May 17, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
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On our recent trip to Japan, we dropped by the Rugged Factory store in Harajuku. The store opened a year ago, as a little brother to the famed Rugged Museum and home of Free and Easy magazine. We picked up a gem of a book from the store that celebrates all the key items that surround the infamous rugged style of these stores and Japanese menswear in general.
The book was put together by editor in chief of Rugged Magazine, Minoru Onozato. He describes in the bi-lingual introduction:
“The very first time I became aware of what it is to be “rugged” I was a seventh grader at a private high school in Tokyo…The school offered a variety of activities and my choice was rugby…The iconic figure in rugby then was JPR Williams who played rugby union for Wales, he became the symbol of the rugged man for me….In the mean time, my attention towards fashion was also awakened by rugby. The clothing that varsity rugby team wear had become the first paragon of menswear for me.
Classical rugged fashion is somewhat timeless yet it can be enriched with the essence of military wear, sport fashion, outdoor fashion, workwear, native fashion, etc. For me the pursuit of rugged fashion, or pursuit of “unfashionable fashion” has flourished my life and sometimes given me great ideas and thoughts in my publishing and film making career. As this quest has endured long it has been accepted as a well established style both in Japan and overseas.
This book My Rugged 211 is a record of this quest.”
The thick tome is a pictorial guide through Minoru Onozato’s pick of his ultimate items representing “rugged style.” With 211 items in total, the book explores pieces such as the 70s Champion sweatshirt, the Souvenir vest, the 50s Levi’s Short Horn denim shirt, the 60s Rider jacket. In addition, My Rugged 211 notes newer key items such as the Kapital work cap, the RRL Car coat, the Warehouse Stadium jacket, and more.
The book lovingly describes each item and points out its special highlights and features. It’s an amazing insight into the eye of a knowledgeable collector who knows classic menswear apparel inside and out. So if you want to learn, he is the master to teach you!
The book seems to be available at a number of places online, so get searching. A good starting point is on J.Crew’s website.
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