Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inspiration: Rin Tanaka...We Insist and Himel Brothers

I've been absent again from my blogging!  It seems that I'm going through a learning process and am back to the school of marketing.  As part of my Junior Year Course work I flew with Nancy to L.A. to attend Inspiration again this year.  I was so excited about last years show and this years looked even better being it was hosted on the Queen Mary.

I've been trying to sort through my blogsabsenteeism and have come to the conclusion that writing interesting posts is no easy task.  So in typical response to a great challenge I have decided to open a second blog on my new website Himel Brothers Leather.  I've only recently finished the majority of the content on this site and am now going to have a new and separate blog describing the trials and travails of trying to build a premier custom jacket brand, and a site that will hopefully not just sell my jackets but other unique vintage inspired design pieces.
The new blog can be found in the NEWS section of my site on its own url Himel Brothers Blog . Included will be my stories from week to week about producing the jackets, finding customers, sourcing materials, design struggles and anything that seems interesting and relevant to trying to build a clothing brand.  I will be loading up the new website with both new and vintage leather jackets next week and have over 120 new horsehide and vintage motorcycle jackets for sale!

Ok, so back to INSPIRATION and tales from the show! For those who might not know, a large part of why I became so possessed with leather jackets had to do with a couple of books published by Rin Tanaka. Rin is a professional photographer who has a huge love of vintage clothing and surf culture, and also Americana in its entirety.  Rin was the creative force that helped bring out in the Japanese public the private collections of many of the top vintage dealers in America, through publications like Free and Easy and MyFreeDamn books.  Through his good nature and talent for photography, Rin propelled otherwise obscure, underground vintage dealers into the star status spotlight.  Like all things, the community that Rin celebrates is a broad tapestry of loose connections.  Inspiration and MyFreeDamn celebrate all the bits and pieces of that web and through his new show, all the people who contribute to the design and culture of this rebirth of workwear get to attend and show off their best gear.

For me this show is much deeper than just beautiful and rare clothing.  This show is a chance for all the different pieces of the vintage clothing culture to get together and have a culture jam!  For a Canuck in the midst of a cold bad winter any chance to run to L.A. and get some sun is a plus, but when it involves seeing some of my oldest friends, frenemies, and new friends...I'm in!  Intend to write several blogs about all the participants I met while I was there.  For the most part I really only know the vintage guys and it was amazing this year to meet soo many cool new people.  Nick Clements from Mens File Magazine, Jeff Decker; motorcycle artist and bike enthusiast, Atsu Tagaya from HTC, Bryan Lin from The Thurs., and warm hugs from old pals like Rob Medellin, Bubba Schrader and Nao Akimoto who I have been working beside since 1993 when I was just a kid! It is my hope to introduce you to some of the people who participated in Inspiration and what they do, and why they do it!