◯ What is TARROW TOKYO?
(1) Why did you launch TARROW TOKYO?
Yui and Kusaba :
It's been more than 20 years since we joined the textile division of a trading company as new graduates . I was on good terms with him . After that, we both quit the company , and while I was in the textile industry and Kusaba was in the PR industry , we both worked as representatives . arrived. Simply put , we create clothes that we want to wear and want to buy .
Trading companies like ours and the OEM industry blindly make clothes that our main customers, the major apparel companies, want , and in the face of fierce price competition among apparel companies , as a result , we produce a large amount of products at low unit prices . It has become an industry that is consumed and consumed .
In the domestic apparel industry , although the market size has decreased by nearly 30% over the past 30 years, the number of clothes sold has nearly doubled . Conversely, the store price per piece of clothing was 6,848 yen in 1990, but in 2019, it fell to 3,202 yen , less than half .
Major apparel companies basically do not have their own factories and focus on product planning and sales (store management) . In terms of production, we have relied heavily on trading companies and OEMs like us . For a long time , the division of labor has continued, with the apparel side doing product planning and sales, and us doing the production . As a result, manufacturing know- how was accumulated in trading companies and OEMs .
However , recently , there has been an increase in the number of major apparel companies going directly to factories to make and sell their own products . With the rapid growth of major SPA apparel , the entire industry has shifted to mass production at low cost , and the current sales floor is full of uniform products, including materials and designs . Many of the small brands that once worked together to plan and manufacture products with a focus on quality and design have disappeared over the last ten years as they were swept away by the wave of low-cost mass production .
In other words, the existing system of division of labor is beginning to collapse.
When I spoke with Yui long before the launch of TARROW TOKYO , he said, ``There are almost no clothes that we make ourselves at work that we would want to buy and wear at the store. '' I remember. “Yui is in charge of production, and I am in charge of marketing . TARROW TOKYO was established with that in mind .
(2) Brand concept : “I want to create a world where good clothes can be worn for a long time.”
What are your thoughts on the unique brand story of Akaoni and Aoni ?
Red demons are people who mass produce clothes , and blue demons are people who consume mass produced clothes . The brand story is based on the motif of Momotaro's extermination of demons . It 's bad for those who make cheap clothes in large quantities , but I also want to warn those who like to buy them to wait a little longer . The term “oni” itself may be extreme, and it seems that you are picking a fight with the existing apparel industry , but is it really okay to say this far ? (smile)
I intend to express my desire to offer consumers one more option for clothing . I have no intention of overturning the current business model of major SPA apparel companies, and as long as there is consumer demand, I have no doubt that it will remain . I know it's an overstatement to call it a demon , but I think there are quite a few people who feel the same way, even if they don't go so far as to call it a demon ( laughs ) .
If we are going to do everything from planning and design to manufacturing ourselves, we would like to cherish making things that we believe are the best and most suitable, regardless of whether they are domestic or overseas . Manufacturing based on cost (sales price) will sacrifice quality. At TARROW TOKYO , we make things with quality first in mind.
( 3 ) What is good clothes?
If we were to compare the current apparel industry to a sushi restaurant, the two extremes of conveyor belt sushi restaurants that charge 100 yen per plate and high-end sushi restaurants that charge 30,000 yen per person are dominating. When asked what " good clothes" are, it's hard to answer to people who don't know much about clothes, isn't it? Conveyor-belt sushi and 30,000-yen sushi are completely different in taste , but what is a “ good fish ” is a rather difficult question. I wonder if tuna is tuna. The apparel industry is no different. The polarization of luxury brands and fast fashion is progressing . Select shops and department stores used to dominate the mid-price zone in the meantime, but the rise of fast fashion has put them in a predicament . In the middle price range , it's hard to sell , so lowering the price → lowering the production cost → a vicious cycle occurs, and as a result, we can't beat fast fashion, which is overwhelmingly cost competitive in terms of production volume.
Eating and drinking sites recommended by chefs are gaining popularity . A Japanese restaurant frequented by food connoisseurs and famous Western chefs. Conversely, you can also learn about the French cuisine that famous chefs go to . It's a restaurant recommended by people who know how to taste it , so we want to visit that kind of restaurant too . If I apply it to the apparel industry, I think it's exactly the people who are doing OEM, the people who are on the front lines of planning and production . What they say is good must be good. From the standpoint of someone who was originally in the textile industry , they are people I can trust. It is not true that ordinary people buy T-shirts that cost 20,000 yen or 30,000 yen each . I think only people who really like it, only fans of the brand.
I've digressed, but good clothes can be defined properly. Although the cost is high , the quality of raw materials, threads, and cotton is still good. The sewing factories also have low technical capabilities, and the factories that sew sloppily are cheap, and if they sew more and more with an emphasis on speed , the quality will deteriorate. A factory that sews slowly and carefully stitch by stitch slows down the production speed, so the cost is high, but the quality is definitely good . However, it is not easy for the general public to instantly identify it at the time of purchase . Taro is not a brand that competes with either luxury brands that cost tens of thousands of yen or fast fashion that costs around 1000 yen per piece . Now that the market is so polarized , should we say clothes with a good balance between price and quality in the original sense , in other words, " high-quality mid-price range "? After talking about various things, I once again feel the difficulty of explaining what we are doing (laughs). If you don't know, please try wearing TARROW TOKYO products (laughs).
( 4 ) Can apparel OEMs and digital marketing collaborate to win the battle against fast fashion?
Yui: The TARROW T-shirt sells for 3,990 yen, but the original cost is 3,000 yen . A fast fashion company wants to sell this T-shirt for 1,990 yen, but if the original cost is 3,000 yen, they can't do that. Even if you make hundreds of millions of copies , this cost will not decrease, so it is impossible to sell for 1990 yen . We also have the experience of seeing many sites regarding factories, which are the key to manufacturing. We have been doing OEM for 25 years, so I think it is one of our strengths to be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the factories we have used in the past. OEM is the only company that can produce good products in a good factory .
We are also a PR company , but PR is a method of third party transmission. For example, we can recommend TARROW TOKYO as a client to the world . We can tell people that the client is good in this and that way , but when it comes to our own products, we feel a little embarrassed. It will no longer be a third-party transmission (laughs).
However, as a PR professional, I would like to sincerely communicate the goodness of T ARROW TOKYO to the world and to everyone.
( 5 ) Future product development
Currently, we started with a minimum number of unisex items that everyone can wear . In the future, as the number of fans increases, the needs will change accordingly.
I would like a request .
I plan to play a long-term game carefully according to the needs . Spending a lot of money on advertising and selling 500 million yen next year . But I want to be polite from the beginning and naturally increase the number of people who can come little by little . Then, we repeat the process of picking up those needs and returning them as products. I want it to spread with real word of mouth. This is how T ARROW works.
What makes me happiest now is hearing friends and acquaintances say they want another one . It's sold on EC, so I'm really happy when people buy it repeatedly in the middle of the night (laughs )
At first, I think he bought it because he knew me, but I think he bought it because he understood how good it was . In that sense, especially for regular T-shirts, I'm thinking of making them without changing the fabric or shape. When I want to buy another one, I want to always have it in stock . Up until now, the approach of apparel has been to release more and more new products to stimulate the desire to buy, but I think it would be nice if there was a world in which people would buy the same product over and over again, and I would also like to create products worthy of that. I would like to continue
First of all, I would like you to pick up the T-shirt. And if you think this is good, please pick up the next product. I don't mind if the shape is a little different or something like that is excluded. It may sound strange to call it an affordable price, but as a brand, I hope that people will buy it right away , wear it for a long time, and buy a new one if it gets damaged. .