Ring People

MTM display On my last day in Tokyo, I momentarily caught  myself in the tourist shuffle: wandering into an alley, then another, searching for any hint of address, doubling back, pacing in square circles, swearing that the café we researched had to be right around here.  I took a moment at the buzzing Harajuku intersection to grasp any sense of direction.  Waiting at the crosswalk, I saw no less than:

  • One pastel woman in Doc Marten boots and a Victorian wig
  • Two of four perfectly chromed hubs bouncing to the hydraulic initiations of a lowrider impala
  • A corner shop dedicated to a rainbow of prophylactics, appropriately called Condomania

I bet everyone has caught their own version of this scene in Japan, a self-contained ecosystem of idiosyncratic flairs.  The Galápagos of style.

In the metro, the cavalier mode above contrasts with everyday businessmen, commuting in hues as muted as the subway cars that transport them.  Gray, navy, black.  Crisp, polished, deft.  It was as if the underground spreads of Brooks Brothers surfaced into bubbles of cosplay.  Except here, there’s no sign of caricature or false characterizations.

For whatever reason – be it the lifelong reverence to improving upon one’s craft, or the flawless execution of foreign signatures, at-times to the point of succeeding its progenitor – Japan has always been able to embody an assortment of styles on any given day with breathless ownership.

And I think that’s what’s kept Ring Jacket relevant through its sixty-one years.

A Brief History

Fabric rolls

As my Tuesday rush hour commute made clear, Japanese gentlemen either understand impeccable, timeless color, texture, and silhouette, or their only available clothiers do.  It is upon this simple concept that Ring Jacket’s patriarch founded the clothing line.

In 1954, Jhoichi Fukushima, understanding that the elegance and precision of a suit was only offered via custom makings, sought to achieve the same in a ready-to-wear line, at which time suffered the assumption of inferiority to its big bespoke brother.   Thus the study of the suit began.

Three years later, Fukushima-san’s Ring Jacket factory opened in Osaka with a team of master tailors, allowing full creative and executive control over his garments.  An admirer of the Ivy League, Fukushima based Ring Jacket’s aesthetic in American and English designs.  This was preserved and expanded as the Japanese palette shifted.

Through the sixties and seventies, gents embraced Ready-to-wear and English/American stylings.   They discovered Fukushima’s brand as the superior, finishing every piece with machine and handmade details.  The Eighties shifted towards Italian flavor, and Ring Jacket adjusted accordingly, sending apprentices not just to Savile Row, but Naples as well.  Soon the best of every leading suit style wove into every Ring Jacket.

Kunichi Fukushima, President of Ring Jacket (Photo Credit: Ring Jacket)
Kunichi Fukushima, President of Ring Jacket (Photo Credit: Ring Jacket)

1995 saw Kunichi Fukushima carrying the vision of his father’s custom-quality, off-the-rack clothing, and since then, Ring Jacket has enjoyed a worldwide explosion.  Today one can try on their Japanese-made suits or Italian-made shirts in stores across Japan, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York, to name a few.  A team also travels the world to offer made-to-order and made-to measure garments.

The Ring Jacket story is one of ambitions realized and traditions preserved.

The Aoyama Flagship


Stepping through the glass doors of Tokyo’s flagship Aoyama store, one thing becomes clear: Ring Jacket’s adherence to expert craftsmanship is as perceivable as their adaptability to Tokyo’s eclectic charm.

A Craft of Custom Quality

Classic tastes

The eastern wall of garments lines a collection of uniform wares to complete the standard wardrobe: navy, charcoal, pinstripe, a few double-breasted models for more rakish boardroom meetings.  The construction of their basic suits, as well as MEISTER models (premium suits with more handmade details and finishes) all reveal precision far above the usual expectation for ready-to-wear.  How is this possible?

Simplicity is key.  If you master the right details, the rest will fall into place accordingly.  For Ring Jacket, this begins and ends with “Koroshi Eri.”

Spalla camicia

Any well-fitting suit begins and reveals its mettle at the neck to shoulder line.  Why?  Take a look at your buddies for a moment.  From the bottom of their neck to the edge of their shoulder, notice the near-snowflake array of variation in slope, bulge, length, shape, and more.  Any miscalculation can turn a smooth neck-to-shoulder- slope into an avalanche of bumps and breaks.  Koroshi Eri is the technique in custom clothing to truly suit the customer’s neck-to-shoulder line.  It is by their tailors’ dedication of applying this technique in ready-to-wear garments that Ring Jacket has solidified their place atop this market of suits.

Suiting All Flavors

Odd jacketsThere were plenty of suits and patterns notched into my memory, none more so than a rack of odd jackets from their current spring/summer collection:


The fabrics of these three pieces were produced in the famed Italian mill Carlo Barbera, whose signature bears the patches of Ring Jacket-exclusive cloths:


These jackets serve as an introduction to anyone seeking dandier modes of dress, as the Aoyama flagship reveals pieces that can fit in the closet of anyone in the style spectrum.

There are, of course, the traditional suit cloths and cuts for the uninitiated,


wider lapels and trimmer silhouettes for the more demonstrative élan,


my favorite: the fuller, packable Creamy Waffle for the frequent flyers, rough & tumblers, and in my case, chalkboard chieftains,

Creamy Waffle

and then, well . . . those who can pull off this:



Alpaca boucle. You’ll catch plenty catching a glance. (Photo credit: Ring Jacket Aoyama blog)

“I didn’t know that Ring Jacket was offering women’s clothes,” I remarked.  But this, as store manager Keiju Tsuda explained, is a men’s coat made of women’s garment fabric.

“I couldn’t wear this in the subway.  Everyone would stare at me,” Keiju admitted.

He spoke for the both of us.  Visions of Kramer in his technicolor pimp coat buzz through my head.  Who then, would dare?

Photo Credit: Hidetoshi Sasamoto

Photo Credit: Hidetoshi Sasamoto

Officially, Hideyoshi Sasamoto is Ring Jacket’s Director of Sales.  Daily, he is a maverick of layered patterns and unconventional cloths.

Photo Credit: Ring Jacket Blog

Between employing women’s fabrics and twisting every tradition , Sasamoto-san embodies the fashionably adventurous spirit of Nippon.  And like those I saw on the busy Harajuku crosswalk, he owns his style without pretense or apprehension.  You can, in fact, be different, even very different.  You just have to make it yours.

This is how Ring Jacket  has maintained relevance in Japan for sixty years, and why it has enjoyed its international expansion in the last five.  Fukushima-san’s goal of bespoke quality in ready-made clothes laid the foundation for seeking the best in every tailoring house and style culture, resulting in a spectrum of suits, coats, trousers, and accessories that could belong in anyone’s closet, sober to surreal, then provide the means to try the other’s taste for a change.

Keiju shared one more perspective about the house of Ring Jacket.

“We believe that one cannot claim ‘flavored clothing’ without skill and sense.  To achieve this goal, we dare to take time and strive to pursue the highest-quality craft clothing.

“For clothing-loving people.”

More Photos:

The centerpiece at the entrance is the ring of ties from Ring Jacket, Tie Your Tie, and Cantini, among others.
This shirt is a perfect balance of traditional and adventurous: a soft red and grey flannel, but note the button.  Ring Jacket buttons are absolutely beautiful.
This shirt is a perfect balance of traditional and adventurous: a soft red and grey flannel, but note the button. Ring Jacket buttons are absolutely mesmerizing.


Another Carlo Baerbera for Ring Jacket.  Perfect for the summer.
Another Carlo Barbera for Ring Jacket. Perfect for the summer.
One of many collaborations.  Jill Platner, who recently held a trunk show in Aoyama.
One of many collaborations. New York’s Jill Platner, who recently held a trunk show in Aoyama.
Takahashi and Keiju, tour guides for a day!
Takahashi and Keiju, tour guides for a day!
Ring Jacket: Since 1954


Store Locations


Rakuten Online Store

Ring People

MTM display

A Brief History

Fabric rolls



3年後、最高の仕立て人達と共にリングヂャケットの工場が大阪で開業し、福島氏の作る衣服は独創的であり機能性もありました。アイビーリーグを愛し て止まない福島氏は、リングヂャケットの美学を、アメリカとイギリスのデザインに基盤として用いりました。この考え方は維持され、広まっていき、日本人の それまでの洋服に対する考え方は入れ替わりました。

70年代と80年代を通して、男性は既製服ではブリティッシュ、もしくはアメリカンスタイルを用いるようになり、それがメジャーな流れでしたが、 80年代に入るとリングヂャケットは現在でこそその物作りに注目が集まるイタリアでの物作りに注目をします。スーツの仕立て職人たちをサヴィルロウではな く、イタリアの有力なファクトリーへと送り出すことで、手作業を多く用いた良質なスーツスタイルがリングヂャケットから生み出される様になります。

Kunichi Fukushima, President of Ring Jacket (Photo Credit: Ring Jacket)

 1995年、福島薫一氏は父の既製服の仕立ての品質を引き継ぎ、それをきっかけに物作りへの拘りと具現化は加速していきます。今日では、誰でも全国 の店舗でリングヂャケットの日本製のスーツや、オリジナル企画のイタリア製のシャツを試すことができ、香港やサンフランシスコ、ニューヨークでもその一部 を試して頂けます。また彼らは、オーダーメイドや、注文服を提供するために世界中を駆け巡っています。


The Aoyama Flagship



A Craft Custom Quality

Classic tastes

お店の東側の壁にある衣服の列は全面的にスタンダードなワードローブとなっていました。ネイビー、チャコール、ピンストライプ、2,3着のダブルブ レステッド。最も手縫いの工程が多い最上級の仕上げであるマイスターラインはもちろんのこと、リングヂャケットの洋服の基本的な構成は、普段の我々の既製 服に対する期待をはるかに上回ることが明らかです。どのようにしてこのようなことが可能になるのでしょうか?


Spalla camicia

いくつもの良い着心地のスーツは、首から肩にかけてのラインの質が明らかにします。なぜか?あなたの友人の体つきをしばらく見てみて下さい。首元か ら肩にかけてじりじりと斜めに下り、雪の結晶が斜面によってその形を変えるような感覚に近く、膨らみがあり、長さがあり、形があり、様々です。ある程度の 誤算は首から肩にかけての斜面によってスムーズになります。殺し衿は仕立服の技術であり、人の首から肩のラインに本当に適しています。それはリングヂャ ケットの仕立人達が殺し衿の技術を既製品に反映させた贈り物であり、リングヂャケットをスーツ市場の頂点へと位置付けました。

Suiting All Flavors

Odd jackets


IMG_2238 IMG_2237 IMG_2239





Fabric rolls




Creamy Waffle





独特な生地を用い、伝統的な衣服を作り上げることで、笹本さんは日本の流行を追うことの冒険心を体現しています。私が人の多い原宿の交差点で見た人 たちのように、彼は周りの目などを気にせずに彼自身のスタイルをしっかりと持っています。あなたの着こなし方を自分自身のものにしてしまえば、たとえそれ が大きな間違いであったとしても、あなたも他の人とは違いを出せるのです。

これがリングヂャケットが60年間日本での適正さを保ち続けてきたことで、ここ5年間で国際的に彼らの服が広まっているということでもあります。既 製服でビスポークの品質を誇る商品を作り出すという福島氏の目標は、仕立服屋とスタイルの確立を図り、最高のものを追及することであり、スーツ、コート、 パンツ、アクセサリーなどが結果として誰のクローゼットの中にあり、地味なものからシュールなものへと、そして変化のために違うテイストを試すことを提供 することです。




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