underwhelming, no matter what excuse is given. This sanforised denim is also rougher and drier on the warp face compared to Momo’s usual luxurious long staple cotton denims… I wonder if it’s been over-starched?

That being said, the indigo colour on this pair is pretty nice. Also, the presentation here is good – everything from the patch, to the hardware, and even the sewing, is spot on – the 0405 has a very refined ‘Japanese jeans’ aesthetic.

So, here they are, the three Japanese 12 oz options for summer 2019. Texture geeks should go with either Oni or PBJ, though I do feel Oni’s Kiraku is the winner here – better price, nicer indigo, more detailed patch & hardware. Fans of the typical Japanese aesthetic or folks who want more ‘normal’ denim could go with the Momo. Check these jeans out at Denimio and Corlection.

Oni Denim – 982KIRAKU jeans review

Welcome back to Indigoshrimp, and have I got something special for you today!

This is the first denim review of the year 2019 – the lightest weight jeans I’ve featured on the blog since 2008 – Oni Denim’s solution to the denim enthusiast’s dilemma of what to wear during the hotter summer months. I’m talking about Oni’s new headline fabric, the Kiraku denim (鬼楽).

I’ve been lucky enough to obtain an early sample of this pair of jeans via the good folks at Denimio. The timing was perfect too, since I was able to field test the Kiraku during the Australian heatwave that’s recently swept the continent. I’m hoping this early review might help with your purchase decision when the Kiraku drops at Denimio.

Weighing in at 12 oz, it would be natural to assume that this denim is relatively flat and uninteresting compared with heavy weight fabrics, but the Kiraku might surprise you! For the folks who are interested in the history of the Oni Denim brand, check out my earlier review of the Shin Secret Denim. Otherwise, let’s  have a look at the Kiraku denim.

 

Fit

The sample pair being reviewed here will be released as the ONI-982KIRAKU. Another two cuts will be available too. The 982 is a high relax tapered cut, and a relatively new addition to Oni’s lineup.

The photos of the fit were taken on days 1 & 2 after a quick, cold water soak to shrink up the denim a little.

In very broad terms, the 982 is a modern, lifter’s style cut with a relatively high waist. I think this is fairly evident in how this pair has fit my frame.

In the top block, there’s plenty of space for the pelvis and in the seat.

The thighs are generous, and can accommodate athletic legs.

From just above the knee, the jeans taper rather strongly, finishing with a narrow opening near the ankles.

The fit is very similar to Oni’s well known 622 cut, the major difference being the higher rise on the 982.

The rise is high enough that you won’t need to worry about any undergarments showing, regardless of how low you squat!

On my sample pair, the inseam is long enough for a double cuff after the initial soak.

For reference, my measurements are 185 cm and 93 kg, wearing size 36 in the 982 cut.

The fit of jeans is a very subjective matter of course, but based on my experience I reckon the 982 cut works well for fuller or more athletic builds.

The 982 will fit better for many Westerners compared with other Japanese cuts, which tend to squish the top block.

 

Fabric

The Kiraku is a 12 oz unsanforised, RHT denim, woven on a truly vintage shuttle loom using natural indigo rope dyed warp and beige dyed weft.

Oni’s aim here appears to be two-fold… One, to create an enthusiast level denim which is light enough for harsh summer days. Two, to find the lowest weight limit with which Oni could produce a Secret denim texture.

It is interesting to consider, too, that the kanji for Kiraku, 楽, translates as “comfort” or “ease”. This had been confusing for me initially, as I was more familiar with the Mandarin translation of “happy” or “joy”.

The weave tension is extremely low for this denim. The overall structure is fairly loose. The relaxation of the weave, combined with a 6 x 6 year structure (traditionally used on heavier denim), has resulted in a fabric which is variegated and irregular despite its relatively light weight.

The Kiraku would have been a challenging denim to weave – kudos to the mill!

The porous weave is evident on both wearing and observation. Similar to Oni’s previous extra-low tension 14 oz fabric, you can observe some light passing through the denim when you hold these jeans up towards the sun. The same effect with air can be felt when the jeans are worn – this denim breathes very well, in comparison to the usual 14 oz + denims that are common in this hobby.

The warp face, apart from being irregularly irregular due to slubbing, is also moderately neppy. The streaks of the slub are rather lengthy compared with other slub denims, giving the Kiraku a vertical flavor. This verticality, combined with the relative hairlessness of the warp face, further imparts a crispy, almost dry look to the Kiraku.

All things consider, the Kiraku is certainly much more intense than the usual 12 oz denim.

The textures on the warp and weft faces are rather different. The warp is rougher – bumpy, slightly dry, full of notches & ridges. The weft is smoother, more luxurious even, and gives comfort to the skin when worn. Running my fingers on the warp face, I’m reminded of my previous experiences with the fluffy & somewhat dry cottons from the Americas. On the weft side, I’m certain there has been liberal use of long staple cotton.

The colour of the denim is rather special too. I do not know the full details about the dye stuff being used (as in, the plant origin of the natural indigo), though my understanding is that this is a rope-dyed natural indigo denim. Certainly, I can confirm the rope dye method by examining loose yarn.

The natural indigo dye would explain the curious variation in shades of blue this denim displays under different lighting conditions. The rope dyed nature of the warp yarns should mean the denim fades faster and with more contrast than a traditional natural hank dye fabric. I would describe the blue of this denim to be clean, vivid, moderately dark and organic.

The weft is gently coloured too – a soft tinge of beige, perhaps cheese dyed, the colour penetrating through the yarn.

 

Details

The detailing of these jeans are not changed from Oni’s previous releases in the last one to two years. In other words, all the bells & whistles have been installed, the the arcs remain the same shape.

Oni’s patch design and the high grade deerskin utilized for the patch are some of the nicest in this hobby.

This particular leather ages extremely gracefully, though it can burn & shrivel in the dryer – for best results, always air dry your Oni Denim jeans.

The woven tag makes its trademark appearance on the inside of the waistband.

Having previous experience, I know this tag will age in its own way to match the evolution of the denim & indigo.

Fully customised buttons and external rivets feature.

These doughnut buttons on the five-button fly, in particular, have great texture. Certainly, an upgrade compared with the laurel wreath buttons on my very old pairs of Oni Denim jeans.

The punch-through rivets are customised Universal burr rivets.

The copper on these rivets will oxidize over time.

Of course, hidden Universal rivets are included too, just under the bar-tacking securing the back pockets.

Overall, the sewing is neat and streamlined.

Lemon and orange threads dominate, and the colours blend together smoothly.

The construct is not strict-reproduction based however, so don’t expect big, fat cotton threaded chain-stitching.

Regardless, the sewing is dense and fairly regular.

Important structural elements such as button holes, waist band and fly seams are expertly finished.

The five belt loops are raised in the center.

The attachments are neatly tacked.

The pocket cloth returns to the plain but sturdy twill fabric used prior to last year’s Aizumi denim release.

Not quite as monstrous as some Kurashiki sail cloth I’ve seen, but definitely more comfortable and less obtrusive against the thighs.

Finally, the selvedge ID pays homage to the Secret Denim, with a slightly different configuration yet featuring the same pink threads.

 

Thoughts

In reviewing this new Kiraku denim, I thought there were two considerations worth exploring which are in line with Oni Denim’s development goals for this new fabric. The first question for me would be, is the Kiraku a good answer for the dilemma of wearing Japanese denim in hot weather? The other consideration would be, how does the Kiraku compare with Oni’s recent headline denims, which include heavy-hitters such as Shin Secret, Aizumi, Kuroai, etc.?

Let’s talk about denim weight and weather.

Within the denim hobby it is common to see a focus on heavier fabrics, especially for folks who are just starting out. Many enthusiasts, if they delve deeper into the Americana / retro menswear branches of the hobby, find themselves gravitating back towards mid-weight denims between 14 to 16 oz. Regardless, outside of strict reproduction fabrics designed to imitate pre-1960’s denims, it is very rare to come across denims that are lighter than 13 oz which would be considered interesting or worthwhile.

Further to this context is the fact that everybody has different tolerances when it comes to clothing thickness and ambient temperature. Denimheads can exist on a spectrum – at one extremity you have guys who would wear 21 oz Iron Heart denim during a South East Asian summer, and on the other there are people who refuse to wear anything but shorts once the temperature climbs into the 30’s.

As I mentioned earlier, I tested the Kiraku during the recent Australian heatwave, the hottest day in my area being 46 degrees Celsius, and I could wear the Kiraku without issue. Against the skin, not only was the denim breathable, but also the weft face was comfortable & relatively smooth. At the same time, as a texture geek, the Kiraku adequately held my attention, and I was not bored with the denim at all – in fact, I was suitably impressed by this denim, and upon touching it I’m still surprised that this intensity of grain & texture could be achieved at such a low weight. The contrast between hand-feel of the warp & weft faces is worth examining too.

This deliberate engineering of the denim indicates to me that, in many ways, the Kiraku was designed with the more advanced enthusiast in mind – someone who expects a good balance between comfort and texture, someone for whom the fad of ultra-heavy denims have worn off over the years. To answer the first question then, I’d say that the Kiraku is a very well rounded solution to the perennial “which denim to wear during summer” dilemma.

On the other hand, the Kiraku could also be a good idea for beginners. Perhaps you might be anxious about the discomfort of heavy jeans, or maybe you simply do not wish to sacrifice comfort for the novelty of wearing cotton armor. The Kiraku, then, is a perfect introduction to the weaves and indigo hues that are available at the top end of this denim hobby. It is a shorter leap to make, after all, transitioning from 10 oz mall-brand jeans to this 12 oz denim, compared with a deep dive to the 20 oz Secret denim.

Lighter weight aside, is the Kiraku comparable to Oni’s heavier denims?

Oni wanted to see how low they could go with denim weight whilst still maintaining a Secret denim texture. To be completely realistic, of course, a 12 oz denim cannot be as detailed as a 20 oz denim – there’re just so much less thickness and cotton to work with – though I must say that I’ve never seen another light weight fabric which even begins to approach the complex hand-feel of the Kiraku. So, whilst the Kiraku is slightly flatter and less complex compared with the original Secret denim, it’s perhaps best to think of the Kiraku as the 12 oz manifestation of the Secret denim weave, rather than trying to compare apples with oranges.

The natural indigo dye is a welcome contrast to the recent greens and inks which have tinted Oni’s headline denims. You can’t go wrong with a soothing, organic blue. This shade of indigo is appealing and approachable, making the Kiraku a rather versatile denim that will easily match any T-shirt or sneakers on a hot summer day.

To answer the second question then, I’d say the Kiraku is best conceptualized as a new standard in light weight denim weave, its current manifestation being versatile & approachable. Therefore, the Kiraku definitely has a place among Oni’s enthusiast-grade fabrics.

Are there any downsides to this denim, you might ask? Well, to balance out this review, I should mention that a combination of low tension, loose weave and light weight could potentially impact on the durability of the Kiraku denim compared with heavier, denser denims. With regards to durability, I cannot draw any conclusions yet – only time will tell.

On a different note, this is my first experience with Oni’s 982 cut, and I must say I’m enjoying it immensely thus far.

I’ve noticed it is fairly similar to Tanuki’s HT cut, and again I will comment that the two brands share many similarities in their jeans. (If examined closely, you will notice the Kiraku denim has certain similarities with Tanuki’s Kaze denim too!) 

The 982 high relax tapered cut works well with my body shape, and proves to be a much improved “export” cut compared with Oni fits from previous years, as far as non-Asian markets are concerned. I should say this cut will probably not work well for slim people, as the thighs and seat will be too baggy if you don’t have some meat on your bones. For everyone else, the 982 will integrate nicely into modern Americana, casual-wear and street-wear wardrobes.

All in all, the Kiraku certainly sets a new standard for light denims. Apart from presenting the enthusiast with a neat balance of texture and comfort, the Kiraku denim is an awesome achievement from the perspective of denim engineering. The texture:weight proposition is ridiculously good, and the indigo hues from the natural dye is pretty spectacular in sunlight too! I very much look forward to seeing this particular weave being made with different indigo hues and sulfur dyes in the future.

At a RRP of  23, 000 JPY, the ONI-982KIRAKU can be considered to have great value, factoring in the ridiculous R & D effort over years that have been invested in its creation, and the use of natural indigo dye of course. This newest release from Oni Denim is an easy recommendation for both beginners & collectors, and if you’re specifically looking for a pair of summer jeans, the Kiraku will need to be one of the top picks.

Check them out first, and at the best pricing, with Denimio.  Early reviews are something I’ve been hoping to do on this blog for a while, and rare is the opportunity to organize this with a Japanese maker, so many thanks to the cool guys & girls at Denimio for getting me linked up.

RM Williams – desert boots review

I’m a big fan of RM Williams’ elastic sided boots, and indeed my last purchase from them dates back to my medical student years, such is the durability of my camel leather boots – two re-soles later, they’re still good as new, and I’ve had no reason to purchase another.

However, RM Williams has undergone some changes since that time, with increasing number of their products being made outside of Australia, and in 2014 the brand was taken over by a private-equity firm belonging to LVMH. I’ve wanted to discuss this topic for some time now, and wanted to tie in this discourse with a boot review.

By chance I was looking to purchase a pair of desert boots and came across RM Williams’ take on this classic British shoe, finding it to be superior to Clark’s ubiquitous original version, hence today’s review will star RM’s Tanami desert boot.

Two birds with one stone. Let’s take a look.

 

Style

Of course, the desert boot is not an Australian invention, and neither is the elastic sided boot for that matter. Yet, us Aussies will often claim British inventions as our own. The desert boot was made popular by British soldiers fighting in Africa during WWII, being made in Egypt on custom requests, based on a South African design. It was claimed that the desert boot was a more practical & durable footwear compared with military issued boots at the time.

Clark’s, a British shoe manufacturer, made this style popular among civilians from the late 1940’s, being particularly favoured by American customers. The appearance of the desert boot in Hollywood productions subsequently led to worldwide popularity.

RM has been adding to its lace-up catalogue over the past few years, and thus far, two versions of the desert boots have been offered: The two eyelet Tanami (named after a somewhat famous desert stock route in Australia) and the three eyelet Nullarbor (after the vast Australian plains of the same name).

This pair is the Tanami, in the original ‘sand’ colour. It has the appearance of chukka boots, spec’d as desert boots – flesh side leather, gum + leather sole, ankle height.

In a departure from Clark’s original boots, RM’s version is not suede (but rough out), comes fully lined and features additional rubber + leather heels.

The Goodyear construct and natural Storm welt really adds visual appeal too, making the boots more striking than the traditional stitch-down appearance of desert boots.

The toe shape is a little dressier than the original from Clark’s, but remains wider than most RM toes. Closer to E than D with good vertical room, I’d consider this more of a workwear silhouette.

The overall finish and silhouette here is neater and more sophisticated than the original. This sleeker desert boot will match indigo denims very well, and I’d say it would be perfect company too with any variation of military twill & sateen fabrics.

 

Leather

RM has utilised an Italian rough-out cattlehide leather for these boots. The colour is full depth, in the original sand colour.

This rough-out leather is much nicer than the various suede leathers you’d find on desert boots in general.

At 2 mm (5 oz) thickness, this leather is soft but dense, with a whole lot of waxes and oils stuffed in, creating a comfortable feel and pleasant hand.

RM’s website mentions that heat is applied on the rough-out leather to surface the wax, improving consistency and texture. This process seems to have worked out rather well.

The inside of the boot is further lined with the same leather, whilst the heel, insole, midsoles, welt and part of the outsole feature natural vegetable tanned leathers.

On handling and inspection, it’s clear that the leathers used in the Tanami boots are a league above the originals.

 

Construct

Despite my mixed feelings about this pair of boots being made not in Australia, but in Romania, I’d have to say the quality of construct here is not too bad.

Firstly, the overall assembly of individual leather pieces on the upper is very neat. The proportions and angles are consistent, and there’re not random bits jutting out or any obvious mismatches between the boots.

True to the chukka boot design, the two piece leather construct is rather well done here. The tonal stitch-work is dense and regular. No random threads are sticking out anywhere.

Even in busy areas such as the tongue attachments, the sewing is neat.

The sewing on this pair should prove to be rugged and long-lasting.

The eyelets are cover from the inside, with no metal showing on the exterior.

RM William’s iconic pull-tabs flank the rear, though the Percy St address now has little meaning given the boots are not made at the original factory anymore.

The welt and midsole construct is pretty good. The stitching on the welt is, again, dense and regular.

The edges of the welt are relatively well done – there are still spots of irregularities here and there, but overall the appearance is smooth.

The Storm welt is a nice addition.

Not quite Northampton standards, but better than what’s coming out of North America, mostly.

The outsole is neater and more sophisticated than I’d expect on a desert boot. The gum rubber outsole is supplemented by a half rubber / half leather heel and also a sewn-in leather toe tap.

The leather is sewn flush with the gum sole, resulting in no changes in the sensation of walking, unlike toe taps which are simply nailed in.

The heels are glued and nailed.

The insole features vegetable tanned leather.

 

Thoughts

This is my first time checking out RM Williams’ lace-up boots, and whilst I’m impressed by the quality of materials & construct, there’s also sadness about the fact that RM has started to outsource the manufacturing of their boots.

This comes as little surprise, given that RM has manufactured most of their garments overseas for the past two decades, and now that the brand is owned by a French company and operated by a Singaporean firm, it was only a matter of time before even the boots are made elsewhere.

As of now, RM continues to make their core range of boots – the elastic sided boots – in Adelaide. Though, I wonder how long it would take before this Australian icon is also made overseas.

Ignoring politics & nostalgia, the Tanami boots compare well to many of the higher end English and American work boots you’d have seen on this blog. It is a much better boot compared with Clark’s original desert boots, RM Williams having incorporated upgrades in terms of leather, method of sole construction and the overall quality of manufacture in the Tanami.

Consider the rough-out leather, the Goodyear Storm welt, the streamlined & modified gum sole, and the full internal lining with vegetable tanned leather. The Tanami is better made and more substantial than any other off-the-shelf desert boots I’ve seen.

Semi-objective examinations of quality aside, I feel RM’s desert boots also look much more handsome than what Clark’s and others have been offering. The sleeker toe and natural welt adds visual impact too, whereas most desert boots look rather clumsy with a coarse, stitch-down edge.

All in all, the Tanami really is a tier above the original.

All good news so far, yet we must also consider that RM’s version of the desert boot is, at least, twice as expensive as Clark’s and other similar boots. Also consider the fact that RM’s boot pricing in general has been going up & up, whilst more of the catalogue are being made in developing nations. This makes me wonder about the value proposition.

Indeed, for fellow Aussies, I’d say that purchasing RM’s lace-up shoes at RRP is not a good idea. The boots and shoes that RM outsources tend to be marked down quite drastically during sale times, much more so than the boots that are made in Australia.

This consideration about value also brings us back to authenticity. RM’s new owners are keen to market an Australian ‘bush story’ to the world, but nowadays, apart from the boots being made in Adelaide and some of the designs being sketched here, nothing about RM’s products are Australian! Take this pair of boots for example – the money sits in Singapore, whilst the labor occurs in Romania, the design is British/South African – what part of this desert boot is Australian, really?

Thinking about this topic more broadly, the reflection on the lack of Aussie qualities of this boot points to a more fundamental problem: Australian work wear is simply not attractive to most people, not having much appeal either to young Australians or important international markets such as the USA or China. RM’s failure to build international sales in the past decade reflects this, as does the demographics of its domestic consumers (older, conservative, male, Caucasian). Other Australian outfitters and bootmakers have similarly failed to attract an international audience in past years, and thus the problem is not only intrinsic but also systemic – as things stand, Aussie bush gear simply cannot compete with other heritage styles such as Americana.

Modernizing the RM Williams brand will be challenging indeed, and it’ll be interesting to see how LVMH will go about bringing this quintessential Australian outfitter into the 21st century. Or, perhaps, its equity firm will shortly pass RM onto new owners? Only time will tell.

The Tanami desert boot, whilst sadly not Australian, is very well made, being one of the nicest desert boots in existence. Exceptional materials combined with improved aesthetics & Goodyear welting have resulted in a boot that far exceeds the original. The question here is whether the $450 AUD pricing represents good value for a pair of boots made in Romania, and Australians may need to ask themselves if there is any logic in preferentially purchasing RM Williams footwear if neither the money nor the labor resides in Australia.

Sociocultural considerations aside, these are great boots! Highly recommended for anyone wanting a grown-up version of the desert boot.

Denim, work-style & menswear with Davy at Lieutenant & Co.

 

Merry Xmas fellow denim-heads!

The Xmas special for the blog this year is a conversation with Davy Zhu, proprietor of Lieutenant & Co., one of the premier menswear destinations in Melbourne. In the one year since opening, Lieutenant & Co. has introduced some pretty diverse and in-depth elements to the Americana style here in Australia, bringing in incredible pieces from brands ranging from Connors Sewing Factory to Ace Western Belts.

So, I took a trip into Melbourne city, to catch up with Davy and find out his thoughts about all things Americana so far…

 

 

Shrimp:

Congratulations, Lieutenant & Co. is almost one years old!

What are your thoughts so far, having been so busy setting up shop?

 

Davy:

The store has been open for almost a year, and I’ve met many interesting customers – people I’ve never thought I’d meet, with unique styles and personalities – this has been perhaps my greatest reward.

Also, it has been a personal challenge. I am not a businessman by trade, and I’ve built up Lieutenant & Co. as a hobbyist. Over the years, working in menswear and suiting, I’ve accumulated some knowledge to help me in running this store as owner and sole proprietor. But nothing had prepared me for the hard work involved in running a small business… yet, there is a certain happiness and satisfaction that comes with it too. This is a happiness that is unique to building up something that is your own creation.

 

 

Shrimp:

Over the years, a few Japanese brands have emerged as the most popular among work-wear and denim circles of the Western markets, and the Western retailers of these brands – such as Momotaro Jeans and Samurai Jeans – all have a fairly similar vibe.

Yet, Lieutenant & Co. and the brands represented in your store are rather different compared to what we’ve been used to seeing outside of Japan. Could you comment further?

 

Davy:

I feel like denim and Americana, as we’ve seen so far, are fantastic. Many denim-focused Amekaji brands have solid tradition and a certain authenticity, and I’ve been a big fan – it’s been great to see these brands creating a renewed interest in denim and Americana.

However, I decided to create a different atmosphere here at Lieutenant & Co., in order to demonstrate that there are varying styles and influences within Americana, beyond 5-pocket jeans. I hoped to showcase Americana in a holistic and multi-faceted way to my customers, as there exists so many different elements in the Americana clothing culture. Limiting our focus to only denim can sometimes be restrictive, I feel. The outlook for work-wear can be very broad in scope, and I believe it doesn’t necessary need to be centered on jeans all the time. The focus could be on something as simple as non-denim work pants.

We often talk about the fading and ageing of indigo denim with wear, and much of the time we neglect to discuss the patina process on other types of fabrics. For example, I’ve seen very nicely aged linen cloths on well-worn suits. Many elements within our hobby can age with grace and beauty. This is not a criticism of denim, of course. I’m a huge denim fan, and I’m forever building my denim collection too. But it’s much more fun incorporating multiple fabrics and styling elements into our Americana wardrobe for sure.

My personal interests in tailoring and classic work-wear also plays an important part in shaping the curating of products here at Lieutenant & Co. Though, I don’t wish to kit my customers out in cosplay garments. The pieces sold at Lieutenant & Co. should easily integrate into your existing outfits, and effortlessly combine with other garments in your wardrobe. The idea is for a seamless combination of Americana elements which will not be out of place in your everyday life.

With regards to the store itself, my aim is to create an authentic feeling of the general stores and American haberdasheries of old. From the light fixtures to the layout of the glass counter, from the wooden cabinets to the solid shelves, I wanted to transport my customers back in time, in a sense. To impart an authentic feeling, to evoke nostalgia.

 

 

Shrimp:

You mentioned the brands sold at Lieutenant & Co. have a different feel to the basic, or pure, Amekaji that have been popular so far. Could you elaborate a little bit more on this difference?

 

Davy:

The brands which Lieutenant & Co. represent are all dedicated and specialized, and thus it makes sense that fans of these makers must also be similarly enthused, and have a strong sense of nostalgia for the emotions and aesthetics created by these expressions of Americana. These enthusiasts are perhaps a little different from fans of ‘pure Amekaji’, not so much attached to one single aspect of Americana – motorcycle culture, for example – but are attracted to a distilled or matured version of Amekaji. The house-style of Belafonte is a perfect example of what I mean by distilled Amekaji.

Most of the brands stocked here at Lieutenant & Co. have returned to the roots of menswear. Perhaps these garments are based on clothes that once existed, or perhaps they have been created based on the fiction of Americana. This integration of classic menswear and Americana flavor is very much in vogue in Japan at this time, with a strong sub-culture being built around this style. This style of menswear have impacted other spheres of Amekaji, and you can see influences of this style in brands such as Stevenson Overall and Trophy Clothing.

In many cases, this trend has helped various brands refine and consolidate their own house-styles. Looking at Belafonte too, which we have in store – the brand has really matured in its designs by additionally focusing on classic menswear, rather than being stuck on the looks of basic work-style. That is not to say work-wear is not important – Belafonte has launched the sub-brand of Hammeralls, which evokes the memories of overall makers of the early twentieth century.

Other brands continue to be unwavering in their dedication to work-style. Dappers, for example, are developing Stifel-style wabash twills and Sweet Orr shirting reproductions for their upcoming releases. Attractions, on the other hand, continue to be devoted to Rockabilly, going as far as reproducing old-school creaming soda! The makers behind the garments here at Lieutenant & Co. have not forgotten their roots.

 

 

Shrimp:

Traditionally, Australia has been a tough market to crack, as far as higher end menswear and niche clothing are concerned. What are your thoughts about navigating this difficult landscape as a brick n’ mortar store?

What are your plans and ambitions for Lieutenant & Co. going forward in the next one or two years?

 

Davy:

I must acknowledge that retail has slowed down in Australia in recent times, and our market – as far as Americana and work-style goes – is perhaps not as advanced  compared with bigger markets such as the USA or Japan.

The internet has had a major impact on brick n’ mortar stores too! This is especially true for Lieutenant & Co., as we don’t operate a web-store.

Yet, I must say, one of the reasons behind the slow-down of in-store retail is a lack of effort and vision on the part of us shop-keeps. If a store is specialized, and the proprietors invests creativity and hard-work, I believe brick n’ mortar stores can continue to do well. Our local consumer base is still small, and the central business district here in Melbourne is rather small too, so I feel we can accommodate a large number of niche retailers. More unique products will surely stimulate the market.

The problem here in Australia is the ‘sameness’ and monotony that you encounter everywhere in the retail scene. The same stores and brands exist in every shopping center, all selling the same products. It’s little wonder consumers have taken to the internet… people who are interested in their clothes do not want to wear the same clothes as everybody else, and thus consumers are compelled to shop online both for variety and specialization. You can’t blame your customers for shopping online if no effort is being made in the physical retail space.

Of course, I don’t intend for Lieutenant & Co. to focus on only ultra-niche clothing. I do want to introduce more approachable options, and also popular brands from Japan too. For example, we are taking stock of some Rocky Mountain Featherbed pieces soon, and I am somewhat unfamiliar with this type of ‘outdoors’ style, but this would be another essential element of vintage Americana to contemplate. Other Japanese brands will surely follow.

We will continue to focus on our core brands, such as Belafonte and Anatomica. I’m hoping to also look into collaboration pieces, such as leather jackets and down vests, with our current brands. The design of upcoming collaboration pieces is something I’m still researching. Please look forward to them!

 

 

A big thanks to Davy for his insights. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more dedicated retails spaces like Lieutenant & Co. here in Australia. And, surely, I’ll be back at Lieutenant & Co. next year for more exciting stuff, which I’ll show you on the blog as well.

Well, that’s it for Indigoshrimp for 2018! Thanks for your attention this year, and know that you can catch me on Instagram in the meantime.

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year 🙂