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Conners Sewing Factory

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50 minutes ago, Maynard Friedman said:

This thread is getting very interesting. Do CSF talk much about their denim/s (mills and cottons used) or make any specific claims about painstakingly attempting to replicate the historic Cone denims that Levi’s would have used during the WW2 era? Or are they happy to allow people to assume, based on their detailed sewing approach, that they go to great lengths in recreating period-correct denim/s.

I’m pretty sure the man himself has said he gave vintage samples to the mill for them to recreate the denim

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Hermes apparently does the same thing. Fill up a quota of purchases at a local boutique, demonstrate appropriate behaviour (geez I might need to put on an accent and ditch the hoodie before I stroll into the store), and the boutique may offer the chance to purchase their most desired products.

But even Hermes does not prohibit the buyer from putting their item on the second hand market.

Nevertheless, it's frightening that some of us would accept this as a cost of admission. Such is the price of prestige. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, AlientoyWorkmachine said:

@Small Potato

I think your English expressed it quite well and thank you for your perspective. Those practices are funny, if also sad - but just show insecurity (and marketing savvy, unfortunately). It sounds like CSF has much more in common with Supreme and other hype brands than they'd like to admit. 

A lot of newer brands in recent years, especially the Tokyo “cool guy” brands, come from the streetwear scene and their approach to denim/heritage is definitely influenced by that, i.e. no online presence, secret shops that you have to find, staff that deem whether you’re worthy enough to shop there, etc. 

And yet people still fall for it.

Edited by Iron Horse

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Posted (edited)

It’s a good thing that no-one on Sufu fell for all that CSF hype…

Just kidding. I’d like to know what the resident CSF experts think of all this, so looking at @Double 0 Soul, @Flash, @Dr_Heech, @dudewuttheheck for an opinion.

Edited by Maynard Friedman

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The difference — is the product good or is it all marketing? 

For years a large amount of people have held CSF products in high regard. People who you’d think know their stuff, who love vintage and repro

So Konaka’s douchebaggery aside, instead of unverified burner accounts claiming the product is subpar and people clapping and going with it because they believe he’s a douche (which we all seem to agree on), maybe he’s just a douche?

The product can still be good and you can still not want it for good reason (douche)

Like DS said, continue to wear the stuff if you please, just know how he treats people in his community

 

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this was my take on the early csf hype on denimbro way back in 2016:

 

iirc in said rmc discussion i indicated my desire to see someone subject him/herself to all the pressures and restrictions that a levi's seamstress had to work under during ww2 and see what wonky wonders they come up with. csf is going in the right direction but i've seen the video and the factory looks too chilled! the boy wonder should be subjected to time restrictions (say 501 pairs a day) and 47 lashes of the heaviest denim if he doesn't meet the production target. then and only then perhaps we will get something approaching marvin's collection of wabi-sabi beauties. 

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I think @scooby makes the point well - there’s no need to conflate Yoshiaki’s actions with Yoshiaki’s creations

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Posted (edited)

I personally don't think any less of the products. I already knew that he hadn't been sewing for very long when I bought my jeans. In fact, it was stuff like the crazy red jeans that bothered me more product-wise than any of this and those didn't ruin the more faithful repros that he made. That didn't matter to me. It's not like they were supposed to be Roy or Ooe levels of stitching beauty. I still think the products generally achieve what they aim for and they are impressive for that. I'm selling my 2 new pairs and the jacket I still have because I cannot wear them in good conscience. I know that it's going to bother me if I keep wearing them. I'm too disgusted by all of this. This isn't to say that you cannot separate the man from the product completely. I'm just saying that I can't right now. 

Edited by dudewuttheheck

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7 hours ago, Maynard Friedman said:

It’s a good thing that no-one on Sufu fell for all that CSF hype…

Just kidding. I’d like to know what the resident CSF experts think of all this, so looking at @Double 0 Soul, @Flash, @Dr_Heech, @dudewuttheheck for an opinion.

 
I haven't read any denim threads for months, i'm just not interested recently so whatever the controversy, i'll struggling to forge an opinion so i'm certainly not spending the next half hour reading everyone else's  :D ... like i said a few months ago, my interest in denim is at it's all time lowest ebb, as long as he's not murdering kittens i don't really care.
He's not murdering kittens is he!? FFS! I'll never be able to flog my 506 if he is..!!

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28 minutes ago, Double 0 Soul said:
 
I haven't read any denim threads for months, i'm just not interested recently so whatever the controversy, i'll struggling to forge an opinion so i'm certainly not spending the next half hour reading everyone else's  :D ... like i said a few months ago, my interest in denim is at it's all time lowest ebb, as long as he's not murdering kittens i don't really care.
He's not murdering kittens is he!? FFS! I'll never be able to flog my 506 if he is..!!

Hard to say if it’s murder, but there’s a fair amount of catgut in the stitching

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@Maynard Friedman I'm not sure what you actually want here because I've given my opinion quite a few times 

Is it an opinion on the small potatoes posts ? 

If it is then I don't know ???? A lot of what he posted has been commonly known and the stuff about buying the products was not my experience so I can't really comment one way or the other . I'm unsure if there were ever any claims by him ( happy to be proven wrong )  that the denim he used was a custom fabric , I always thought the ww2 denim was but I'm only assuming and don't know for sure .

All in all I'm still surprised by the way he acted towards denimseeker ( what ìs the main issue here ) and he has lost my custom and respect for his actions , but like I said in a previous post his products are still second to none ( maybe I'm caught up in all the hype because I'm incapable of forming my own opinion ) and ill still wear what I have and enjoy it for what it is 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks gents, wasn’t trying to call anybody out but you’ve all provided enough feedback already. I was really wondering specifically what those enthusiasts who were invested in the brand thought about the comments by Small Potatoes and the CSF business model rather than the copyright issues. I think most of us suspect he’s right although we don’t know that. It’s certainly an interesting story.

EDIT: I’m also interested in what your own dealings with CSF were like, perhaps they were really good and left you with positive impressions. It would irk me to pay a premium (in advance) for something, face a long wait and be made to feel the retailer was doing me a favour by accepting my custom. But that may not have been your experience at all.

Edited by Maynard Friedman

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Whatever else, it's brought a certain level of discourse that I (and I'm sure many others) always enjoy here at Sufu, and when that happens it's a pleasure to see some key forum personalities giving their perspectives.

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9 hours ago, scooby said:

The difference — is the product good or is it all marketing? 

For years a large amount of people have held CSF products in high regard. People who you’d think know their stuff, who love vintage and repro

So Konaka’s douchebaggery aside, instead of unverified burner accounts claiming the product is subpar and people clapping and going with it because they believe he’s a douche (which we all seem to agree on), maybe he’s just a douche?

The product can still be good and you can still not want it for good reason (douche)

Like DS said, continue to wear the stuff if you please, just know how he treats people in his community

 

 

4 hours ago, Duke Mantee said:

I think @scooby makes the point well - there’s no need to conflate Yoshiaki’s actions with Yoshiaki’s creations

Sums up my thinking on the matter

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They aren't the first business, and won't be the last, to use such tactics in their own ruthless interests.  It's disappointing, especially when it overlaps with a hobby where these behaviours aren't wanted.

I only have one CSF product, it's great and I'll continue wearing it for the reasons made above ^.  I'd already ruled out more based on the recent price hike.

Hopefully DS's hard (and smart) work can come into circulation again with a confident (metaphoric) big right hand for the big bully.
 

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@Double 0 Soul I was thinking only the other day how it's been a while since we saw OO out on maneuvers, be it standing in the dock of a dilapidated court room accused of crimes against fashion or navigating the drainage network under the Yorkshire countryside or draining trees for nectar or or or...  would always be interested in them there classic adventures even if no denim was involved!    

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Or maybe the seller is Yoshiaki himself as his picture is included :ph34r: 

(pure speculation, of course)

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I wasn't asked by @Maynard Friedman but I'll play along ;)

Well, first of all thanks to Small Potatoe for his description of the situation in Japan and the domestic market. Of course, he puts out a lot of claims but not everything is proven by facts. It's simple to open a new account and claim to be an insider and tell stuff. Not that it is the case here since I don't think Small Potatoe would gain anything in badmouthing about CSF (unless he is a potetnial customer that lucked out?).

Anyway, my experience with Konaka is as follows.
Over the years I bought 4 pairs of him. The 47 twice and WW2 pairs twice. All pairs were finished and delivered quickly but that was at a time when he was less popular and flooded with orders I guess. My second pair of '47 are quite an exception since he sew them for me in the evening after a missed meet-up at his shop. His staff was nice and shoewd me around and he made the jeans in the evening and sent them out the next day via express to my hotel in Tokyo (ok, the jeans could have been in stock but I doubt it sicne I was at the shop and there was barely stock of CSF jeans). So in this case he did everything to make it work. One could say this was because he didn't want to lose his overseas customers but as we all know now, he has no interest in selling overseas anymore. At least you can't really order from him without visiting his shop. So up to this time, everything fine and perfect and rather the opposite as described above.

I think in 2019 I tried to order one of his S-series jeans but he said he is busy with building the new workshop and he will take orders in 2020 again. That never happened. I became more interested in the '66 model but also no chance to get any information about measurements from him or from his staff. After the price hike, the S-series didn't interest me at all anymore as I simply find the price too high. But the '66 model would have still been an option. I asked @Flash to enquire for me since he has a closer relationship with Konaka-san than me but also now luck. So yeah, overseas customers don't seem to be his targed audience (anymore).

The fact that @dudewhattheheck got his jeans after 18 months (?) of wait shows that he still fulfills old orders and doesn't ignore them like claimed by Small Potatoe...or Dude simply had luck and is an exception.

In terms of jeans, I think many people here owning a pair would agree that he gets the spirit of vintage jeans very good and people like Dr_Heech or Flash handled the real stuff so I trust their word on that.

 

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On 8/29/2021 at 10:46 AM, Maynard Friedman said:

 

EDIT: I’m also interested in what your own dealings with CSF were like, perhaps they were really good and left you with positive impressions. It would irk me to pay a premium (in advance) for something, face a long wait and be made to feel the retailer was doing me a favour by accepting my custom. But that may not have been your experience at all.

I've never had anything but good experiences with ordering , I never felt like it was just a transaction because any time I ordered anything it was always followed by a back and fourth of messages ranging anything from vintage to kids so I had a pretty good relationship with him as a customer . Most of my orders were made within a couple of months of ordering but the most recent ones took close to a year but I knew that before I ordered and was cool with it . I always thought he was a good guy but ....... who knew he would end up being soo petty ?? 

 it really annoys me thinking about what was done to denimseeker and from someone I respected 

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Thanks b_F (apologies I missed you off the original list) and Flash. I was seeking perspective on this as my recollection was that forum members here had initially had good experiences (if you accept the high prices) with CSF. Perhaps they’ve gone the same way as WH Ranch, almost a victim of their own success and bitten off more than they could chew, subsequently resulting in higher prices, (ridiculously) longer wait times and diminished customer service. 

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As far as I know the price increase was to try and deter aftersellers from buying the jeans to make a profit ... I'm sure there was discussion about leaving money on the table because people are willing to pay more than the current retail but he has been pissed off with resellers for a long time . The difference between conners and WH is that Yoshiaki stopped taking orders to clear existing orders and as far as I know the cowboy fella is still taking them .

 

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The idea that Konaka raffling out a chance to buy S series is ‘disgusting’ and that he’s having fun tormenting his customers is an odd take

When you keep telling people no I have no stock for you time and time again, the way to make it ‘fair’ is to do a raffle

Or am I missing something?

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