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Tokyo Diaries, Day 3: The StyFoJapan Meetup!
Last edited: 6/22/15
- The Styleforum Brief: May 2015Last edited: 5/7/15
- Andrew Lock
- The Armoury
- Buttons 'n' Threads
- David Fin
- David Reeves Bespoke
- Drinkwater's Cambridge
- Equus Leather
- Exquisite Trimmings
- Falcon Garments
- A Fine Pair of Shoes
- Geil Mode
- Gentlemen's Footwear
- Gordon Yao, Hong Kong
- The Hanger Project
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- Howard Yount
- John Elliott + Co
- Kent Wang
- Khaki's of Carmel
- Luxire Custom Clothing
- M Classic 101
- Meermin Mallorca
- Need Supply Co.
- No Man Walks Alone
- Oak Room
- Paul Evans
- Percy Ivor
- Portland Dry Goods
- Proper Cloth
- Ring Jacket
- S.E.H Kelly
- Self Edge
- Spier & Mackay
- Suspension Point
- Taylor Stitch
- Temple of jawnz
- Uncle Otis
- Virtual Clotheshorse
- Wolf vs. Goat
- Wrong Weather
- Yellow Hook Necktie
- Zampa Di Gallina
- The Styleforum Brief: May 2015
TOJ - updates on the debacle, complaints, news about other ventures, whatever. - Page 2653
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If it was so clear, why were lead times underestimated by more than half?
It makes sense that some people would be upset, but personally I don't really mind the wait. The only problem with it for me is that it's given me time to start doubting my choice, even after I changed it halfway through. Part of that is that I've spent so much time in the gallery looking at sick jackets and I want them all, but another part is that my style and self image has changed a lot since I ordered. I'm a little worried that I'm not going to wear my jacket when it comes. But hey, you only live one life, I can resell it for a reasonable loss if I need to and that's a risk I'm willing to take.
brown lamb 2010dr, switched to black lamb bcdr around november
If I got one more jacket it would be a T1, but if I hadn't ordered yet and was getting 2 jackets at once I'd go with a black lamb cwu and a black calf 2010 dr w/ excella zips.
just for fun how about people post:
- when they ordered
- what they ordered
- if you could get one more jacket (excluding discontinued models), what would it be?
- payment confirmed mid-february
- brown lamb a2 and medium whiskey calf mdr w/ silver zips on queue (have also been on the fence about a black varsity)
- if i had the money for a third full leather it'd probably be either a 2013 dr or bcdr in black calf w/ gunmetal zips
-payment January 25th
-oxblood calf QDR
-probably a navy/gray varsity
i realize that this is going to sound ridiculous and make me seem like the ultimate TOJ fanboy, but the amount of new members with only 2 posts and recent join dates/TOJ first timers and newbies, complaining about the wait is seriously pissing me the fuck off.
they lost a member of the team and received 1000s of orders that they werent expecting to receive, obviously the wait times will increase tenfold. charly had no idea that the wait times would remain like this or even jump to this long, he was only quoting the time-frame that he thought the team was capable of sticking to. like drew said, theres no way to account for sick days, family leave and workers quitting altogether. there is no "transparency", charly does his best to give us time frames, but in reality theres no way that he could even know if those quotes are possible. he gives them out to appease us.
drew has been giving everybody more than enough time to get their last orders in, maybe he did it because he needs the extra $, but thats still besides the fact. he announced that they were closing the doors and the fact that they are still allowing us to place orders is GENEROUS. yes, i said GENEROUS. if he shut the orders down on the original date that he announced, these same people complaining about their wait times would be pissing and moaning about how they just discovered TOJ and never had a chance to order. i bet some people would even go as far as offering to pay more and saying that they dont care how long the order takes, as long as they receive their jacket in the end.
you guys all fucking suck and should just be glad that drew is giving us a shot to order more jackets in the first place.
Sorry, I'm afraid this is nonsense. Yes, certainly there would be a few people bemoaning lost opportunities, but at least we'd know that TOJ has a definite plan of action and is more or less sticking to that. However, I don't feel much confidence when a company announces, publicly and clearly, that it is closing down orders...and then maintains a steady trickle of "last few" orders for *months* with no further indication of anything definite. It raises the questions: Why even bother announcing a shutdown? And then why hold it open indefinitely? Why not make *some* kind of firm announcement, one way or the other?
It is especially problematic if the company continues to hold open this kind of uncertain proposition (witness the sheer number of people who ask if TOJ is still accepting orders or not), given that the company already knows it is drastically behind on its delivery of ordered goods. I don't have a horse in this game, I don't expect my jacket until 2015, but I can certainly see that there are justifiable criticisms of TOJ's recent actions that no amount of fannish rationalization will help assuage.
Perhaps TOJ needs the money: in which case give us a new deadline for last orders. Perhaps they don't: in which case stick to the shutdown. Do whatever: make some kind of firm notification because they are a business and we are customers. That is the nature of this transaction. Whether the amount of the transaction is $10 or $850 is irrelevant.
I, at least, would rather that a business operate along some kind of clear expectations rather than "giving us a shot to order more jackets" when they are already unable to deliver jackets ordered long, long ago. And yes, perhaps this is a hectic time given the new restaurant and what not. But that, too, is irrelevant because it is on TOJ to manage themselves. It really does not take much to maintain better communications than what has been aggravating customers of late. It isn't so much the delay that these people appear to mind; it's the fact that there isn't any guidance being provided by TOJ.
But every detail was broken down when asked from the leather to the stitching, lining, zippers so yes Drew takes a lot of detail in the product he's put out. He's not going go hire more people to make jackets for him in order to increase production flow when he doesn't know how they work. The fact is Drew did increase his production team in order to meet the demand for how the company was going. He did not grow the team for the possibility of having people stand around he wouldn't be able to run the business at the prices he was giving if he had a significantly bigger production team.
Does is suck that it's gonna take a shit load of time, most definitely. But would I rather have a jacket that'll last me 10+ years or a jacket that's half assed and get it 5-10 weeks earlier.. Drew never intended the company to grow to where it's at. It's always been to give us a jacket with the highest quality possibilities and be accessible at the most reasonable prices by cutting out the middle man and up charge of a designer.
I still haven't even put in payment for my last TOJ I'll just end up paying and it'll come when it comes I got other things I can wear until then. TOJ isn't be all end all to my outerwear.
I mean Drew did offer up the possibility of someone to take over the company I don't remember anyone stepping up?
Second is a big job, and relates to the above previous post. I've talked about this in times before and other big projects, and then got busy and forgot about it - but basically, I'm looking for someone who would be interested in buying TOJ. There is a twist this time around - previously, I had wanted to spin off the business and all of the tangible assets, provide training, and let someone try their hand at it from the very middle of the operation. I had some counter offers that asked if I would continue as designer, and at the time, I wanted to move countries and just do something else. Now, a year or more later, I am willing to do that, continue as designer if required, bring out my planned items in the reboot, do my job as-is basically. I just will no longer be the accountant, basically. I have an accountant, so I am not looking for accounting services - I'm looking for someone who would like to buy an incredibly strong, living, breathing investment with safe numbers, willing to be a manager of sorts (this is optional but preferred) and also be the one to make the decisions about money tie-ups involving those pre-order materials and pieces as I've talked about (custom fabric, zipper bulk orders, etc). I would like to continue living in Japan, and I feel strongly about continuing work with my workers in Seoul as I feel they're very talented and have done just what is needed, they're part of the magic. The actual 'owner' can live anywhere, and we can communicate electronically, which is best as it's free and clear, or we can meet up periodically somewhere around the world as well. I see the latter as unnecessary but some might just want to do it to do it.
Why am I doing this? Well, to be honest, after 3 years - I am willing to cede the 'boss' role of TOJ if it means bringing in better equipment, a better business plan, and more of what people want to see out of this project. People most commonly ask me - 'why isn't TOJ bigger?' or 'what would TOJ be like if it were sold in stores/bigger than it is now?' etc, etc - and to be honest, I am just doing things in my own style, my own methodology, the safety zone. I've always used the analogy of a small restaurant with a chef who doesn't mind there being a big lineup outside to get a seat at one of my few tables. With this, I'm not saying let's take the small restaurant and turn into a franchise chain, I'm saying, 'what if we move premises to a still modest, but slightly more accomodating facility?' or 'what if we doubled the seat area? the line outside says we would be ok'
If someone had deeper pockets than I, someone who doesn't react the same way as I do to the idea of investing in a money tie-up to order $5,000 of Riri zippers, or putting $15,000 into getting a custom run of the 4oz horsehide everybody wants but we never have - that would be great, obviously. It's a 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' thing, but I envision the relationship, at it's least active - (we'll call this the 'buying a house buy never moving into it' scenario) - the whole thing can continue as is, healthily but small, and 3 or 4 of us would work under a new owner on salaries, and it's up to the owner to steer the surplus and his investment accordingly. I've never heard of too many small businesses asking for a takeover when they're as healthy as mine (TOJ has worked never worked with debt, since day one) - this is more like an opportunity for a bit of work to be taken off my back in exchange for a slice of the profits. I'm willing to do that now, because it's now 3 years down the line and I'd rather choose to keep designing the clothes and make what I've dreamed of making - but if it means having to be a multi-purpose accountant/designer/manager forever, I might end up quitting and doing whatever else it is I'd like to do.
I'm working on a plan to create to a chain restaurant in America that I feel insanely passionate about right now, it feels better than love. I've been thinking on this for months now, it just came to me in an instant and it's not gone away, it's only made itself clearer to me over time. It's not Mexican food but I admire the expansion and buyout/buy-back of Chipotle and their controlled sprawl/product, so I keep thinking about it all the time - that's why I had that dream about me and Synthese driving around Denver looking for Chipotle's original store. I was just studying it like the day before. Anyhow, to that end - that's my long term project, if someone were to join me at TOJ, I'd also offer some sort of opportunity to join me in this unrelated venture in return, as well. I'd like to have a national/international chain restaurant that people are proud to eat at, and use a similar method as TOJ has done to offer a honest product that explains itself at a fair price. That's getting far ahead of my point now, so back to the clothes -
I will say that the numbers stack up nicely, the model is set up so that the business does not need to carry debt if one chooses to continue my model - anyone seriously interested (I will need an intro and a prospectus to take you seriously, I know a few guys already from talking to them) - if I see serious interest, I will put forth some numbers from previous records as well as projections. I have only rough numbers in mind for what I'd like to get for my stuff yet, but these can be negotiated as we see fit.
Also, want to point out that at the same time I offered TOJ for sale for the first time, I had an alternate offer of training aspiring designers to produce their own clothing/start their own businesses - I'm now doing that with TOJ Labs, so that is struck off the offer sheet this time around.
- TOJ - updates on the debacle, complaints, news about other ventures, whatever.
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