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Voyager Journal
Introducing WORKERS Japan


Workers is the passion of Okayama based Takashi Tateno - a small garment producer based in Okayama, Japan reproducing and tweaking vintage workwear pieces from around the world. Always on point, perfect fits, with attentive detailing, beautiful fabrics and homage to the past, Workers is a modern re-creation of history, tradition and craft.

Revolver is one of the few retailers outside Japan to carry the line which is released in monthly schedules. Takashi has a passion for his project and works weekdays in production and weekends at his small retail store meeting with customers and fans. Beautiful and authentic - each piece is slowly crafted and instills his passion.


We sat down with Takashi to speak about his craft and goals.

Japanese language interview translated into English. Original below.

Workers is available in very limited quantities at Revolver

1. Why did you start Workers?
- Originally I was interested in Workwear and ran a Workwear website. When we had our 77777 visitor I decided to make a memorial gift for readers that was a newspaper bag.  So many people loved the bag that we had inquiries for more items and I decided to seriously expand Workers.

2. Workers uses high quality fabrics? Where and how do you source it? Do you make the fabric?
- Some of our fabrics are special custom blends and others we use traditional Okayama factories. All our fabrics are made in Japan, except for our madras lines that we source from India. 



3. When making a product - do you design first and then choose fabric or do you choose a fabric and then make a design?
- Both at the same time. If we want to make a particular old item, we design first and choose a fabric, but other times we are inspired by an old fabric and we think about the best way to use a fabric. For example we choose a moleskin fabric and decided to make a hatch pocket jacket. Other times we are inspired by a vintage historical piece. We try to emphasize the fabric in the design.

4. Your retail hours are very unique (Workers is only open Saturdays and Sundays for a few hours).
Its important that provide service to customers. I produce during the week and can only work the store during weekend. I don't take a break. 

5. Your monthly release schedule is great - how do you come up with new designs so quickly?
- Usually I study the history of archival items and search for an old advertisement that is inspiring for my style or life - I decide to try to make it. Next fall I'm thinking about making some arm covers for rice farmers because I want some. So my design is based on my choice.


6. What is the goal of Workers?
Hopefully we can continue to make Workers clothing. . It all depends if people like my product however all the women at the factory (I call them girls no matter how old they are) are all over 60. So I think I can keep making the same quality product for only 10 more years. Because there are might be no more workers left in Japan, I might have to make my own factory or I have to become a custom tailor and make everything by myself. We'll see.


New monthly additions will be available as made.

> 1、Workersスタイルの洋服を作り始めたきっかけは?
もともとワークウェアを紹介するウェブサイトを運営していました
77777ヒット記念でプレゼント用に作ったニュースペーパーバッグを「ぜひ販売を」という声が大きく作り始めたのが製品を販売しはじめたきっかけです。


> 2、非常に良い生地を使っているようですが特別に作っているものですか?
特別に作っているものもあれば、近隣の生地屋さんのオリジナル生地、また私がサンプルを提供して生地屋さんが企画したものなどさまざまです。インド製のマドラス以外はすべて日本製の生地を使っています。

> 3、商品を作る時はデザインをしてから生地選びをしますか?それとも生地を見てからデザインを決めますか?
どちらもあります。特定の古着をお手本にするときはデザインしてから生地を。何かの古着をお手本にした生地を作り、そこからまた違う形の製品を作るときもあります。Teds
Jacketはもともと、Stifel社のモールスキン生地を使った普通のパッチポケットのジャケットがあり生地を作りました。この生地がより活きる形を・・・と考えていたときに、以前、知人に作ったジャケットを思い出し製作しました。

> 4、店舗の営業時間がユニークなのですが理由は?
自分自身が店頭に立つことを考え、週末以外あいている時間が無かった。ただそれだけの理由です。おかげで、私には休みがありません。
5、毎月違う商品を次々リリースしていますが何処からそれだけのアイデアが湧きますか?

5、毎月違う商品を次々リリースしていますが何処からそれだけのアイデアが湧きますか?

> 6、今後の展開は?
私の製品を作っている工場で働くガール(たとえいくつでも縫製工場で働く女性はガールです。)はすでに60を超えた人がほとんどです。
今のような方法で製品を作れるのはあと10年程度と考えています
その後は、自分で工場を経営するのか、はたまた自分自身ミシンを踏んでワークウェアのカスタムテーラーになるのか。それは、WORKERSの製品がどれだけの方に支持していただけるかによります。

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