Last night Kamakura Shirts held a party celebrating the opening of its second New York store, located Downtown at Brookfield Place. The party was held at an event space in SoHo and was far more packed than these photos may suggest. And yet the crowd all seemed to be part of a family that Kamakura has made for itself here in New York.
The company was founded by Yoshio Sadasue, and both his wife and daughter work for the company. Last night’s party brought together a range of Kamakura’s colleagues and loyal customers in an atmosphere of utmost fraternity. Noteworthy attendees were asked to introduce themselves to the crowd via microphone, and many were given prizes at the end of the night. Kamakura impresses not only with its quality standards, but the tremendous respect for its customers, whom it embraces in a way that feels anything but contrived. And Mr. Sadasue never tires of saying how grateful he is for Ivy Style’s first coverage of the brand, which got the word out. Mr. Sadasue is seen above applauding, but it’s really he who deserves a hand.
The event’s guest of honor was Graham Marsh, the English Ivy author and illustrator who’s done a collaboration with Kamakura called Vintage Ivy.
Here he is having his scarf inspected by Mrs. Sadasue:
When I walked in the door I was handed a program and drink and immediately bumped in to Mr. Sadasue. Marsh just got his scarf tuggged, I got my beard grabbed. I explained to him that it was “bankara Ivy.“
I spent some time talking golf with this fellow, who seemed to be simply a customer; here he is with Nanako Sadasue, daughter in the family:
Gentleman in crested blazer:
This dapper fellow was brought before the crowd:
As for me, the last time I had a microphone in my face and a Japanese audience was over 20 years ago when I sang “Sukiyaki” at a karaoke bar in the suburban city of Matsuyama. I managed to stumble my way through in Japanese, pointing out that my suit had been made by Kamakura’s suit brand Tex-Teq (not available in the US), that Kamakura was a great company, and, when the emcee asked me why, said that its shirts were better than Brooks. The emcee said “much, much better” and the crowd cheered.
At the end of the night, all those who remained were brought together for a group photo. There’s no better testament to the family feeling Kamkura fosters than this. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD
Photos by Shino Yanagawa.