Americana By Way of Japan: Menswear Brands You Should Know

The Japanese attention to detail is something anybody interested in food, drink or fashion is probably familiar with. Its whiskey is currently the best in the world (the Yamazaki single malt), the pizza can outshine Naples’ finest (try Tokyo’s Seirinkin) and due in part to the industry’s obsession with authentic manufacturing methods, it could be argued that its menswear scene does Americana just as well as America does.

The list of premium menswear labels out of Japan is extensive – not to mention those brands too niche to go international… yet. The focus is on recreating original workwear designs, on updating heritage classics and on constructing timeless clothes – albeit often borrowed from another era – that buck the disposable trend and last. Here are five Japanese brands that capture the American style.

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The Real McCoy’s

Not merely inspired by American military, naval and athletic designs from the 1940’s and 50’s, The Real McCoy’s painstakingly recreate items stitch by stitch with traditional manufacturing techniques and materials. Authentic? You betcha!

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Inspired by vintage military and workwear, orSlow beats down the likes of Levi Strauss and kicks them to the kerb. The brand is all about the quality custom materials that go into producing the likes of high-quality jeans, corduroys and chore jackets.

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Motorbikes, muscle cars and slogans of badass fighting talk… Neighborhood embodies the rocker side of Japanese Americana. The leather flight jackets, heavy denim and flannel shirts are where street wear and motorcycle club collide.

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Beams Plus

The smooth 1940’s Ivy League male would certainly have dug the idealistic Beams Plus dedication to detail in its blazers, varsity jackets, button-down Oxfords and other casual classics.

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Possibly the brand that is most evocative of the bygone golden era of American workwear. With a loyal dedication to sourcing originals, both recreated and repurposed garments are inspired by designs that might well have been salvaged from the vaults of defunct American workwear companies themselves.