The Ivy look coming from Japan – Kamakura Shirts in NY
There is a Japanese couple who made their 20 year dream come true in New York on October 30th. It was a dream of Mr. and Mrs. Sadasue to have their own
store on Madison Avenue, which is known for the home of the 60s Ivy look style. Kamakura Shirts opened its first little store in 1993 in Kamakura, a historic city outside of Tokyo. It was when Yoshio Sadasue was 53 years old. He was confident in the success of this business from his working experience at a renowned apparel company. It was quite challenging for him to pursue quality products as well as keeping affordable price, which was thought to be impossible by many people. But he did it.
Yoshio Sadasue, the owner of the company, explains how their products are exceptional by showing the shirt he is wearing.
Although Sandy severely hit the
city, on the opening day of the store as many as 77 people came, and more than 70 of them were Americans. Yoshio was excited to talk about his first day at the store in New York by saying that “It took 20 years to prove how our products are exceptional in quality to Japanese customers and we are still struggling to do it. But New Yorkers
praised our products just by looking at them without being provided any explanation by our staff and bought several shirts all at once without caring the price, which surprised me a lot.” Yoshio has believed that there are 7% of people who want to wear high quality shirts as a professional business man and they are the customer that Yoshio has focused on.
Graham Marsh and J P Gaul, co-authors of “Ivy Look”, came to the press conference to congratulate on the opening of the store which is the symbol of Japanese Ivy Look style.
The success of Kamakura Shirts shows an example of how Japanese manufacturing companies can succeed in this tough economy. Kamakura Shirts has been providing products at the same price as 20 year ago although they are made in Japan. Yoshio emphasized that his business shows Japanese leading technology as well as contributing to Japanese manufacturing industry, which is shrinking year by year due to the increase of product costs.
Despite high quality and attention to details these crafted shirts start at just $79, along with handmade silk ties starting at $69.
As a Japanese living in New York, I’m interested to see how the business of Kamakura Shirts is going to expand across the United States and I am also very excited to see the success of Kamakura Shirts will become a business model to Japanese companies.
Sophisticated store design is also attracting customers in addition to quality products.
400 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10017 (between 47th and 48th street)
Store hours: 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 9am-7pm (Sat, Sun & Holidays)