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Conners Sewing Factory

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Posted (edited)

Let me add a couple of things:

I understand the ‘taken for a ride’ comment, but I think it’s a little bit harsh. We’re big boys and I’m sure CSF (or anyone else) wasn’t your first rodeo. I’ve made enough mistakes in my denim life to have figured out it was only me to blame for buying: for the wrong reason; the wrong size; without enough information ... I try my best to learn, but sometimes I can’t avoid being a dick.

The ‘quality’ debate is something that irks me. Sewing pitch, laser straight stitching and all that technicality doesn’t convey the spirit of the garment and to be honest it seems the most wear and tear any perfectly made item gets is the rigour of its analysis before being worn with the most sedulous (word for the week) care. That kinda undermines the point of the thing.

I think the problem CSF have is that they brought a unique product (and approach) to the market and now that originality is gone and they have outgrown themselves. We’re left questioning this next step and so far it’s only the price that is a known factor. More information is needed.

All that said @Flash and @Double 0 Soul have a lot to answer for ...

 

... and I see Ryan has already said something similar 

Edited by Duke Mantee

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29 minutes ago, Flash said:

I'll add to what I said in my last post and say that i think many have bought conners just based off the hype around the brand or out of curiosity without knowing or caring about what there buying into , I think that has lead to a bit of the disappointment 

The whole ‘influencer’ is as poor a reflection on those that need influenced as it is on the influencer. And before folk think that talking with genuine passion about something you love/like/do makes you an influencer - it does not. That is the domain of those wanting to justify their ‘passion’ and deliberately placing their justification on the various forms of social media to gain status.

It creates hype that can/does lead to disappointment - but I don’t think the guys here are disappointed in CSF, I think most people are just now questioning the apparent price hike and that sounds a bit like criticism.

Remember when I bought that FW Turndown Collar Sweater Coat (my fingers get sore typing that)? I thought I was being challenged to justify why I spent a £1000+ on a piece of knitwear. Turned out folk didn’t have any information and what they did know was exaggerated to reinforce their questions. Once I shared all I knew, things changed ... it left me wondering WTF I’d done :laugh2:

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Posted (edited)

Are people dragging my good name through the mud again! :blush:

Ive got nowt to add other than repeating what ive said in the past,,, They say our love won't pay the rent and so forth..
 
While ive got my rose tinted spectacles on... I'm going to apportion some blame onto Hoggy, here goes...
Sometime around early 2015 before Conners Sewing Factory came into being, i was having a chat with Hogg's regarding FortyNiners regular line of denim, i was considering buying a pair of their 47cut, at that time persuading 49ers to ship anything international was notoriously difficult but i was making progress.. during this time info's started to drip through re CSF on their blog so i held off with the purchase till i knew more. The first drop of 46's were only available over the counter but luckily i'd already made contact re the 47's so after a few more emails and a long wait i managed to land a pair of 406xxx & 409xxx.  I think they were the first pair of CSF outside of JP then in the following weeks i got my hands on another washed sample pair of 406xxx. That's why Hoggy magically reappears in that old thread after his long hiatus, he was probably expecting the 47's to come my way..
 
When the first run was complete, CSF sold off the bolts of 1946 denim, you could buy it by the meter, huge bobbins of the thread, the One Piece of Rock patches and the red tabs (they already sold their 'One Piece' buffalo patch for a couple of hundred yen) everything you need to construct your own pair apart from the hardwear, i even spotted a homemade pair of CSF for sale on Yahoo, they were proper shonky tho, my kind of thing B)
I seem to remember Chaz saying he was just going to watch from the sidelines :D
Edited by Double 0 Soul

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Flash, those jeans look good and as for a rivet being pulled off them after 3 years, that’s simply wabi-sabi. When a rivet pops off your brand new LVC 1915s as you take them out of the bag, that’s poor QC!

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Duke Mantee said:

 

It creates hype that can/does lead to disappointment - but I don’t think the guys here are disappointed in CSF, I think most people are just now questioning the apparent price hike and that sounds a bit like criticism.

 

The price hike is a real kick in the teeth for me so feel the same as everyone else in that respect ,  its pushed there jeans out of my reach .... if I'm honest the original pricing was too much for me given my income/mortgage bills and whatnot .

 

Edited by Flash

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18 minutes ago, Double 0 Soul said:

... my good name ...

 

Funniest guy on the internet :laugh:

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If CSF is going to *fade away* on Sufu with our key players being priced out by affluent newcomers, then someone needs to buy a pair of Bridge of the Times jeans quickly and get the New Big Thing rolling again. This is where influencing skills are required - do we have anyone with those in their toolkit?!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Maynard Friedman said:

Bridge of the Times

He only takes orders when you go to the store in person. But I'm sure Neal could persuade him to change his rules ;)

Edited by beautiful_FrEaK

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42 minutes ago, beautiful_FrEaK said:

They only do orders when you go to the store in person. But I'm sure Neal could persuade him to change his rules ;)

I've already been giving this a shot myself without much luck so far. :D

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Double 0 Soul said:

I seem to remember Chaz saying he was just going to watch from the sidelines :D

Yes you have a very selective memory, that's why! Chaz said a hell of alot of other things too about the brand so feel free to put it up here :laugh:

Edited by Dr_Heech
Usual reason

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I think the issue here is that the whole operation has gotten a little too big for it's own britches, at least in my opinion.

Originally it was about one guy replicating an era of jeans very thoughtfully and carefully. You messaged him directly, sent you up a PayPal invoice and you wait a month or two. There was a sense of mystery about it all, my pair just magically showed up one day a lot quicker than I had even anticipated. No tracking info or anything, just surprise jeans.
Sure the price was a touch higher than other makers, but you're supporting an artist of sorts and it's not a big enough price difference to others out there from everyone in the same segment to be too upset about (I think I paid ¥48,000 for my pair in 2018? I can't remember now honestly).

Contrasting that experience with what goes on now...you wait for an entire year plus or whatever the backlog accounts for. 
Just the cherry on top is that the price has gone up to nearly double the rate of what other brands / vendors are charging. It's all about supply and demand I guess.
Hell, there's a pair of collaboration jeans he did with Aiiro Denim Works on Yahoo right now that went from ¥0 to ¥85,000 overnight and the auction isn't even finished yet...so people will continue to buy the stuff no matter what the asking price is or how long the wait list is.

I respect the hustle and the work/details that go into the product, that being said I will likely never buy another pair.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Dr_Heech said:

Yes you have a very selective memory, that's why! Chaz said a hell of alot of other things too about the brand so feel free to put it up here :laugh:

Exactly what i'm sayin! you said you were just going to watch from the sidelines then within a few months you were cooking-up your indigo-saturated bathwater on a spoon...

hence :D

Edited by Double 0 Soul

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4 minutes ago, Broark said:


Originally it was about one guy replicating an era of jeans very thoughtfully and carefully. 

What's different now ? I've bought stuff from him for the past 5 years and I've never have I re ieved a product and thought it was any less than the original pair I started with .

As far as the wait times go there isn't all that much you can do about that but Yoshiaki did stop taking orders to clear the backlog and I did think this was admirable , he didn't just automatically see dollar signs 

But the price increase ..... nothing ive seen can justify that 

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1 minute ago, Flash said:

What's different now ?

In theory the product is the same, I guess what I'm more referencing is the whole feel/ethos of the brand and the entire buying experience. 
The astronomical growth of the label, the looming price increases and the super extended wait time all just put me off a bit from what I originally experienced I guess.
Not saying this is a detriment to the end product whatsoever, I think he still puts out the same great authentic repro I purchased years back.
I just don't have the same interest in the product now that there are other factors playing into the equation.

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So you’re saying he’s following the WH Ranch business model....

hahahah sounds like he has shit together way better than Ryan Martin tho 

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Just now, shredwin_206 said:

So you’re saying he’s following the WH Ranch business model....

hahahah sounds like he has shit together way better than Ryan Martin tho 

Unfair to tar the man with that brush 

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@Flash was just messing around 
sounds like it could’ve headed that way but he is smart and stopped taking orders to clear the backlog.
that’s where WH Ranch failed and continues to fail. 
Rant over 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Broark said:

In theory the product is the same, I guess what I'm more referencing is the whole feel/ethos of the brand and the entire buying experience. 
The astronomical growth of the label, the looming price increases and the super extended wait time all just put me off a bit from what I originally experienced I guess.
Not saying this is a detriment to the end product whatsoever, I think he still puts out the same great authentic repro I purchased years back.
I just don't have the same interest in the product now that there are other factors playing into the equation.

Definitely respect your opinion here mate . 

But I think they have adapted to the changes in demand ( especially international) as best they could with the exception of the price rise 

Edited by Flash

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Flash, I know you love CSF (possibly more than most on here) and clearly would’ve continued buying them if the price hadn’t headed north at such a rate. I know you’re looking at Warehouse to fill a CSF-shaped gap. Based on your last experience do you think there’s a chance you might be disappointed again (as they’re simply not CSF) and end up biting  the bullet and paying ¥60k? I hope Warehouse works for you though.

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1 minute ago, Flash said:

Definitely respect your opinion here mate . 

Bit I think they have adapted to the changes in demand ( especially international) as best they could with the exception of the price rise 

Yeah there's no doubting that, if I were in his shoes I'm not sure how else I'd be able to better handle the huge growth in demand either. He's only one man at the end of the day.
I mean with my job we're experiencing the same thing from a supply chain perspective, our growth and demand in the last 12 months has completely outpaced our production capacity.
Different set of circumstances when talking about scale, but same concept. We just have to tell our customers your stuff won't be ready for 220 days and then you've got 30-40 day transit times once on the boat...lots of disgruntled people but it is what it is.

I'm sure he's doing all he can, and losing one little international customer isn't going to hurt him all that much, there will be plenty to fill the gap. :D

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1 minute ago, Maynard Friedman said:

Flash, I know you love CSF (possibly more than most on here) and clearly would’ve continued buying them if the price hadn’t headed north at such a rate. I know you’re looking at Warehouse to fill a CSF-shaped gap. Based on your last experience do you think there’s a chance you might be disappointed again (as they’re simply not CSF) and end up biting  the bullet and paying ¥60k? I hope Warehouse works for you though.

I dont know mate 

I started to pick flaws I'm the last warehouse I got after a few weeks , should have been obvious to me beforehand but I'm impulsive and jump into things without thinking them out fully . I'm hoping this time is different because the 1950 25th I've bought look pretty damn good from the pics 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Broark said:

One thought that occurred to me: maybe he wants a bigger piece of that resale pie? Which is to say, if he sold for 40k yen, and they’re going on the secondary market for 80k+, why not charge more in the first place?

(kinda screwed that up, was quoting the auction pricing)

Edited by andrewrose
Oops

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11 minutes ago, Maynard Friedman said:

Flash, I know you love CSF (possibly more than most on here) and clearly would’ve continued buying them if the price hadn’t headed north at such a rate. I know you’re looking at Warehouse to fill a CSF-shaped gap. Based on your last experience do you think there’s a chance you might be disappointed again (as they’re simply not CSF) and end up biting  the bullet and paying ¥60k? I hope Warehouse works for you though.

Once Flash are in csf, he never look back:laugh:

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2 minutes ago, andrewrose said:

One thought that occurred to me: maybe he wants a bigger piece of that resale pie? Which is to say, if he sold for 40k yen, and they’re going on the secondary market for 80k+, why not charge more in the first place?

I was thinking the same.

Another thought:
We know he trains his 2nd and 3rd generation who are supposed to produce the M-54 and M-66 jeans for example (and lots of other stuff).
We don't know if he also let his trainees do the M409 items as well (but I think he is honest when saying only he does the stuff).

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Posted (edited)

Flash, I actually love my 46 and 47 jeans.  You and others have provided good input and guidance and I have no regrets whatsoever.

Having read this entire thread at one time or another, I understand that the point with CSF is certainly not perfect sewing, but recapturing the spirit of classic Levi's from a bygone era.  And, yes, I want to believe that Konaka-san is sincerely trying to do this.  Because you and a couple of others here have met him and been impressed by what he's doing, I counter my agnostic tendencies with something approaching belief.

But I confess to having doubts -- due to high prices, upfront payment arrangements, and language barrier/communication challenges.  I also have this image in my mind (no doubt unfair) of the artisan working away diligently at an arcane cause for reasons related more to love than money.  Roy Slaper once said something like -- these jeans are my children, I want them to go to a good home.  What I do isn't about money.  It's more a project than a business.

Of course, no one should be held to this standard and there's no model that a jeans-maker (or manufacturer of any kind) needs to follow or adhere to.  It's no sin to want to make money while doing what one loves.  But I guess I like to know who I'm buying from and whether they're true to the spirit that they convey to the world (via Instagram or however).  As long as Konaka-san is dedicated to this cause of recapturing the spirit of old Levi's, including its sewing anomalies, I'm totally cool with what he's doing.  But if it's part of a marketing strategy designed to draw us in and justify high prices, then I just feel like a bit of a dope or fool, which may be the case regardless.

My doubts are related to ignorance -- I don't know Konaka-san at all.  I do know Roy (a little), have met Ryo and Hiro of Ooe, and have had many exchanges with Ryo of TCB and Seiichiro of Hoosiers.  All of this adds to a positive experience and helps me to know the people who I'm buying from.  Since I lack this experience with Konaka-san, I'm curious to know who this man is behind that One Piece of Rock ;-)

 

 

 

Edited by JohnM

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Posted (edited)

I get what your saying mate , but i think im done as far as debating quality/honesty/whatever . Seems it's the only time this thread gets any activity 

Were all gonna have different opinions on brands and stuff but this particular discussion is feeling a bit old 

Edited by Flash

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What I would like is for the actual cut of a 1940s or 50s to be copied not the tweaking of the cut. Really what I'm saying is make em like they use to.

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Posted (edited)

@Flash, those jeans are looking really great—seems 3 years is just about the sweet spot. Can you, or anyone else with similar extra supreme vintage Levi’s knowledge / experience comment on the orientation of the pocket backings? Looks like they’re cut at a strong diagonal, almost right on the bias, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on other repros. It seems like just the sort of thing Levi’s would have done (maybe on an individual factory basis?) in order to tile patterns more efficiently on the fabric stock, but was it wide-spread? Are there photos of the sample pair available anywhere for viewing (assuming these were based on a particular pair of jeans)? Really fascinating stuff

Can’t comment much on the pricing increase. Personally, I’ve never seen the appeal—they’re beautiful jeans, but the combo of trying to perfectly reproduce jeans of old while simultaneously working in semi-intentional flaws and whimsies just seems like it embodies a strong disconnect. If I want well-made repros in the style of old jeans, I’m happy with old Cane’s or Warehouse. If I want the production to really feel well-done-but-rushed in a similar way to old school Levi’s, Tender Co. really seems like the obvious choice at this point—the whimsy there just feels so much more real and honest than with this sort of thing…not that I’m very qualified to comment, having never owned a pair

Edited by julian-wolf

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