JAPAN DENIM Book : SUGAR CANE feature translation
CLUTCH Magazine Denim
A Japanese jean manufacturer with an American taste.
SUGAR CANE is a denim brand that was originally established by Toyo Enterprise in 1965 as a clothing manufacturer geared towards American military bases in Japan. Although the brand was born in Japan, their products were developed together with American culture through the military bases. Based on their denim collection, which is synonymous with American casual styles, the brand quickly became extremely popular within select shops in Japan and overseas. During the 1980s, they were one of the first Japanese brands to begin reproducing vintage jeans, which was the start of their rise to fame.
“During the late 1990s, using our techniques that we acquired through reproducing vintage denim, people within our company began proposing using materials from actual sugar canes, the name of our brand, to create an original style of denim. After several years of the development phase, the completed denim featured unique characteristics and beautiful fading, and it eventually became a hit item that has supported our brand for over ten years.”
Yuichi Fukutomi, director of SUGAR CANE, was originally a pattern maker, and is a specialist in a wide range of genres in addition to denim, from military wear to Hawaiian shirts. He is considered more of a craftsman rather than a designer, and takes part in each step of the manufacturing process, from the planning to the
actual production to create high quality items.
"In order to create a standard item that would last for years, and make customers want to continue buying the same jeans, we focused not only on the parts and details, but patterns that wouldn’t be swayed by trends, and a price range that wouldn’t hurt our customers’ wallets. That is how we created our standard denim model, which is the base of our brand. Our pursuit of originality resulted in our iconic sugar cane denim, the Fiction Romance Collection, which helped emphasize the allure of vintage garments, and our MFSC Collection, which we created together with Mister Freedom designer Christophe Loiron, and we as a brand will continue to take on new challenges.”
Bringing an original style to the universally established genre of denim is clearly what makes the brand so unique, and is why so many people wear SUGAR CANE jeans. Their commitment to taking on new challenges is definitely one of SUGAR CANE’s strengths.
*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.
Japan Denim Sugar Cane