Japan’s Joy revives 100-year-old American clothing brand

Brand: japan joy

season: Spring / Summer 2022

Buy: NCNR, 1LDK, LOFTMAN, Figure, HL, Setagaya Refrigerator, Urban Research

Editor’s Notes: You find a lot of things just by scrolling on Instagram. A couple of months ago, I saw a particularly cool photo posted by 1LDK Flair, showing a man in baggy jeans scattered with paint and a boxy T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Joy.”

I was intrigued – I adored premium jeans – I assumed it was just a one-off take on the OG Farah brand, which only exists as a popular British brand nowadays.

wrong!

Farah’s history is very interesting: It was founded in 1920 by Mansour and Hana (Abyader) Farah in El Paso, Texas as a provider of affordable business casual wear.

It eventually expanded into jeans, military uniforms, and similar sundries. By the late 1960s, Farah was El Paso’s second largest employer and even became a public servant.

However, the poor treatment of its employees eventually led to a workers’ strike and boycott of the amalgamated garment workers in America. Farah never recovered.

Farah is now owned and operated by Perry Ellis International, which is basically just a popular UK brand, as I mentioned earlier.

Inexplicably, Japanese management company Anthings has licensed the Farah brand name to use in Japan, relaunching the company with a contemporary twist on classic, casual Farah merchandise.

I can’t say the timing is very logical but I can’t really argue with the results.

Farrah Japan’s first efforts involved British illustrator Marcus Aitken – possibly due to association with the UK-based Farah line – who sprayed a selection of baggy, tapered jeans with paint to create a one-off series of jeans.

This sets the tone for the rest of Farah Japan’s pleated and flared pants, backed by some T-shirts and bags.

A line detailing the Joy of Japan-American roots in the pants-only brand, OG created the first pairs of wrinkle-free pants and developed exclusive fabrics to keep their pants in shape.

But, really, it’s an eccentric launch that doesn’t seem particularly fitting alongside one more than a hundred years after Farah’s first was founded.

Like I said, I can’t complain. Everything looks great and is well designed – for those keen to get a pair from Japan, the better fast-moving COB pairs are already selling out.

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