I work in a soul-less department store in Birmingham, UK, where the leathers sold are more than twice the price, and probably half the quality. It's satisfying when I drop in on a day off, and the clueless staff want to know all about my jacket, and how I managed to get something so good for so much less. It's almost like it shatters their whole understanding of the clothing industry just like that! I think that alludes to what makes TOJ great - it's just real, honest clothing. You're not buying into a name, you're not paying for magazine adverts, you're not paying for anything except for the work of Drew, Charly and Dan, a slab of leather, and someone to make it. That's why I love it.
thank you man, I appreciate that people can see it. The lead times do get on a bit sometimes, because it's a human-made product and it's like one of those insanely popular food stalls sometimes, there has to be a queue. I am happy that people do recognize the intrinsic qualities that are there, ones that are the foundation of the project that will not go away unless I do - I also challenge people to go and try to find something that hits as hard as TOJ for the same price, or even more - it's a really tough proposition. Now that I live in Tokyo, where all manners of good clothes are available and numerous in choice, I like to go out and see what it is other clothiers make - and naturally, I admire some, I dislike some - but nothing comes close the material content or quality that we make for even twice the price. It's really something special.
Interesting note, just saw a Plokhov leather flight jacket that looks like it goes pretty toe to toe with the ribbed collar version of the TOJ CWU - AP's is a more design-y interpretation of the same thing, a couple mode-style details, a couple extraneous, very quickly expiring details (I think it has an iPhone pocket on the breast) - but the leather, once again, is either the same as the TOJ NZ black lamb, or something incredibly similar. Thick and with a nice soft hand, a bit cool to the touch. It might've been a soft calfskin but it seems the materials would be interchangeable at that level of intrinsic quality, neither function less or more than the other. Anyway, it was nice but I didn't care for the design itself, I prefer mine and gotta give a fair nod to the little suede patch I put on the chest of the CWU to interpret the velcro on the surplus version. I have no idea what the AP jacket costs, but I'm sure it's at least 2.5-3 times the TOJ. It's no Tom Ford, at least. I'm still rolling about the pricetag on that TF jacket, because what I make is already 9X% of it at 7% of the price. It feels really good to be lean and hitting hard, that's a powerful feeling.