JAPAN DENIM Book : IRON HEART feature translation
CLUTCH Magazine Denim
Small, but strong. That’s the kind of brand that we like.
When we visited Iron Heart’s office in Hachioji, located in the western suburbs of Tokyo, Mr. Haraki, the brand’s founder, was coming up with an idea with a piece of wood in his hand. We asked him what he was working on, and he replied that it was a sample piece of a boot jack, a tool used to help remove boots.
“You often see boot jacks in the United States, or in Japanese vintage shops, but it’s an item that you don’t see very often in Japan. People who wear denim, myself included, tend to wear boots a lot as well, so I thought it would be interesting to create this kind of original item,” he added, with a smile on his face.
Mr. Haraki’s manufacturing process is constantly based on the philosophy of, “what I want to own, wear, and use”. However, getting customers to understand and grasp this philosophy, and operating a business is quite the challenge. That is why his current style, which he landed upon after years of experience, exists.
“I have worked with many brands, offering designs and plans, and working in production management and creating patterns, mainly related to apparel. The manufacturing process in the fashion industry is all about chasing new trends, and making products that fit those trends. When trends change, you are often forced to completely change your collection from the previous season. When I reached my 40s, I decided to go against this theory and only create things that I really liked. That’s how I started Iron Heart.”
Since he was younger, Mr. Haraki was always a fan of motorcycles. He had always struggled to find motorcycle wear that he could wear while riding his motorcycle, and that became the base of his manufacturing process. That is why Iron Heart’s products are always geared towards motorcyclists. Their heavy ounce denim is not only stylish, but also emphasizes comfort when riding a motorcycle.
“The ideas that we come up with don’t really fit the category of fashion. I like to think about what kind of designs are suitable for when you ride a motorcycle, and I think that fits in with the concept of American style clothing, which I am a huge fan of, and the timeless standard styles. I think that it’s important that we continue making items based on this philosophy, slowly but surely.”
*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.
Japan Denim Iron Heart