Mar 23, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
Get more Denim insights as a WGSN subscriber
Jun 10, 2015
Last month saw the first edition of Clutch Collection, a new Japanese heritage, denim and lifestyle trade show in Yokohama, Japan.
By now I’m sure our readers are familiar with Clutch Magazine, one of Japan’s leading men’s vintage style publications. The magazine features only the best of the best in craftsmanship globally and has become an essential monthly read for Japanese and international heritage-savvy males. So when we heard that they were launching their first trade show featuring the best Japanese denim brands, and a selection of the best from the rest of the world, together in one place we immediately made plans to attend the show.
The fair was created by Atsushi Matsushima, eiditor-in-chief of Clutch Magazine, and partnered with Nick Clements of Men’s File with a simple concept, “To offer foreign buyers and exhibitors access to the huge Japanese market on its home territory.” That means new markets to sell your product to if you are a manufacturer and new brands to buy from if you are a retailer.
As Thomas from Denim Hunters correctly pointed out in his CC Show Recap, the problem with European and US trade shows for Japanese brands before has always been the lack of connection with their audience outside of the home market and the overlying expense and investment that comes with such a risk. Additionally the confusion surrounding Berlin’s trade show scene has further separated the two markets and consequently lead to the Mr Matsushima and his colleagues from Men’s File taking matters into their own hands by creating the Clutch Collection show.
With Nick Clements on hand to advise on the needs and wants of the European and American visitors, and onsite English/Japanese translators to hand, the three-day show was made as profitable and stress-free for all parties as possible. And like the unique binding of Men’s File and Clutch physical glossy, the collaboration of the trade show reflected the total universality of revival style with a mix of Asian and Western attendees at the show.
Held in the beautiful Ōsanbashi Pier in Yokohama, just a 30-minute train ride from downtown Tokyo, the fair showcased the best Japanese goods and introduces the Japanese market to the coolest that the rest of the world has to offer. Many of the 84 brands on offer were ones that readers would’ve discovered in the magazine, as well as new undiscovered brands. While the WGSN editors were unable to attend the show, we were lucky enough to have the wonderful Sadia Rafique, partner of Mohsin Sajid of Endrime, cover the show for us. Here we bring you a few of our favorite from the show and be sure to check out Rawr and Denim Hunters for their selections too.
2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Japan’s finest denim brand, Warehouse, and the founders Kenichi and Kouji Shiotani came prepared to the CC Show with something special to mark the occasion. To celebrate, the twins are releasing a perfect replica of an original Montgomery Ward cowboy jean from 1939. Made from left-hand twill denim, there are three styles available, which all are delivered in a special commemorative box – a must-have for any raw denim collector.
When it comes to vintage clothing collectors, they don’t come more serious than Larry McKaughan. For more than 20 years, the vintage enthusiast has pioneered and set the standard in the vintage market and reproduction garment industry, and his own heritage-inspired repro label Heller’s Cafe is proof of this. For S/S 16, Larry looks to 1940s Geisha prints as well as WW-II hand drawings for jackets, while the denim pays tribute to vintage jeans with authentic wear patterns.
Christophe Loiron of Mister Freedom transported his infamous LA store to Japan with a huge booth designed with fake red bricks and vintage American memorabilia. Continuing from his Vietnam Saigon Cowboy collection, Mister Freedom goes all blue and green with inspirations from ’50s French Indochina for autumn 15. Key pieces include a 1920s-inspired military peacoat with 16OZ indigo warp / black weft denim with a “lizard” brushstroke camouflage lining.
An expert in denim design and the fabric itself, Mohsin Sajid of Endrime has made a name for himself through his technical designs that blend modern construction methods with traditional craftsmanship. Using the past as a touchstone for moving forward, Mohsin has redesigned and reworked a number of vintage pieces for A/W 15 that include a rare 1954 British Army pant made, a pleated trucker with impressive dart manipulation and a special multi-colour nep jean thats being used in the Denim World Championship.
Not a new player by any means, Anachronorm have been quietly producing the highest quality garments in Japan for over a decade. With a deep passion and dedication to Made in Japan products, the brand has grown in many ways since their early inception as a vintage inspired denim brand. For S/S 16, designer Tomoki Tanushi continues his foray into new and innovative product and design exploring meticulous textile manipulation like antique boro repairs as well as a range of beautiful fades on jean jackets that look as though they’ve been worked and lived in – just how Anachronorm want you to wear them.
Other brand highlights
While we would have loved to write about all the fantastic brands on show at the fair, there are just too many to list. Most notable brands to watch include Studio D’Artisan, Full Count, Feldton, Ginew and Leno & Co, all of whom are in the WGSN report. So subscribers, keep your eye out on the denim page for the report going live this week.
While the main hall hosted a portfolio of Japanese and international brands, the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse next door invited guests to explore the collections of some of Japan’s most revered vintage dealers. Big names such as BerBerJin, Vostok, AnchoR Vintage and JOB 314 showed alongside a select few US dealers like Hellar’s Cafe, Strongarm Clothing & Supply and Snappy Gabs.
Street Style and Mood
Of course as you would come to expect, the show attracted some of the most well known names in the industry as well as the crew of immaculately dressed attendees and brand workers. Here some of our favorite looks from the show.
Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.