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The Japanese Repro Clothing Thread (Real McCoys, Freewheelers, Etc.)

whorishconsumer

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Also @Mghart I'm interested to learn more about Freewheelers and other Japanese repro brands, which you appear to be knowledgable on. I think you mentioned elsewhere that you have a collection of At Last & Co. garments.
 

Mghart

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Also @Mghart I'm interested to learn more about Freewheelers and other Japanese repro brands, which you appear to be knowledgable on. I think you mentioned elsewhere that you have a collection of At Last & Co. garments.
From what I've gathered, Freewheelers is more similar in vein to say what Mr. Freedom does in that they aren't necessarily producing 'repro' type clothing of a specific genre, but more akin to manufacturing clothes that could have been made. Some of their clothing in regards to military stuff is closer to originals, but I think where they really shine is in some of their more unique designs. That said, a lot of their stuff runs the risk of being somewhat costume-y, but it can be mixed well with other items so it doesn't stand out too much.

Their leather jackets are incredible, but eye-watering expensive if you're a larger size. Everything I've had from them was very well made (trousers especially so) but I ultimately sold all of it off as I wanted a bit more streamlined of a wardrobe and wanted to get away from costume-y looks. I still would love to get a leather piece from them some day as their patterns are rather quite nice.

At Last is a tricky one to discuss if only in the sense that they don't really have much web presence in the way of website or IG and they seem to prefer to remain that way. Outside of Japan they only have two stockists with VMC in Zurich, and The Vintage Showroom in London. So unless you visit them in Japan its very difficult to come by unless you buy used on sites like buyee or mercari.

I would say their primary focus is mostly on 40-50's era casual clothing and they don't lean into the military stuff as much as say RMC does. All of their cuts/fits for clothes definitely leans on the fuller side (I'm talking 8-9" hems!) so it certainly isn't to everyones style, but I personally really like it as I've completely moved away from slim anything.
 
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Mghart

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Just to bring up another somewhat small and obscure brand is Conners Sewing Factory based out of Shiga in Kyoto. Yoshiaki Konaka is most likely producing the most accurate (down to period correct sewing machines) vintage Levis of anyone, and does all the cutting/sewing himself. Theres a few other people on his team making other runs of jeans, but he himself is doing his 'S' series which reproduces various eras of Levis Pre and Post WW2.

His work is a little harder to come by these days as I think he's no longer accepting personal orders, but rather making runs of certain models for shops in Japan. I got my pair back in 2018 when I visited his 49ers shop in person in Kyoto (and delightfully got lost in the middle of nowhere on the way back :p ) One of my favorite pairs even if the cut isn't as ideal and the pocket bags are laughably small.

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hoodog

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@hoodog Maybe you can drop some knowledge on their sheepskins. I should think these would be considered another staple.
Hmm... don't think I know much more than that I really like mine. Each time I wear it I catch myself thinking "man, this jacket really is great, I should wear it much more often". Is there anything you want to know in particular?
 

illiterate

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Nice! You should have tagged me in starting this!

I've just gotten into Japanese repro of late and The Real McCoy's in particular. What I can impart I mainly have picked up elsewhere on the Internet and, as such, is subject to some verification. But here goes:


Intro

The Real McCoy's family of brands takes as it's MO to render classic American military, western, motorcycle, sports and workwear design true to original details, but in luxe materials and a "modern" fit. In this they are distinguished by repro enthusiasts from the likes of Buzz Rickson (Toyo), who are known for being committed to accurate replication of design, materials and fit. As such, RMC products tend to be "nicer" than other repros, if not also more expensive. Below is a brief interview with Hitoshi Tsujimoto, who just recently stepped down from the helm at RMC. I'm not going to pretend to fully understand the message here.




History

The Real McCoy's was founded in Japan in or by the early 90s by Hiroshi Okamoto and some other unnamed individuals. In the early days the brand provided a select mail-order service for high-end repros of A2 leather flight jackets. For a period they were in partnership with and produced motorcycle jackets for Harley Davidson. The company came into financial dire straits – to the tune of 1.13 billion yen – and it is rumored that fraudulent behavior or evasion may have been at play. Okamoto's reported acquisition of a private B-17 bomber is thought to have contributed to their sinking bottom line. In certain telling, The Real McCoy's became entangled with the yakuza to address their debts. What is more widely acknowledged is that Tsujimoto – a long-time importer and distributor of Americana to the Amerikamura market under his NYLON company – brought RMC out of bankruptcy in 2001.

There followed a shake-up within the RMC partnership, with several individuals involved splitting off to form their own brands doing similar stuff. Okamoto started Toys McCoy, focusing on much the same militaria but with an emphasis on WWII-era prints and badges (he is an illustrator, after all). Atsushi Yasui, who had headed the Joe McCoy sub-brand (started in 1997) while at RMC left to form Freewheelers. Masahide Ishizuka helmed the New Zealand production facility where much (if not all) of RMC's B3 and B6 bombers were made. Upon separation, this became it's own brand, dubbed Real McCoy's New Zealand within the country and The Few in Japan and elsewhere (due to licensing agreements). RMCNZ/The Few shut down in 2015. Rainbow Country is rumored to be yet another offshoot of RMC, although this is unconfirmed.

In more recent history, RMC acquired almost sole rights to produce and distribute Buco-brand products.

Today RMC is headquartered in Kobe, Japan.


Brands

The Real McCoy's - American militaria circa WWII (A2s, B3s, M65s)
Joe McCoy - Western, sports and workwear (jeans, sweats, leather jackets)
Double Diamond - Tailored workwear ??
Buco - Motorcycle wear (leather jackets)


Stockists

RMC has several brick and mortar outposts throughout Japan but a comparatively limited presence abroad (although better than most Japanese brands). As @Mghart has noted, prices are far more favorable domestically than abroad. That said, there are some distributors who are able to place orders with the company at relatively limited mark-up (Standard & Strange specifically).

The company maintains a Japanese site and UK site, both with separate catalogs. International orders can not be placed with RMC Japan directly but you can go through a local distributor or proxy service, who can place the order on your behalf. Prices with RMC UK are generally unfavorable.

It appears that RMC has not had much success finding a place to land stateside. Self Edge (SF/NYC) stocked them for a brief period in the early oughts. Blue In Green (NYC), in an agreement with RMC corporate, established an annex in 2014 that did not last more than a year before closing "due to high rent". At present Standard and Strange (Oakland, CA) and Lost & Found (Toronto) are the best-stocked providers I have found. The Armoury (NYC) has also begun stocking a small selection at their Upper East Side Westbury location.

Note that while John Chapman at Good Wear used to be a stateside distributor of RMC circa 2012, that is no longer the case (he told me as much).

While RMC was in partnership with Superdenim (UK), the latter are no longer a distributor. However, you may find used and deadstock RMC through Superdenim's MARRKT outlet. Note that I have found the prices for used garments to be equal to their retail. RMC has established an annex with The Clutch Cafe (London) while they renovate their London headquarters. Prices are similarly unkind.

Frans Boone (Belgium/Netherlands) is a good option for those located in Europe and not wishing to contend with UK conversion or import/export taxes. Stu-f (Dusseldorf) and Jinji (Paris) are other options.

RMC UK: https://therealmccoys.com/
RMC JP: https://www.realmccoys.co.jp/index.php
Standard & Strange (Oakland): https://standardandstrange.com/ - They can order anything available within the catalog with 1/2 deposit; no returns on specials orders
The Armoury (NYC): https://thearmoury.com/
Lost & Found (Toronto): https://shoplostfound.com/
Frans Boone (Belgium, Netherlands): https://www.fransboonestore.com/
End (UK): https://www.endclothing.com/
Clutch Cafe (London): https://clutch-cafe.com/
MARKKT (Online): https://www.marrkt.com/ - Used and deadstock RMC
Jinji (Paris): https://www.jinji.fr/
Stu-f (Dusseldorf): https://www.stuf-f.com//
Signet (Manila): https://thesignetstore.com/
Celluloid (Japan) - https://www.celluloid1984.com/ - You can place your order directly with them via their Overseas Shipping Service inquiry form, and if you have PayPal
Barn Stormer (Japan): https://www.barnstormer.jp/ - Order via proxy
Time After Time (Japan): https://www.time-after-time.jp/ - Order via proxy
Real Moon (Japan): http://www.realmoon.co.jp/ - Order via proxy

Finally, you can find a wealth of used RMC stock via Yahoo Auctions Japan, which you may navigate via Buyee (https://buyee.jp/yahoo/auction) or any similar proxy service.

You can find an official stockist list here.

References
Wikipedia Japan
Fedora Lounge
A Fine-Tooth Comb
Ironheart Forum
Random Blog
Esquire
Great write up. Always interesting to learn the backstory of some of these brands.

Miloh Shop in Vancouver has(had?) a pretty decent collection of RMC as well. Owner seems to be winding down a bit though and might be on his way out of the business.
 

peachfuzzmcgee

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Just to bring up another somewhat small and obscure brand is Conners Sewing Factory based out of Shiga in Kyoto. Yoshiaki Konaka is most likely producing the most accurate (down to period correct sewing machines) vintage Levis of anyone, and does all the cutting/sewing himself. Theres a few other people on his team making other runs of jeans, but he himself is doing his 'S' series which reproduces various eras of Levis Pre and Post WW2.

His work is a little harder to come by these days as I think he's no longer accepting personal orders, but rather making runs of certain models for shops in Japan. I got my pair back in 2018 when I visited his 49ers shop in person in Kyoto (and delightfully got lost in the middle of nowhere on the way back :p ) One of my favorite pairs even if the cut isn't as ideal and the pocket bags are laughably small.

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You know I really would love something like this but with Lee's cowboy models. I always preferred Lee over Levi. I've thought about going to check out his shop since I live in the adjacent prefecture but 1:30 minutes to the shop is pretty dang long since it would be mostly for just the shop.

Cool stuff either way!
 

Mghart

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You know I really would love something like this but with Lee's cowboy models. I always preferred Lee over Levi. I've thought about going to check out his shop since I live in the adjacent prefecture but 1:30 minutes to the shop is pretty dang long since it would be mostly for just the shop.

Cool stuff either way!
Yeah I remember even from Kyoto station getting there to and from was basically a day trip along with getting lost.

If you’re ever in Osaka, Timeworn has a shop there and they do a Lee style in their Lot 147 which is one of their popular styles. Maybe more of a full cut than traditional Lee’s but still really cool. Here’s my pair along with the matching jacket

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peachfuzzmcgee

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Looks good, I'll check em out. I definitely shouldn't even think about getting new jeans since I still have a long way to go with the Jeans I have now, but today and tomorrow are gonna be nice days so I might go ahead and check them out.

Lee Archives seems cool, although not sure if I need exact replica considering Lees tend to be considerably cheaper for vintage if you get something from the 60 or later era. Like I could buy Riders all day for like 40-100 bucks. Unless they use cooler fabrics or whatever! If so maybe I'll look into a stormrider.

RMC had a pretty cool stormrider repro that felt warmer than the real thing. Too bad I can't seem to find it anymore.
 

jmiller123

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IMG_4845.jpeg
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Glad to see this thread as RMC is a brand I'm interested in exploring. Recently tried on this N1 in a size 38 as I wear a medium/48 pretty regularly. I'm 5'9, with a 39" chest. Despite reading online that it runs large and the measurements themselves being quite large, I found the fit to be very restricting. While I think the size looks right from the outside, I couldn't fit more than a tee and perhaps a light shirt underneath as it was tight through the shoulders and arms. I ended up sending it back and am waiting on the 40 to come in- hoping it works out as I love the styling.
 

whorishconsumer

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Hmm... don't think I know much more than that I really like mine. Each time I wear it I catch myself thinking "man, this jacket really is great, I should wear it much more often". Is there anything you want to know in particular?
Just wanted to open the floor up to the perspective of those who have handled specific pieces. The B6 is definitely on my list, although I think I would need to live somewhere colder than NYC for it to get much use. It's also hard to justify after you get past the high markup on retail + customs. I'd love to handle one, though.

I handled the M65 today and have to say I was a little dismayed. It seemed anemic somehow and the hardware and velcro fastenings really didn't grab me. How have you found it to wear?

Great write up. Always interesting to learn the backstory of some of these brands.

Miloh Shop in Vancouver has(had?) a pretty decent collection of RMC as well. Owner seems to be winding down a bit though and might be on his way out of the business.
Thanks!

I saw that Miloh has (had) a pretty decent selection, but as you say they don't appear likely to re-up, which is why I didn't include them.

View attachment 1559376View attachment 1559377

Glad to see this thread as RMC is a brand I'm interested in exploring. Recently tried on this N1 in a size 38 as I wear a medium/48 pretty regularly. I'm 5'9, with a 39" chest. Despite reading online that it runs large and the measurements themselves being quite large, I found the fit to be very restricting. While I think the size looks right from the outside, I couldn't fit more than a tee and perhaps a light shirt underneath as it was tight through the shoulders and arms. I ended up sending it back and am waiting on the 40 to come in- hoping it works out as I love the styling.
It looks good on you, but I understand not wanting to be constricted (not much utility in a pretty jacket with no mobility). Because of the pile lining you want to allow 5-8" from your actual chest measurement. Today I tried a 42 in the N-1 SPL after the 40 had proven too short in the arms for me. While found it boxier and looser in the body than I'd prefer, it was an improvement in the neck and not noticeably larger in the shoulder, as opposed to what I had feared, which was a gaping neck and sloppy shoulders. Unfortunately the arms are still too short for me.

I hope the 40 works out for you!
 
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whorishconsumer

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Stopped by The Armoury Westbury today to check out their RMC stock. As was explained to me, while The Armoury has done some collaborations with RMC in the past, this is the first time they have featured such a variety of their stock. It's effectively a pop-up, which I've been told they're extending at least through April. I was informed that they are expecting additional stock in the coming weeks.

I took the opportunity to try a few items and am a little sad to report that I wasn't entirely impressed. Here I should note that despite spending the last 18 years fawning over jawnz, I really don't know anything about textiles or manufacturing, and even less about leather.

In particular I tried on the Joe McCoy Aklak Grizzly (MJ19114) and the Joe McCoy 30s Sport Jacket / Mobster (MJ20118) (my perception was undoubtedly not aided by the zipper of the latter having a kink that made it difficult to remove), laid hands upon the M65 Field Jacket (MJ1700), and grazed the G-1 and Bucos. I also tried the C-2 Flying "Vest" and the N-1 SPL (MJ20114), a jacket I had previously tried in a smaller size and which I have more appreciation for even if the fit is not for me.

What struck me about the Joe McCoy leather jackets in my cursory exchange with them, and the Bucos to a lesser extent, is how they didn't appear to measure up to the A2, and despite all being made with horsehide. I also found the patterns to not scale well to larger sizes, with the jackets remaining short and boxy. Of course fit greatly impacts one's opinion of a piece and the pieces I tried unfortunately do not work on my frame.

I intend to keep my eyes out for additional RMC stock at The Armoury and may find cause to adjust my opinion at next visit. I'd welcome any input from those here more knowledgeable than I as to how different leathers present at first feel vs. performance and what is considered a denotation of quality.
 
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jmiller123

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I took the opportunity to try a few items and am a little sad to report that I wasn't entirely impressed. Here I should note that despite spending the last 18 years fawning over jawnz, I really don't know anything about textiles or manufacturing, and even less about leather.

In particular I tried on the Joe McCoy Aklak Grizzly (MJ19114) and the Joe McCoy 30s Sport Jacket / Mobster (MJ20118) (my perception was undoubtedly not aided by the zipper of the latter having a kink that made it difficult to remove), laid hands upon the M65 Field Jacket (MJ1700), and grazed the G-1 and Bucos. I also tried the N-1 SPL (MJ20114), a jacket I had previously tried in a smaller size and which I have more appreciation for even if the fit is not for me.
What were your thoughts on the M65? That's on my list for the spring but I haven't handled in person yet. Worth the price tag or better to just go vintage?
 

whorishconsumer

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What were your thoughts on the M65? That's on my list for the spring but I haven't handled in person yet. Worth the price tag or better to just go vintage?
In a thought, it wasn't as luxe as I would have expected. The velcro and hardware felt to be what you'd expect in an original vintage piece. In this perhaps RMC is doing a straight repro. The jacket is also of lighter weight than I would have thought, although this makes it a great jacket for Spring.

I'm interested in @hoodog's opinion of the M65, as they own it.
 

Gerry Nelson

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View attachment 1559376View attachment 1559377

Glad to see this thread as RMC is a brand I'm interested in exploring. Recently tried on this N1 in a size 38 as I wear a medium/48 pretty regularly. I'm 5'9, with a 39" chest. Despite reading online that it runs large and the measurements themselves being quite large, I found the fit to be very restricting. While I think the size looks right from the outside, I couldn't fit more than a tee and perhaps a light shirt underneath as it was tight through the shoulders and arms. I ended up sending it back and am waiting on the 40 to come in- hoping it works out as I love the styling.
This is exactly my situation. I'm waiting on the jacket to arrive. Fingers crossed ...
 

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