NEW YORK — Sanyo Shokai, the Japanese apparel company founded in 1943 by Nobuyuki Yoshihara, is putting the spotlight on its 100-Year coat with an exhibition at 434 Greenwich Street here that runs until Dec. 13.
Titled “Let Your Story Begin,” the exhibition focuses on the journey of a man, which is contrasted with the life span of Sanyo Shokai’s 100-Year coat. Life artifacts — a camera, subway map, wallet, passport, etc. — hang from the ceiling and are surrounded by multiple styles of the 100-Year trenchcoat at different phases.
“So often now people buy many things and then throw them away,” said Jun Kwon, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Sanyo Shokai in the U.S. “We want people to pass this down to their children and grandchildren.”
The coat line is broken up into two collections: plaid, which features a Sanyo plaid lining under the collar, and plain. Within these collections there are two styles of coats — double and single breasted — that come in three different lengths. The 100-Year coat was introduced in Japan three years ago and to the U.S. market shortly after.
According to Kwon, the coat, which is made in Japan, is constructed through 481 processes instead of the 180 processes that are typically used to make a trenchcoat. Along with it being water-repellent, it features pockets that allow wearers to access their pant pockets without unbuttoning the coat and a hems that can be taken out or shortened making it easy to be passed down. The line retails from $895 to $1,400.
While Kwon said the coat has done well in Japan and is sold at a few specialty retailers in the U.S including Boyds Philadelphia, Syd Jerome in Chicago and A.K. Rikk’s in Grand Rapids, Mich., the goal for the exhibition is to increase brand awareness in the American market, which continues to be a trend among Japanese brands.
Sanyo Shokai is known for its outerwear manufacturing but also produces apparel. It holds the Japanese license for Paul Stewart, Pringle of Scotland and Mackintosh.