Interview "Yamauchi" Mr. Akihiro Yamauchi

Yak wool clothes with Yamauchi that I've been letting you know from the other day.

I am very grateful and happy to receive many inquiries and communications even before the release.

Previously, I did an Instagram live with Mr. Yamauchi and his wife, Tomomi, and the response was beyond our expectations.

Mr. Yamauchi is a person who usually "puts" everything into the finished clothes, but I think that there are people who will surely be moved by listening to Mr. Yamauchi's words. increase.

That's why, this time, I thought I'd do an interview about what we've been talking about on a daily basis so that everyone can see it in writing.

Please take a look.

Fukuda: First of all, the fabric for the clothes you made this time is amazing.

This touch.

Please tell us about Kuzuri Keori who makes the fabric.

Yamauchi: All the wool fabrics I use are woven by Kuzuri Keori.

That encounter happened many years ago, but I hadn't used wool in a long time.

The reason why I didn't use wool, as those who know the brand may know, is because I'm against the act of mulesing sheep.

That's why I didn't use it.

Fukuda: Yes. That's right.

Even at CASANOVA&Co., Yamauchi's clothes didn't have wool at first.

Yamauchi: That's right.

In a nutshell, mulesing is a prohibited practice outside of Australia.

When sheep are sheared, the hair around the buttocks inevitably becomes dirty with sheep excrement and loses its commercial value. There is a process to prevent it, and some sheep die from shock.

When I heard that kind of thing, I couldn't quite use it.

Fukuda: Until death from shock. . .

Yamauchi: That's right.

I had always thought that it would be possible to make woolen fabrics only from sheep that were not mulesed, but I had a hard time finding a weaver who would agree with my idea.

Fukuda: That's partly because Australia is said to be the world's largest producer of wool.

Yamauchi: That's right.

There is also the fact that most domestic wool fabrics are made from Australian wool.

However, only Mr. Kaori Kuzuri immediately agreed, and the president, Mr. Kuzutani, said, "Although we haven't done manufacturing from that perspective, I can really sympathize with Mr. Yamauchi's way of thinking." He told me, and he immediately started working on it.

Still, it was a difficult process to follow, and since wool mixes wool from many different farms, it was difficult to find a route to collect only wool that was not 100% mulesed. It took years.

However, thanks to that, the only wool I use now is certified wool that has not been mulesed.

Fukuda: That's no mulesing wool.

Yamauchi: That's right.

However, Kuzuri Keori is the oldest woolen fabric shop in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture, and has been in business for about 110 years.

I was very impressed that they would work for a small amount of a small brand like me.

The looms there have not changed since the company was founded, and they use the Schonherr looms developed in Germany 100 years ago.

The yak wool fabric this time also uses the same Schonherr loom.

Fukuda: In the first place, are Schonherr looms so old that there are only a few of them in existence?

Yamauchi: No, actually it doesn't seem like that. There are quite a few, and it seems to be a loom that is traded at a low price.

Fukuda: Huh. That's surprising.

Yamauchi: That's right.

However, it is difficult to install, maintain, operate and continue to use it, so it seems that it is eventually discarded.

That's why Kuzuri Keori's president said, "Yamauchi-kun, I'll sell you everything, so why don't you do it?"

Fukuda: Lol.

Yamauchi: I've heard that Schonherr looms have a very simple structure for weaving.

Fukuda: So you mean it's close to hand weaving?

A handloom is a very simple structure.

Yamauchi: Yes, but just like sewing machines, there are very few people who can maintain and continue to use them.

In addition, Mr. Kuzutani, the president of Kuzuri Keori, is very enthusiastic about making things, as he sympathized with No Mule Thing Wool. It's the one who is there.

I feel that in Japan today, there are a lot of people who make things only aiming for short-term sales.

Isn't it the same at the store?

Fukuda: That's right.

I really think that too.

Of course, it's difficult to continue unless you make a profit.

But I don't think anything good will come out if that goes first.

Yamauchi: That's right.

I don't think that something like No Mulesing Wool can be created without people who have a different perspective and a different amount of heat.

Fukuda: Is that the reason why you continue to use Kuzuri Keori's fabrics?

Yamauchi: That's right. It was a great meeting.

For the yak wool fabric this time, only Kuzuri Keori can weave worsted yak.

The price will inevitably go up.

However, I heard that they made it because they wanted to try worsted yak wool.

Fukuda: That's right. This fabric was one of the best surprises in my life.

Yamauchi: Yeah yeah.

After all, only Kuzuri Keori can weave this fabric, and only a yarn shop that has business with Kuzuri Keori can spin this yak and wool fiber.

Mr. Kuzuya often humbly says, "We can only do this, so we keep doing it."

In the past, there were many weavers in the Ichinomiya area, but now there are very few left, and other old weavers have switched to new businesses in line with the times. That's right. When I talk with such people, I always think that if they are thinking about the direction of developing their "strengths", they will last for a long time, and it may not be possible to achieve major growth in the short term. No, but I'm saying that it didn't become a company that lasted for 100 years.

Fukuda: Oh, yes, yes, yes.

Yamauchi: Any company in the world would set a quarter-century sales target and try to achieve it! Most of the time, it's about making short-term sales, but Kuzuri Keori didn't do that.

After all, you say that it continued for 100 years.

If you look at it from the current corporate way of thinking, people won't devote themselves to work unless it's a job that will produce results in a short period of three months. But without it, the team that gathers there will become a one-time team, and as a result, I think that the work that can be achieved by working on it for a long time will surely be postponed.

Fukuda: No, it really does.

Yamauchi: No one puts a lot of energy into something that you don't know how many years it will take to produce results.

That's why I'm always thinking about that with my own brand.

I believe that it will be something that will impress people.

Fukuda: I feel the same way.

Rather than short-term, one-off sales, I believe that it is precisely because we face each other with sincerity and honesty that we are able to produce something that will be appreciated as a result.

Well, it's always like that, but when I'm talking with Mr. Yamauchi, time goes by quickly.

Actually, I wanted Mr. Yamauchi to talk about the fabric I used this time in detail, but I've already written about the fabric on my blog, so let's see that. smile

I almost wrote it.

Fukuda: Now, regarding the clothes Mr. Yamauchi made for us this time, we asked him to make three types of jackets, coats, and pants.

In the past, I had shirts made for New Year's, but this time I wanted to go beyond that.

Also, I wanted to create a jacket style that we haven't developed much until now, especially with Mr. Yamauchi.

So, I made a request for these three types.

I was really worried.

I consulted Mr. Yamauchi many times. smile

Yamauchi: That's right.

I think this jacket has been the most thoughtful thing I've ever done for this season's collection.

So, I made a jacket with the image that you can wear it in a proper place, such as a dinner party.

Fukuda: Until now, the jackets that were part of Mr. Yamauchi's collection were a little lighter.

Compared to the previous ones, the front body has interlining all over, and the shoulders are also made very firmly.

It's a much more authentic jacket than before.

Yamauchi: That's right.

It's different from Tailor's, but as I get older, I have more opportunities to wear jackets, and I'm starting to care about jackets.

After all, I think that it is such a thing.

So, I think that I was able to do something good this time.

Fukuda: That's true. I'm still young compared to Mr. Yamauchi, but I've been thinking about doing a jacket style for several years.

So I am really looking forward to this time.

Yamauchi: Even so, it's the same with shirts, jackets, and the golden ratio of perfected clothes that have existed for a long time.

I don't dare to put some new design in there, but I always think that I want to put it in a place that is unique to Yamauchi and might be different if you look closely.

Fukuda: That's especially the shoulders and stitches this time.

Yamauchi: That's right.

When I thought about how to create a masculine and beautiful shoulder and sleeve circumference without using shoulder pads, I came up with the “similar design”.

Fukuda: I was taught by Mr. Yamauchi for the first time. imitation.

Yamauchi: The basic jacket, whether it has shoulder pads or not, has shirring. It's different, it's not about exercising, it's a setting that makes you look the most beautiful when you're standing, so the sleeves aren't too low, they're high.

Still, in order to give some degree of freedom of movement, the sleeves have a "stiffness".

It's a bit technical, but when sewing the bodice and sleeves of a jacket, the usual method is to push the seam allowance towards the sleeves to raise the sleeves.

As a result, the shoulders of the jacket will bulge out.

Fukuda: That's a jacket with high shoulders, isn't it?

Yamauchi: More and more, if you add a lot of shirring and gathers, it looks like a woman's puff sleeves, like a puff sleeve.

Casual clothes have the bodice higher than the shoulders.

That's what people generally say, but I'm aiming for something in the middle.

By inserting seam allowances into both the sleeves and the body, the body and shoulders are made straight and at the same height, which is a feature of this jacket.

Fukuda: Originally, the same fabric as the outer material is used on the body side where there is no seam allowance.

Because it resembles split stitching, it is called "imitation wari".

Flat and beautiful shoulders.

Yamauchi: That's right. By doing so, I think that the shoulder pads are not included, but the shoulders look manly.

Of course, that doesn't mean you're exercising less.

Fukuda: That's right.

If the shoulder pads are included, the shoulders will inevitably float up, making it difficult to wear on a daily basis, but this is a jacket that can be used for daily use without any problems.

In the first place, is it a specification that "imitation wari" is a jacket?

This is the first time I've heard from Mr. Yamauchi, so I don't know much.

Yamauchi: No, I don't think men's jackets are rare. I think it's rare.

What makes the shoulders square like this?

I don't think it's a blouson.

Fukuda: That's right.

So it was a specification I had never heard of before.

The rest is stitching. this jacket.

I think it's a very rare stitch specification.

Yamauchi: That's right.

Normally, the more casual the item is, the more stitches are exposed.

Jackets are formal or dressy, so the stitches don't really show up on that kind of thing.

However, I like the stitching, and when I think about Yamauchi-ness, I put this edge stitch on the lapel, cuffs, and hem to add beautiful stitching while not destroying the overall atmosphere of the jacket. increase.

Fukuda: You put a stitch 2mm from the edge of the fabric, right?

Yamauchi: No, it's not 2mm. 1.5mm.

I really don't know, but usually the edge stitch is 1.6mm. Yamauchi is aiming for edge stitching that is 0.1mm narrower than the usual 1.5mm.

Fukuda: 1.5mm! It's dangerous. I thought it was 2mm.

But it's Yamauchi's original that puts it in the important part of the jacket.

Yamauchi: That's right.

The jacket is originally a formal garment, and the stitching doesn't really go into the outside, but as I said earlier, I put in the edge stitching to add Yamauchi-ness while not ruining the atmosphere of the outfit.

Edge stitching may cause the stitches on the back side to come off, so it is not recommended for jackets.

Also, the edge stitch is not enough to hold down the seam allowance, so I use a Lewis sewing machine to hold the edge of the fabric properly.

So it's taking twice as long as usual.

Fukuda: I see. I didn't know that.

It is said that Lewis sewing machines are used not only for the edge stitch but also for the inside that cannot be seen.

Yamauchi: That's right.

For better or worse, I think that's one of Yamauchi's characteristics.

All of the samples are made in our atelier and not sent to the factory, so we are always thinking of Yamauchi-ness, not the usual ordinary jackets.

Considering that, I think it's a jacket that is very Yamauchi-esque.

Fukuda: How about the coat? Compared to the jacket, the construction is also very different.

The sleeves and bodice of the jacket were higher than the shoulders, but the coat is higher than the bodice.

Also, the size is similar to that of a regular overcoat, and the interlining is much lighter than a jacket.

Yamauchi: That's right.

The coat has plenty of room in the sleeves and width, so you don't need to secure a lot of momentum on your shoulders, and the body is high, so it's not made that hard.

What I was concerned about with the coat was how long the coat would take advantage of the characteristics of that fabric, and how long it would be possible to tailor without damaging it.

So the jacket is fully lined, but the coat is not fully lined.

The interlining and the collar are part of the fabric, but the fabric drapes beautifully when you walk, so in order not to spoil it, I make it a single layer.

However, in order to add Yamauchi-ness to the key points, we added edge +7mm stitching.

Fukuda: That's right.

There are plenty of edge + 7mm double stitches.

And depending on the place, there are four stitches on the back and so on.

Yamauchi: Four shoulders are also included.

i really love stitching.

I want to put beautiful stitches. smile

Fukuda: Hahaha. smile

Yamauchi: The more you make an item, the more you want to add stitches. smile

Well, it's going to be the same as the jacket, but we have a common idea of ​​putting stitches on a beautiful item and fixing it in a Yamauchi style, so this coat is also in a beautiful place, but everywhere is a man. It's a place where many stitches are running.

Fukuda: I feel that the stitching and drape of this coat are exactly what Mr. Yamauchi is aiming for.

Fukuda: Lastly, how about pants? This time, I made a slightly unreasonable request to make the pattern from scratch so that I could make the best use of the characteristics of this fabric.

Yamauchi: In order to maximize the quality of this fabric and its drape, we eliminated the outer seams.

After all, the more seams there are, the harder those parts become.

Fukuda: That's right.

These pants are the opposite of the jacket and coat I mentioned earlier.

These pants are based on Mr. Yamauchi's collection of seamless easy pants, but I asked him to add a front opening and belt loops to create a new pattern so that you can think of it as a set up with a jacket. It's a very good result, isn't it?

I was a little worried about how the drape would come out due to the front opening, but that problem was solved as well.

Yamauchi: I thought about making the best use of the drape of the fabric for these pants, but since there are no seams on the outside, I reduced the overall stitching accordingly.

Also, strictly speaking, there are no seams on the outside, so it was necessary to remove the peculiarities only on the inside. And I think you are.

The way the rubber is put in the waist is all different from the collection.

Fukuda: And yet, the shape that tapers toward the beautiful hem is really beautiful.

I'm doing something complicated, but it's been stripped down.

The rest is where we got lost.

I lost the lining.

Yamauchi: You were correct.

Fukuda: I was at a loss as to what to do, but I think the quality of Kuzuri Keori's fabric really stands out.

Very comfortable to wear. I was really surprised too.

Yamauchi: That's right.

I think you can really feel the quality of this fabric.

I want everyone to wear it and feel it with their own skin.

<Things about the sewers and about the brand>

Fukuda: Speaking of Mr. Yamauchi, one of the characteristics is that you put a sewer tag on the quality display.

Yamauchi: That's right.

The jacket is Mr. Okamoto.

The coat is Mr. Narikiyo.

For the pants, I asked Mr. Harada and Mr. Sato.

Fukuda: Speaking of Mr. Narikiyo, he was working next to me when we did an Instagram live before, and his name is often seen in Mr. Yamauchi's clothes.

Yamauchi: He's been working with us for many years, and he's got a solid technique.

I believe that sewing will bring out the personality of the person, so I ask them to imagine what they will be able to do if they sew.

Fukuda: I get the impression that you often sew coats.

Yamauchi: Each of you is an almighty person who can sew anything, but Mr. Narikiyo is one of the few men who can sew.

It's rare for a man to sew, but he's one of the rare and valuable men who has a very high level of skill, and he's very suitable for sewing heavy items such as coats.

Coats are heavy and require a lot of force to sew, so I want to create a strong impression.

For women, shirts are finely finished.

Fukuda: I see. Is that so.

Lastly, Mr. Yamauchi, I often talk to you, but please tell us about your future plans and thoughts.

Yamauchi: Our ultimate goal is to welcome the skilled seamstresses we mentioned earlier into our company.

I've been thinking about it for many years, but my goal is to produce everything in-house, so I'm on my way to that.

That's the biggest motivation for what I'm doing right now, but that's my ultimate goal.

As I mentioned earlier, I think Japan has gone as far as it can go.

There is no such thing as a long-term team that prioritizes short-term profits.

I think that if things continue as they are, things will get out of hand.

There's a saying, "only now, only money, only myself".

I think that kind of thinking has become commonplace.

I feel like I'm evaluated by how much the person earns annually.

I don't think you can survive for a long time with a business mindset that eats up the people around you.

For that reason, I am thinking about how we can continue to do things in Japan, rather than thinking about the immediate future, and I would like to do manufacturing in a team that I can work with for a long time.

Fukuda: I was able to talk about that the other day, but I also have my origins in Mr. Yamauchi, and I often talk about this, and I want to continue working together. .

Thank you very much for your time.

Yamauchi: Thank you very much. Thank you.

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