The BKc, Japan 2011 recap: Special thanks to the entire Jetro team for inviting us to Japan and giving us one of the best experiences and tours of Japan’s country side and fabric mills. We were also fortunate to see a different side of Osaka and we loved every minute of it. We are forever grateful for the traditional experience, from tea ceremony, to the hot springs in Yonezawa, to meeting an drinking Sake with the Mayor. Can’t forget introducing us to the best beef known to man, Yonezawa beef.
While in Tokyo, The Bearded Man caught up with Kohey for two full days (18 hours each) of non-stop retail exploration, photo shoots and distribution meetings. Tokyo never fails with the amount of beautifully curated stores it delivers. One of our favorite vintage shops (Pigsty) has two shops in Osaka and one in Harajuku, Tokyo. We were fortunate enough to visit all three of them, one after a full & exhausting day of meetings and seminars- we won’t stop.
A Selected Few: Jetro Osaka, Jetro NYc, Jetro Tokyo and the design team. USA: Alexander Wang, UK:Ozwald Boateng, USA: CFDA Awars nominee Antonio Azzuolo, Italy: Carta e Costura, Italy Fontana Couture and yours truly representing BK to the fullest : The Bearded Man & The Brooklyn Circus.
What a wonderful group of people. We were fortunate enough to be assigned a personal translator in Osaka & in Yamagata, two separate people. We’ve traveled and navigated through Japan in the past with all the Japanese we learned on our Berlitz language software, lots of sign/hand motions and of course the help of our trusted BKc Japan resident, DJ Kohey. This time the experience was quite different as we navigated the country side with a translator assigned to translate everything, I mean everything.
Furniture spilling out of what can possibly be one of the biggest vintage gems in Nakameguro,Tokyo a shop called Jantiques. They have a secret back room with some amazing men’s vintage for serious buyers only, but you have to know to ask for admission into the room.
The only sign that one of our favorite vintage stores exists on the 3rd floor of a random building in Osaka. We spent about an hour trying to find it. BKc hats off to Helen and Antonio for patiently joining a determined Bearded Man who would not stop until he reached his intended goal of finding the store Pigsty.
The Bearded Man at a meeting in Yonezawa,Yamagata Japan, trying on a very traditional and expensive winter Kimono, average retail price $5-$7,000. The fabrics alone range from $60- high hundreds per yard. Yonezawa has been famous for hundreds of years for supplying Japan with 90% of all the silk fabric used in traditional Japanese Kimonos.
Not certain if jay walking tickets are issued in Japan, but it is always pretty impressive to see a large crowd standing on both sides of the streets waiting for the light to change. Notice how there are no cars preventing them from crossing, now that’s discipline.