Just the other day, Tim Mureau sent me a couple pictures of the latest Men’s Ex magazine from Japan. In my opinion, it is simply amazing that there are so many different magazines in Japan devoted to men’s clothing.
Basically, every niche has its own magazine. In case you are interested in Italian clothes worn with sprezzatura, you will probably enjoy Leon. If you prefer the rugged American luxury look with Redwing boots, jeans, shirt and tie, then you will probably like Free & Easy and Lightning. Do you prefer the Hollywood leisure look à la Brad Pitt? Go for Safari. Men’s Ex is, in some respects, similar to Leon, but it focuses more broadly on Italian brands and craftsmen, as well as those from the US, England and Japan. While the names of English manufacturers are mostly well known, most Japanese bespoke craftsmen remain largely in the shadow of Savile Row & Co. Men’s Ex helps put these hidden gems on the radar and is invaluable to bespoke craftsmen in general.
Let’s look at a few pages of Men’s Ex:
On the first page of the portrait series, we are introduced to two tailoring establishments offering bespoke suits, Bespoke Tailor Dittos and a tailor I cannot spell out. The picture of a suit in their house style is accompanied by a short description, price information as well as the tailor shop’s address.
The same is true for Blue Shears Academy, Richard James, Sartoria Promessa, World’s Bespoke, Newyorker…
I like the fact that one can study the different silhouettes.
Here we can see a three piece suit in a Prince of Wales check with over plaid, what looks like a 3 roll 2 jacket, and rather round, open quarters. On the following page, Tailor & Cutter by Kazunari Arita provides us with a very 30ish looking waisted 1 button suit with wide notched lapels, a high gorge, angled pockets that angle towards the closing button, and extremely open quarters. In the following, you can find a 30 second video about Tailor & Cutter
More pictures can be found on their website.
On the following page, we find another interesting 2 button chalk stripe suit by Azabu the Classic Tailor. This time, the lapels are considerably narrower with a comparably high gorge, straight flap pockets and, again, very round quarters. The most remarkable detail is the shoulder seam, which is cut very round and completely in the back! In the past, I have seen seams that are set back but never were they so far back as this one. It certainly looks good from the front, but probably rather odd from the back.
Other than that, Men’s Ex shows us some interesting shoes, like the black suede and calf side elastic shoe.
Finally, there is also a practical guide of how to take care of your tie. First they show how to steam and stretch a tie and get rid of loose threads. Secondly, they show the reader how to untie and store a tie. Unfortunately, I cannot speak Italian, otherwise I could tell you more about the details.
Altogether, it is very sad that the western world has been unable to publish a magazine of similar caliber to Men’s Ex. Lately, The Rake has tried to tap this market by offering an English magazine about tailors, high quality manufacturers and craftsmen. But since it is also based in Asia, it is not available at European or American newsstands and shipping to foreign destinations costs more than the magazine itself.