TV Guide: Former VAN Employee On Ivy Inspiration In The ’60s And ’70s

Today we feature a special contribution. Fumio Adachi presently lives in the US, but in the 1960s worked in Japan at VAN Jac, the pioneering Japanese Ivy brand. Herein he shares some memories about where his team got their inspiration.

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In our generation, when we were middle teenagers, it was more than 50 years ago. We had two role models about Ivy Style in those years in Japan. We learned from Mens Club magazine how to wear and coordinate outfits for time, place and occasion (TPO), including fabric and style details. The magazine was teaching material for Ivy Style, but we had another: American TV shows from the ’60s and ’70s. 

At that time, many American TV shows were broadcast in Japan, such as 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside 6, The FBI, Route 66, Fugitive, The Six-Million Dollar Man, Ironside, 87th Precinct, M Squad, The Donna Reed Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., My Three Sons, and Father Knows Best. I’m not able to list all the shows because there were so many, including Westerns, war and comedy. They even aired at prime time; for example, 77 Sunset Strip was on at 7pm on Sunday nights.

I have heard that Japanese broadcasting companies did not have the resources to produce enough dramas to cover a full week in those years, so they purchased American TV dramas. And our generation grew up with Ivy Style on American TV shows. Especially, I would say, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.on The FBI (below) and Richard Anderson on The Six-Million Dollar Man (above). I remember that both men would wear nice traditional three-button suits and sportcoats. I noticed that Richard Anderson would sometimes fasten the second and third jacket buttons, something I had not often seen. It was quite unique.

I miss those shows. I know a TV channel is broadcasting some classic dramas, and I wish I could watch Efrem Zimbalist Jr. of FBI again. — FUMIO ADACHI

8 Comments on "TV Guide: Former VAN Employee On Ivy Inspiration In The ’60s And ’70s"

  1. CanadianTrad | March 29, 2018 at 8:37 am |

    Thank you, sir, for sharing your memories. Those old shows can be a great inspiration for us relatively younger guys who grew up after the heyday, too.

  2. Charlottesville | March 29, 2018 at 12:38 pm |

    What a nice recollection, Mr. Adachi. I remember many of those shows as well, some of them, like 77 Sunset Strip, as reruns in syndication. Along with Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., it starred Roger Smith, who was married to Ann-Margret for 50 years, until his death last year. I think my interest in dressing well may also have had its roots in television of the 1960s. Thank you for the fond memories.

  3. What a nice recollection, Mr. me!!
    VAN JACKET AG and 404

  4. Dan Rothman | March 30, 2018 at 12:20 am |

    I believe that here in the U.S. too, many of us may have been introduced by these shows to proper men’s Ivy styles, particularly if we were in places where we were surrounded by men who certaınly didn’t know how to dress.

  5. Could someone please identify the actor and the show in the top photo?

  6. Thanks to Fumio for this great contribution. In the age of the internet, streaming services, and increased media balkanization, it’s often said that America can never again have a Johnny Carson or a show that everyone is watching. It’s worth considering how the sartorial influence TV shows once wielded over the public imagination has been eroded with it.

  7. Addison DeWitt | March 30, 2018 at 12:02 pm |

    @Starby. It’s Richard Anderson.

  8. @ Eric:
    Now we have the return of Rosanne! ?

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