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How much of an impact do you think we have on the Japanese denim market?

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do you think this recent influx of japanese imports has made a difference to all those japanese companies. It seems like sugarcane, SDA, Pure Blue and Sammys (just to name a few) have really blown up on Superfuture over the last 6 months. Do yout hink they realize that there is indeed a bit of market potential in the US?

It seems that our small group of denim loving freaks on ST has done a lot, especielly with those Skull jeans and ofcourse the Sammy contest jeans. Just wondering what you guys think?

it would seem to me that coldrice opened some sort of flood gates...and now that BIG is up and runnin online and selfedge about to open, japanese denim companies must be going crazy trying to keep up with orders.

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From reading Paul Trynka's book it's like history repeating itself with all those tales of people travelling for a pair of Levi's jeans and specialist stockists like Amrtican Classics here in the UK. Quite poetic really.

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we do have an impact on the american market, but i think we are the spark that starts the fire. I dont agree with what people say about good denim becoming mainstream being bad. what i object to is eurotrash/ameritrash companies making subpar raw models and selling them for more than a pair of sammies. If every joe on the street was wearing superfuture esque wear i would be happy, not resentful of my niche being overcrowded.

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we do have an impact on the american market, but i think we are the spark that starts the fire. I dont agree with what people say about good denim becoming mainstream being bad. what i object to is eurotrash/ameritrash companies making subpar raw models and selling them for more than a pair of sammies. If every joe on the street was wearing superfuture esque wear i would be happy, not resentful of my niche being overcrowded.

I don't know, personally, I like having a niche. When a niche becomes overcrowded, it ceases to be a niche, and becomes "mainstream." As retarded as that sounds, I like the community aspect of the relatively small number of people interested / who own japanese denim (I will soon count myself in after I sell my APCs and move on up) or superfuture-esque denim, as you put it.

Personally, I like having an unreasonable amount of knowledge and once I buy my Skulls, I'll be able to say that I am, indeed, one of, what? Maybe between 20 and a hundred people in all of the United States to own a pair?

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yeah, i feel the same way as servo.

it's nice feelin' special :)

that's kind of a joke, but seriously, i like dressing so that most people i meet won't recognize the clothing immediately, if at all.

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yeah, i feel the same way as servo.

it's nice feelin' special :)

that's kind of a joke, but seriously, i like dressing so that most people i meet won't recognize the clothing immediately, if at all.

yeah i feel that way too man, even though yeah, it is kinda a joke.

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Clothing is clothing, and all I care is if I like it- not whether it represents me or whatever. However, I wouldn't want my current tastes to become mainstream because then my preferences will simply become another fashion fad, discussed in trendy magazines for maybe 6-8 months and disappear again. The fact that many people may wear the kind of clothes I wear doesn't bother me. I just wouldn't be comfortable with everything associated with it.

I don't even think alot of superfuture stuff is affordable enough to be mainstream though.

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I doubt afford-ability has much to do with it, as the market is flooded with expensive jeans. I think the North American vision of premium denim is skewed towards consumer demand, which unfortunately happens to be an uneducated consumer in most cases. A lot of my friends are either into designer denim like Diesel or R&R, or will wear anything they find comfortable for less than 80 bucks. Even when discussing Japanese repro detailing with my friends in retail, they still don't get it because all they care about is what looks good, what looks expensive, and what sells. If anything you will see the purity of Japanese product become filtered by American/European companies by offering high quality japanese denim, complicated washes (or more recently one-wash), and modern-cuts. You shouldn't really care whether it's niche or not, do you actually wear it for what it is, or because nobody else wears it?

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I can guarantee for a fact that these premium brands like Samurai etc will never take off enormously in the UK, because they have no significant back pocket branding.

They just look like Levis to everyone, unless anyone cares to analyse the skewed arcuate closely (which they wont). I actually think most people in the UK would chuckle at them and think "poor lad's bought knock-off dodgy Levis!!"

it will never catch on to pay between £150 and £200 for "plain" jeans. (excluding the small crowd who buy Prada, Dior, Gucci etc at Selfridges).

Evisu only took off because of the 'logo' aspect.

Even Nudies, everyone here is saying they are "so played" - well I've actually only ever seen one person wearing them (a heavily washed pair) and I have been aware of the brand for years.

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I don't think the American market will have any impact. The Japanese brands that have a cult following over here (and on superfuture) actually only occupy a niche market in Japan. I was a little disillusioned the first time I went to Japan. I used to believe that ALL Japanese consumers were experts on denim and rocked selvage vintage repros. The truth is that most Japanese cats have frosted Rod Stewart hair and wear really crappy jeans from Tornado Mart. Japanese denim is the best there is...Japanese jeans brands, on the other hand, can be lacking in that the fit is often not as good as American and Euro brands that use Japanese denim (APC, Dior, etc). Of all the Japanese brands, Denime has probably the best selection of fits, IMHO. I'm not saying the best fit, just the best selection of fits. A lot of J brands tend to fit really tight at the waistband, wide in the leg, and a really high rise. While this fit may be faithful to a vintage fit, it feels funny if you're used to a more contemporary fit i.e. a lower rise, a straighter leg, etc.

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A lot of J brands tend to fit really tight at the waistband, wide in the leg, and a really high rise. While this fit may be faithful to a vintage fit, it feels funny if you're used to a more contemporary fit i.e. a lower rise, a straighter leg, etc.

yeah, this might be the best point of all... for something to go mainstream (in fashion) to the point of it making an capital impact, it needs to provide the average consumer with percieved unique image value without sacrificing fits they know and understand. five years ago when bootcuts became trendy they were associated often in advertising with a coopted image of 1970's fashion. however, if you have ever tried on vintage bootcut pants from the 1970's it is quite obvious that the contemporary bootcuts modeled after vintage didn't fit anything like the vintage. mainstream companies looking to sell used the image of bootcut but modernized (in the case, less flare, less fitted legs) the fit to appeal in a more general way to the masses. Now, the same is happening with straight leg/ fitted jeans.

The same is true for japanese repro brands. if the cuts are true or close to reproductions, they will not appeal to the mainstream. the companies that take the direction but modernize the fit will be far more successfull.

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none at all

i'd like you to say that to the owner of pure blue japan who is taking a bath in solid gold now because of american niche denim superfuture culture.

but seriously, i agree with bigger companies like samuari, sugarcane, etc, at the end of the day we don't mean shit, ..but on the smaller scale like pure blue maybe even somet if it starts being sold in the US, its hard to believe that we/SF and BIG are not impacting sales a decent amount....BIG HAS FUCKING PRESALES of that shit...

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good idea

in general i'd say SF has a very limited (and small) impact on the major players like samurai, SC, SDA...but i think the overseas market is steadily gaining some degree of importance. from Hist Pres as sole proprietor of japanese denim in any form apart from evisu to BiG and Self Edge with multi-brands, the growth is definitely picking up steam. i'd be interested to see what comes of shinichi's 36-inch inseam thread - whether it's viable for a company to take into account the views of a forum of denim nerds who might or might not put the cash down for a pair if it does materialise. ilovespaz attempted that superfuture jean, remember, and opinions were so divided and so uncertain that it never came about. it seems a bit implausible that even a sudden influx of 30-odd orders (assuming each "fad" that comes and goes results in something like 30+ orders) can be seen as market changing.

at the same time, samurai must be pretty happy with the denim contest... 30 pairs of jeans at one swoop is nothing to sniff at.

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i guess on the whole, this forum does not have much of an impact on the japanese denim market because not every company is like SKULL jeans where the staff actually posts here and takes in feedback from the forum members.

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Guest jeffvyain

i think we're forgetting how small these japanese companies are. i may be way off base here, but i think we're creating a decent amount of business for these companies. like tony_hige said, all these companies only occupy a small niche in Japan. Granted, we may not be a huge populus here, but percentage-wise, we're probably not that small for them.

i agree though. we really need some insight from shinichi.

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Wow! What a hot discussion it is!

but, just a moment for my answer.

because my English understanding is a beginner level.

Long sentences are like the ciphered or the puzzle for me:Dhahaha

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Dude, the fact you know the word "ciphered" suggests you're WAAAY past beginner level English. There are people in England who won't know what 'ciphered' means. ;) ;)

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^ goofy ^

cipering is attractive .?

I will go off into my OWN cypher now

and lurk

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Hahaha!:D

My dictionary seems to be excellent.

However half of my English understanding is the machine translation.

Therefore I spend a lot of time for the correction.

But it is happy time for me.

Becuse I want to communication with you all.

I think there is a part of the answer to this thread in the desire to communications.

I will put own thoughts into shape a little more on the bed of the hospital.

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none at all

Absolutely right.

You guys are forgetting two important factors.

1) BIG is one store. Selfedge makes 2. History Preservation is the oldest of these companies, and it is hardly a gargantuan enterprise. And the Japanese intermediary services liek Celga are not huge businesses. They support the livelihood of a a few dozen people, tops.

2) The Japanese customer is much more voracious than the American or European, and although the jeans gushed about here and on Styleforum are not actually huge players on the Japanese market (most Japanese youths would probably much prefer a pair of True Religions than a pair of Samurai,) very smart money says that there is much more business in Japan than abroad. I mean, W+H, a brand gushed about here, sells much, much, much more to the Japanese than to the NA market, and that is a domestic brand with a presence in some high volume, mini-chain stores like American Rag. What sort of distribution does Samurai have in the states?

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i'd still disagree when looking at a company like pure blue.....their store barely had anything anyways, then if a store like BIG or Selfedge buys a bunch, it would make a difference

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There probably is a small difference for some of these companies. Keep in mind that Samurai/SDA/Sugarcane, etc. isn't selling hundreds of thousands of pairs of jeans. If you're doing runs of a few hundred/low thousands, a few dozen or hundred makes an impact on a percentage level. A boutique company's sales might double, but if you're doing small runs, your increased business is something that a company like Levis wouldn't even notice.

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Sugarcane, Samurai and Studio D'Artisan are not a tiny companies. For a *really* small company, this might make a difference. However, that a specific store has very little stock at any one time indicates very little in and of itself about the size of the company and/or it's sales figures. It could be that the sell rate is just very high. And even then, the entire American market is tiny, and could hardly be said to have an impact except on the very smallest companies which for whatever reason have a very loyal following in the US not commiserate with it's following in Japan.

It comes down to the fact that there are just 2 retailers at most, for most of these companies, in the US.

Let's just run the numbers. Say that a given company sells 100 units each to both Selfedge and BIG (and 100 units is a significant order,) and sells another 100 units through Celga and other services, per season. That's 300 units to the States. Let's say that each unit retails at $250 (seems pretty reasonable) and that the retail markup is 50 points (which is really, really low. Most specialty shops mark up at least 60 points). That means that each pair nets $125. Let's say, in the spirit of generosity and for ease of calculation, that each pair costs $35 to manufacture (this includes shipping). So that's 300x90=$27 000 of per season, and we will assume that the additional volume adds no additional capital costs (equipment depreciation, for example). $27000/season is not a lot of cash except for a mom-and-pop operation. So even with my very generous assumptions, the North American market for Japanese jeans bolsters the numbers for half a dozen mom and pop stores.

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i've stated that maybe samurai, sugarcane, and studio probably wouldn't be that affected, however, again, I'm pulling a small company like Pure Blue Japan. Here is a smaller japanese jean company that seems like it occupies a niche (japanese denim in japan) within a niche (very slubby jeans in japan). You have a flagship store that doesn't really have any stock, have very few retailers in Japan anyways that carry their product, and that is the basis of my assumption that it COULD and probably has made a difference in a company. My logic could be completely wrong, but as stated before these companies occupy niches in japan.

So lets say a company that doesn't generally have an international market (exclude sugarcane which are available in the EU and US, exclude SDA which seem to have export to HK, and exclude Samurai which export to HK as well as the US now). I say pure blue even though they do have export to the US, but it seems like that's one store outside of japan. How about Oni/Burgus...companies that also have very few retailers in Japan. I realize that I believe Burgus does contract out to other companies I do believe, but it has been stated before in a previous thread that there are only a few looms that can actually handle weaving the denim for Burgus/Oni. So right there production numbers are low, let's say 1000 (I am making this number up as I have no idea what production runs are like over there). If BIG buys 60 pairs and there are 40 pairs bought directly through Celga/Juno/Coldrice/2000DB, that's 10% of the entire run. Maybe I'm overestimating everything, but to me that's a considerable amount....

BIG should start importing the Bootleggers brand, then we would be able to truely see the difference...

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i am interested in the fact thatmost of this discussion has been based around financial impact...purely a volume exercise...surely the japanese denim thing is so new to the states [with two stores so far] that this remains to be seen...although i would beleive that BiG and selfedge have been influenced by supertalk...if it turns out to be a tip of the iceberg and the interest in japanese denim continues to grow... then there is a case to be made....

i would have thought that if there was a current impact it would occur further up the coalface...in creating the jeans...fits and what have you...customer feedback from a mostly well informed group of early adopters...

as is hinted at by shinichi...

I think there is a part of the answer to this thread in the desire to communications.

thank you for your input shinichi san....look forward to reading more of your opinons on this..

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Guest jeffvyain

very interesting opinions. i'm thinking more along the lines with poly. Though we really have no clue what the actual numbers are, if it is anywhere around 10% as estimated, that would be no joke, especially as most of that 10% is probably unforseen. America isn't huge compared to the rest of the world, but their economic power certainly is.

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