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TOJ - updates on the debacle, complaints, news about other ventures, whatever. - Page 3619post #54271 of 5480511/14/15 at 8:27ampost #54272 of 5480511/14/15 at 8:56ampost #54273 of 5480511/14/15 at 9:08ampost #54274 of 5480511/14/15 at 1:14pmpost #54275 of 5480511/15/15 at 5:58ampost #54276 of 5480511/15/15 at 6:16ampost #54277 of 5480511/15/15 at 10:47am
theres not much else to say.
drew is/was a monster
I haven't seen him in person in years.
If you guys are going to be getting ur money back,
it's probably coming from his parents.
But, I wouldn't give up on exposing him in Seoul.
Everyone must know.
But people love a good sob story, and whats better than a handsome deaf orphan.
With no fucking soul.
post #54278 of 5480511/15/15 at 10:49ampost #54279 of 5480511/15/15 at 10:53am
But everyone else that knows Drew and actively hangs out with him.
da fuq is wrong with u?
It's the language gap, the orphan-deaf status, and the korean brad pitt look-alike factor right?
somehow you just don't see this rotten individual.
You see this magnificent man, some diamond in the rough
I was once a drew protegee
I was fucking dumb.
post #54280 of 5480511/15/15 at 10:56am
I wouldn't let up on exposing him to his inner circle of "frands".
Keep on messaging, keep on letting them know.
ur "FREND" stole $500k from roughly 500 people
is a serial con-artist and occasional rapist
and WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK OR JUSTICE!
so long as you hang out with this scum bag you will be exposed as well.
Get that fucker fired from Huff Po Korea
Unless you're privy to this shit as well mate.
You're a fucking idiot.post #54281 of 5480511/15/15 at 11:05amI was contacted yesterday by a some longtime friends who caught wind of the SF thread and they contacted me immediately asking what was going on. Everyone urged me to make a post and clarify everything and be entirely truthful. It’s been a long time and probably needs even more backstory so that goes here, I will go back pretty far so it leads to the current and explain it all:The timeline is this: the cutoff run was precipitated by quite a number of factors, some were deeper historically and some were more pressing. Several times I had wanted to quit making clothes, mostly that was due to boredom or a desire to do something else, but I didn’t want to give up on Dan like that, as he had quit his career back in 2009 to come help at TOJ for me, and Charly had come on and wanted to stay with it. I remember trying to sell TOJ years back and a couple guys even took interest to the point that one of them, complete with a wife and kids, wanted to come out to Seoul from Texas and was only worried he wouldn’t be able to pick up the system on it. I think in the end, it was much bigger move than he was able to make anyway. I didn’t even really know what to value TOJ at back then because it was just a system of designs, patterns, sales base, and a lot of intellectual properties. The annual revenue value might’ve been 800k at the time and I think selling out was gonna be a small fraction of that.In summer of 2011 I lost the better part of my hearing overnight. I still don’t know why and nobody else does either, but that was a setback that contributed to me wanting to quit my current life, work, etc, and try something else as well, fearing that I wouldn’t be able to do things the same way anymore. It definitely did change my perspective on a lot of things, probably made me more than a little depressed. Just a loss I couldn’t do anything about.After that, I made the move to Tokyo, and there began a much deeper journey that really took my interest in clothes away. I had really wanted to live in Tokyo for the better part of a decade. It’s an awesome city and then in the end after I finally got there, it really took me for a spin as well. What happened there was only personal - I had been going out with my gf for the better part of 3 years at that point, we had the dog together, she was Japanese and had wanted to move back ‘home’ - and with me not being a local Korean, I also had no real roots to uplift, so I moved there with her once our apartment in Seoul had ended. Immediately upon getting there, she told me that she thought the best way to get a visa would be for me to get married to her. Things with her had been ok (despite some fights that were escalating over time) and I gave it a shot. I’d felt like I should settle down. It turned out that getting married in Japan was extremely simple and only a matter of signing on a dotted line at the town office, this in a country where there are longer forms and fees just to dispose of a television. Ate Chinese food for dinner the same day and came home. Got food poisoning. Visa and gaijin card came in extremely quickly, I remember getting my picture taken at some photo booth across from Donki in Roppongi and then going down to Shinagawa immigration office and getting into some expedited line away from all the people who were trying to get visas on their lonesome. Anyway, all of this happened at a breakneck pace and I was married. What I didn’t know at that time, or for some time, was that it was her way of basically entrapping me, as a foreigner with unequal rights. It was probably planned well beforehand or just naturally programmed into her regardless of whether it was me or somebody else. Her demands and entitlement grew over time quite quickly and she began acting strangely. I think that she had some sort of clinical disorder that required her to usurp so much from me using charm, a lot of bad behavior, and a lot of fighting and so on, and so on, and that settled in on me several months in. My thoughts at the time were just a lot of sadness about the bad hand I dealt myself as well as my health problems, but it was also so soon in that I couldn’t even explain it to anyone because it was all really ridiculous.By this time in Japan, TOJ was on auto-pilot. I think this was the era when not many new designs were made and the production was handled only by Dan, admin by Charly, wait time was 3-6 months back then and rolling over. I would go to Seoul once in awhile but I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to go after some sort of strange jealousy issue erupted in my house. I think it took months for me to get back to Seoul at that point.Needless to say, I was pretty miserable in Japan and had gotten myself way up the wrong path there. To make matters worse, Tokyo is a great place to visit with a lot of wonders so looking out the window you want to feel happy about it, and then it was simultaneously a horrible place to live for me. I wasn’t used to all the earthquakes. Japanese was extremely hard to learn using the small basis that I knew and then my new deafness really put a stop on things. Japan has a lot of strange low tech ways and excessive rules, Japanese people tend to walk around looking quite glum, there was a disproportionate amount of extremely high priced prostitutes walking to work everyday past my balcony making me question a lot of things, and I was in my horrible household being manipulated as well. All of it mounted and was really soul crushing to the point that I often thought about suicide back then. I simply couldn't see how the future could work in my favor. Had I had the tools to do so back then, I would’ve probably killed myself as far back as that point, summer of 2012 or so.After having too much of this, I had to keep pressing forward for the sake of the other guys and had to rip myself out of Japan and try to get back to Korea away from all of it. My visits got more frequent, we made new designs, things picked back up again. I eventually just left Japan and never went back, and restarted in Seoul again, on my own. I was meeting a lot of interesting people in Seoul back then, and had come off that bad streak so I was feeling a little better. This was late 2012, early 2013. I was resettling and TOJ was still pretty much auto-pilot. I met up with Dan maybe once a week or once every two weeks just to ship, Charly was in America. It was like stepping back into something I hadn’t done for some time, it was awkward and I had less facility with things. I knew then that I just didn’t want to do TOJ anymore, especially not the way it was back then. It was alive and kicking, but also I saw us getting older and I was 31 by then, not the 27 year old I was at the beginning, not the guy who was interested in clothes and clothes making and internet socializing, etc. TOJ had shipped thousands and thousands of pieces out into the wide world and honestly I think nobody could believe that dudes were really gonna need 18 leather jackets in their wardrobe, plus more. Given that I had gone through a wringer, I was kinda banged up and lacked desire to do a lot of things, and was trying to simplify to get back to a starting point, I guess. In addition I wasn’t wanting to hold anything property or asset wise due to wanting to get a divorce. So all of these individual happenings really just cemented it for me, that I needed to end TOJ as best as I could, so that decision to finish it was made.My real movement away from styleforum started around the time of the cutoff run, and it was mostly innocuous at the time. I had just extricated myself from Japan and that situation and gotten myself back to Seoul and was trying to restart my life, and get TOJ finished. The chance to go into Scout came up, I did that on the side, Sally and Dan were in there with me and things were getting done as the place was a night bar and fairly simple. Throughout the years, guys had emailed us and wanted to meet up and just hang out, I guess as far back as 2009. From that position it was fine, although plenty awkward many of times.By the time it had gotten to the Scout era, people would come in, I’d look at the floor, see some white Margiela army trainers then some torn up jeans walk in, a white v neck tee, and a black leather jacket. For a split second I’d see something out of place, I’d flashback to SF, I’d look at their faces and see a sort of shy empty gaze staring at me. They’d either come alone or with other dudes. They’d sit down for awhile and then suddenly somebody like a server would lead them by the arm up to me and introduce them to me as ‘a TOJ guy’ or ‘styleforum guy’ and some sort of awkward non-conversation would take place or drag out as I am deaf and a little shy in the aftermath of it. This happened more times than I can remember, and then later happened at the other restaurant a great number of times. It’s not so much that I didn’t want to meet people at all, but the sudden IRL encounters kinda rattled me back then, and given that SF was really no longer what it had been by that point, I had my personal distractions, and I moved away from the forums and kept working on the stuff without posting much. I had a couple strange stalker/death threat type things for no real reasons besides being an internet person some years before any of this happened and yeah, I honestly was kinda bothered being ambushed by guys IRL who breathed heavily and were wearing some sort of replica of my own outfit from 8 years ago and were seeking me out… I guess to find their kindred? My mental state was probably beginning to crack again around this time, I was realizing how far things had gotten from the beginning. It was just making a few jackets at the very beginning, and then took on so many things later.Once time had gotten on, I was well and truly away from styleforum and probably didn’t realize how much time and space had intervened. I was beginning to get worried about the load of orders and the IRL work, and then the thread took a tone change once non-customers started posting as if they were, and the negativity just started snowballing. I saw some of it at the beginning and from there I just couldn’t do much but to stand back and watch, or not watch. Willy cheesesteak would screengrab posts and send them to me to look at with a ‘lol’ attached and for awhile, I was able to log in and respond, but over time this was happening more and more, eating at me and breaking me down, and meanwhile there were the posters actively trying to ruin the thread, ruin everything out of internet extreme forumming. Getting a message from willy I would see the notification and have to brace myself knowing I’d read something bad on the forums again. He also showed me where the various copies of my designs were coming out and making progress elsewhere, which was defeating. After awhile the anxiety and dread took over and it really consumed me to where I couldn’t log in to SF out of anxiety reflex, amongst a lot of other things. This is where the two way communication really ended and I began to do things wrong.I was and am apologetic about the people who kept waiting, I was simultaneously angry with the people who were taking over the thread and creating messes specifically for me to clean up. That imbalance grew, the confusion grew, I had 5 solid years of happy people on here and around me and suddenly things were dropping away and yet I was here trying to continue the work aspect of it, getting jackets made and delivered. The process of jacket making was always fairly simple when there wasn’t the extraneous problems, and then some of the natural frustration got lit with a match and has come to this.The cutoff run was intended to be much smaller than it actually tuned out to be. I don’t think I need to say that at this point. I think it was supposed to be a week but turned into months with people coming in late and begging to be in, Charly saw it as a way to continue receiving accounts, and I made the mistake of saying that was okay. I was so far removed from the production as well as order taking side at that point that I had an approximation of what was to be made, but it was far too optimistic. The bulk of people ordered all on the same days, at the beginning of the cutoff run in May. It was a tremendous amount. Another mistake was letting people customize from the catalog as before - this added a great deal of lead time to the entire group of orders, and obviously escalated to this point.The basic idea regarding finishing the order log and ending TOJ was that I was to be off, and once the orders had been taken and set, Charly would be off, and then Dan would finish up the log and turn out the lights. Due to the internal and external factors that wasn’t able to happen ultimately. I had to fire Sally long before the cutoff run because she couldn’t show up, she overslept a few times and didn’t come out, made some mistakes. I didn’t know at the time that she had some family issues that were probably consuming her, and she never really mentioned it. I never did tell Charly this so it’s probably wrong to say here but I felt having him on way after only encouraged people to keep up needless dialogue and moving/changing order things around like a hobby, and meanwhile he was simply responding with ‘yep’ ‘ok’ and giving out a generic lead time in order to extricate himself from those conversations with people, as the quality of the conversations were clearly leading him to a lot of duress and the lead time was always moving around. To let him continue that was a mistake on my part. Dan’s father passed away and we had just started the restaurant, there were tons of distractions, things grew quite murky there and derailed the production during that time, I sent a lot during that time but it did kill the pace and momentum from what it had been, and I had to take over more than I had done before, and was basically in somebody else’s office not knowing what i was doing in order to keep it going.For all six years, the actual production team has been the same - they are all old freelancers doing things on their time. For the entire being of TOJ it was always on their time and pace, which was steady at times, and not, and the time would roll over, catching up with itself at times. Even without the large order load, the lead times would vary between 1 week and 9 months or more. I often thought about moving the production to HK or some other place where turnover could’ve been faster but I knew the quality and materials wouldn’t be the same or up to spec.I am still liquid to finish all of the orders and ship. Those orders were and are being made always at several places in perpetuity, like they have been for years. The wallet guy had some disagreements with me for no real reason besides being strange (I think he was trying to get out of his business) and was extremely hard to work with, but I can contact him again finally. I sold my car awhile back as well out of the indication on the internet that it was slowing jackets down somehow.The liquid to continue is there, however I am honestly afraid of what becomes if things don’t pan out as they should - this is regarding refunds and chargebacks. The problem with issuing refunds was initially the Paypal issue. I am not sure who tipped the PP into negative balance but it was enough to create an issue where Paypal sent a collection agency in person. I haven’t lived in America in over 7 years, so they found my father and badgered him about it. The problem with that is the third party collection agency that Paypal used charged some sort of ridiculous interest amount that compounded quite quickly, it was like a 90% rate and ultimately my dad didn’t know anything about any of this but the fact that this bill was adding up tremendously in multiples of the original amount and they were harassing him, he just paid it off. I found out about it even later, not long ago. I dread to know how many people have attempted chargebacks. No money had really been exchanged for a year or so, except when I began issuing refunds last fall and then got cut off. After learning of the collection agency situation and given the situation on the forums, I knew that if the dam were to break on refunds or automated chargebacks, it would jeopardize the entire production run without letting it be made for anybody, as well as any crossover where refunds occurred but item was shipped, etc. With the depth and complexity of the records I worried there would be doubling over or worse, which would jeopardize the things being made for other people. The real problem looming over my head on this is that if the chargebacks were to consume the remaining production budget and incur the collection agency's interest at a rapid rate, it would go multiples over what is left on the table and go beyond any resources I have as well. Given the amount there, it’s a completely reasonable conclusion that I would have to kill myself in order to escape the collection agency’s added debt as well as any other problems that would arise from it. That might sound ridiculous, or not, I don’t know, but from a functional standpoint that is the end result and am sorry that people would be left behind on it. The amount of stress and unhappiness have brought me here and lately I’ve just been waiting for the day when something goes to unfixable status, to where it would be impossible to live. I have the desire to finish all the orders and find some sort of better day.Where I am at with the restaurant and everything else - I’m now ‘kicked out’ of the restaurant by the other owners request. The vandalism on the Facebook page annoyed them, the messages annoyed them and people inside were just sending junk replies to get you to stop, somebody had to report the phone situation to the police, and then the final straw was Lee Tae Hoon coming in looking for me and trying to get a story out of it for his blog. I am not sure he will be able to print anything regarding the business or myself due to libel laws in South Korea but that is also a looming factor. The place will ultimately sell as it’s a developed property basis and the group will break up, a lot of what was promised by everybody in the beginning didn’t occur once business was underway anyway. It is a shame as the restaurant was truly made by the group of staff who continue there and the business of it goes well. I didn’t know that someone from the restaurant had posted in the thread. I didn’t move or change my number (I don’t even have a number now and I live in a private building) but now I realize they probably said that in order to keep Lee Tae Hoon away from me.I also apologize for speaking through Brad the past couple posts. I just logged on the other night, found out I couldn’t post and saw him post and also online so I spoke with him a bit, and then we spoke again last night about the above things as well. Brad is not involved in any of this obviously and would like to see a resolution just as many.edit: will speak to interim posts later.post #54282 of 5480511/15/15 at 11:06ampost #54283 of 5480511/15/15 at 11:06ampost #54284 of 5480511/15/15 at 11:06ampost #54285 of 5480511/15/15 at 11:07am
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