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The Flat Head

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Interesting, as the SE webpage lists it as linen. And I think Kiya was asked about it recently in the SE thread as well.

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Ordered a pair of 3009 from SE last week and wore them for the first time today after 1 warm wash and 1 hot wash (hopefully they don’t shrink too much more over the years)

A few thoughts.

These Japanese brands are not kind to western body types. I am 6’ and ~190 lbs (so not huge, but probably quite a bit bigger than the average Japanese male), and I’m not exactly swimming in the size 36. Also, I didn’t do any measurements and didn’t look them up, but I’d be surprised if the back rise were much longer than the front rise. These ratios aren’t ideal for those with meatier behind. 

Finally, I know people have mentioned the size of the pocket openings and I didn’t really know what to expect. It couldn’t be that bad, right? WRONG. The pocket openings are basically unusable. Once you get your hand in the pocket, the bags are a normal size, but nobody with normal sized hands would be able to get in there without force.

People have blamed Flatheads bizarre sizing on the owner basically making everything to fit himself. Well, he’s not wearing size XL shirts or size 36 pants, so one would think they could do a better job of scaling these measurements to larger sizes. Someone who wears size 36 pants probably has bigger hands than someone wearing 28, so open up those pockets bro!

That being said, i have a size XL of one of their western flannels from this winter, and after throwing it in the dryer, the proportions actually fit me pretty darn well. Usually I have a problem with the really narrow shoulders from these Japanese companies (18” on a lot of brands in my size), so glad the flathead at least gives me something different to worry about. The neck opening is a bit big.

And despite the ridiculousness of some of the measurements, I do think the pants will work for me and am excited to see how they progress.

 

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It sounds like you might've benefitted from going up one more size. FH jeans tend to run very small for their tag sizes. On the plus side, if you otherwise like the fit, they shouldn't shrink anymore after your wash and soak.

From experience working for Flat Head and being around a lot of people in their clothes in Japan, you'd be amazed at how small the average sizes are. I was the only person at the office who wore bigger than a size 38 in shirts (40 or 42 in my case.) And I'm quite thin. Most Japanese people in FH stuff seem to wear jeans between about 28 and 32, maybe 34. Very few bigger than that. So it's kind of tough for them to test that stuff out, there just aren't a lot of larger guys around to try on the prototypes, I guess.

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21 minutes ago, Cold Summer said:

It sounds like you might've benefitted from going up one more size. FH jeans tend to run very small for their tag sizes. 

Maybe! But not sure I’m psychologically ready for a tag that says 38 (do they make that?!?)!  Three years ago it took a lot of humility to order size 35 samurai 710, size 36 took even a bit more! 

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I hear you on FH stuff being a big guy myself. They just don’t really make stuff for our frame. I’m a similar size, about 6’3” and 225 lbs. and a lot of their shirts don’t fit me well and I take a 38 in their jeans. Luckily the new shirt I just got does fit for a change.

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WRT the shirts, the constraining dimension has to be the midsection. A a few weeks of beer and meat and that shirt’s on the hanger for a couple of months.

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Agree on all the above. I'm 6'1, 185lbs and a solid size 44 in their shirts, and even funnier, an XXL in their jackets!:

IMG_5331.JPG

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Interestingly, the announcement about Flat Head's dissolution/reorganization has disappeared from their web site.

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8 hours ago, Cold Summer said:

Interestingly, the announcement about Flat Head's dissolution/reorganization has disappeared from their web site.

Interesting...

Just received the FH cafe racer, incredible service from @Danny @ Rivet & Hide as always.

The leather is, as with all their jackets, gorgeous, and the stitching is laser focused. The back panel is a work of art, can't get get pics of that until the other half gets home!

Cold day in Melbourne so a hoody on, which works I think, but obviously I'll normally be wearing a tee or shirt.

 

IMG_5181.JPG

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Edited by Aries

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10 hours ago, Cold Summer said:

Interestingly, the announcement about Flat Head's dissolution/reorganization has disappeared from their web site.

Wonder why. The announcement generated a flurry of interest in FH products. Perhaps the big boss is having second thoughts?

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So I'm about a 30 inseam and I decided I didn't like to stack my jeans anymore so I hemmed everything to my exact length.

The problem I later found out is that when I buy a tapered pair, I basically lost all the taper and have a really wide opening.

The cut is 3002, did I mess them up? I find the opening doesn't look good with any sneakers, but works fine with boots.

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It's an issue when hemming a pair with a strong taper.

You could always send to a reputable jean tailor service to put the taper back in

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What's the difference between THC 001 and 201??

TFH T's are the best out there but been a bit since I bought them so not sure what all these new models are :huh:

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Just picked up this, new to me, faded red sweatshirt. I just love the color. 

E651DE39-E0C2-4B6F-934A-0FF918DBA51B.jpeg

090DE886-620D-4A64-B110-069E5C464288.jpeg

C04922C8-7AC7-467A-9933-AF19D24BA699.jpeg

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[img=https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48537393591_dd92b83867_z.jpg]

been along time since this pair retired

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I don’t know any Japanese but if my Google Translate image function is correct it looks like The Flat Head filed for bankruptcy. RIP. :(

 

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daaaaaaamn, I hope they can relaunch the brand

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Here's the original article.

And the Google Translate, cleaned up a bit:

 

"THE FLAT HEAD" is known as a casual brand that is well known nationwide, and popular with celebrities. Global Unit ([Boring stuff excerpted], representative Masayoshi Kobayashi) and flat head [Boring stuff excerpted], applied for the application of the Civil Rehabilitation Law to the Tokyo District Court on August 28.

[Some boring legal representative stuff]

Global Unit Co., Ltd. was established in November 1993 for the purpose of managing the American Casual Shop “Dessert Hill's Market”. In addition, Flat Head Co., Ltd. was established in July 1996 for the purpose of importing used clothing, and then planned and manufactured casual clothing and miscellaneous goods based on its brand “THE FLAT HEAD”. In recent years, both companies have operated with multiple brand channels. In particular, the “THE FLAT HEAD” brand is well known throughout the country, popular with celebrities, and the annual sales of Global Unit Co., Ltd. were about 929 million yen in the fiscal year ended May 2014. Flat Head Co., Ltd. had booked about 913 million yen in FY5 / 15.

However, since then, the business performance has been sluggish, and due to the decline in profitability due to sales and the closure of unprofitable stores, the annual sales of Global Unit Co., Ltd. is about 498 million yen in the fiscal year ending May 2019 The Flat Head was reduced to about 403 million yen, and the profitability was getting worse. In addition, cash flow deteriorated due to inventory burden from to an increase in product items. During this time, while improving management and receiving support from financial institutions, etc., it did not bear fruit, so it seems that this measure was aimed at drastic reconstruction.

The total liabilities are approximately 1,003 million yen for Global Unit, and approximately 661 million yen for Flat Head, for a total of approximately 1,664 million yen (both as of the end of May 2019).

The creditor briefing will be held at “At Business Center Tokyo Station” (Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo) from 1:30 pm on September 4."

 

So it sounds like Flat Head is making about 60% less money than in 2015. I'm not familiar with Japanese law or business activities so I'm not sure if "Civil Rehabilitation" is something akin to bankruptcy, but it's bad news regardless.

Edited by Cold Summer

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I did a quick google search earlier for Japanese “civil rehabilitation” and the first thing that popped up was bankruptcy. Thank you for the full article and translation clean up. Sad day in the denim world. :(

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I don’t know if TFH has succumbed to the competing forces of fast fashion or if it’s because of the lack of an international distribution chain. Could be both but what do I know? I never gravitated towards TFH only because their measurements didn’t work for me. I do really dig the horsehide jacket that R&H was selling but $2k is too rich for my blood

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When I worked there in 2013-14, the shipments to Pronto in Thailand constituted a humongous amount of Flat Head's revenue. I wonder if the Thai denim craze has passed and if that's hurt their profitability. They certainly don't seem to have expanded much outside of Japan - the few American shops outside of Self Edge that carried them like Snake Oil Provisions and Mildblend seem to have dropped FH stuff a while ago.

 

Just my subjective opinion, but I felt that Flat Head peaked with their FW13 collection. Since then, there hasn't been much that caught my eye (particularly with new shirt designs.)

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TFH is/was a great brand in terms of details, construction and all this.
They always have been quite expensive. I'd love one of their leather jackets but like the Colonel said, too rich for my blood.

 

@Cold Summer I think the "Thai denim craze" is still there but it probably has shifted to PBJ and Oni...or also their local brands.

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35 minutes ago, Cold Summer said:

When I worked there in 2013-14, the shipments to Pronto in Thailand constituted a humongous amount of Flat Head's revenue. I wonder if the Thai denim craze has passed and if that's hurt their profitability. They certainly don't seem to have expanded much outside of Japan - the few American shops outside of Self Edge that carried them like Snake Oil Provisions and Mildblend seem to have dropped FH stuff a while ago.

I’ve noticed this too. Brands like Iron Heart and PBJ seem to have more stores carrying their stuff, so they might be better insulated. 

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Sad news indeed. Fortunately for me, TFH shirts fit me very well, if not a little tight and restrictive in the arms. I've been debating for some time now, against my better financial judgement, about copping a couple shirts that are still available. The fabric of TFH shirts really is unmatched. Once their gone, their gone forever now. 

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4 hours ago, Cold Summer said:

When I worked there in 2013-14, the shipments to Pronto in Thailand constituted a humongous amount of Flat Head's revenue. I wonder if the Thai denim craze has passed and if that's hurt their profitability. They certainly don't seem to have expanded much outside of Japan - the few American shops outside of Self Edge that carried them like Snake Oil Provisions and Mildblend seem to have dropped FH stuff a while ago.

 

Just my subjective opinion, but I felt that Flat Head peaked with their FW13 collection. Since then, there hasn't been much that caught my eye (particularly with new shirt designs.)

 

4 hours ago, beautiful_FrEaK said:

TFH is/was a great brand in terms of details, construction and all this.
They always have been quite expensive. I'd love one of their leather jackets but like the Colonel said, too rich for my blood.

 

@Cold Summer I think the "Thai denim craze" is still there but it probably has shifted to PBJ and Oni...or also their local brands.

From earlier this year it was clear the Thai denim culture is still going strong however it is changing. Pronto itself is carrying different brands and styles alongside their usual brands and marketing them massively such as carhart and their own in house brand. Looks like they have now opened skate wear stores as well. 

I'm gonna miss TFH THC T's so may have to start stocking up!

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Very happy I picked up the leather jackets before I missed out forever, whew. Sad day.

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I believe the talk of FH demise is a bit premature. They have already presented a winter collection, so they believe they could handle the situation.

They need to restructure and hopefully they would convince their creditors about their plan.  As with many Japanese companies - what the founder says or does - is the only way that is considered correct, is never questioned and is followed blindly. This has led to the beginning of their demise. Lacking a person with understanding of business at the day-to-day management did not help either.  

But the article pinpoints correctly what I found to be an issue with them - too many shops, too many sub brands and too many clothing items. I would add - very late to online commerce, very late with digital marketing and what really gets me is way too many brand logos on their outerwear and tops. Sales outside of Japan would have never been anything of significance. 

Last year, I was at their Sendai store and when I opened the door, I felt that I might be their only customer for the week. It felt so desolated. I have rarely seen people at the Daikanyama store. Three times possible. Compared with PJB, Jelado, UES or Warehouse, FH stores always felt empty. 

Without FH, amekaji and ametora scene would be really poor and really boring and the attention to the detail from FH and the quality of their products FH is unparalleled. I have never understood the complaint about how their shirts fit - they fit me like a glove, but this is very individual. Last winter Uniqlo and IH had identical ombre flannel shirts and you can see their owner showing the shirt cloth patterns at shirt factories and others (e.g. Jelado) rarely offer anything different so losing Flat Head is like losing the only brave and willing to experiment company on the scene. 

 

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22 minutes ago, mikkadehachikai said:

I believe the talk of FH demise is a bit premature. They have already presented a winter collection, so they believe they could handle the situation.

Where did you see a winter collection?  No retailer I know of saw a FW19 collection. 

Actually I believe I was the only person outside of the company to have seen samples of their late FW19/SS20 collection which was a set of shirts and jackets with different branding.

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I did not say I had seen it. But that they, the FH, have presented a winter collection (at several public events at their stores in Japan in July and in August. These events were open to anyone). I pretty much doubt that you are the only outside of their company to have seen their new ideas. 

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