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The Button-down: Part 5

White button-down collar shirt and a blue spread collar shirt.

Recreating a button-down shirt without interlining became our goal. That is how the original was made, after all.

Unfortunately, most of our staff at Kamakura Shirts did not know how an original B.D. ought to feel. Many only knew Italian shirts that were stocked in department stores during the Japanese post-Ivy trend.

Unintentionally perhaps, button-down collars from around the world have slightly shifted from how they were originally made.

We began testing several archived patterns.

Of course, we imagined how difficult it would be to create a distinctive collar roll that could be beautiful without any interlining. The even more pressing question was whether there actually was a factory that could sew such a shirt. Did the factory that once sewed former VAN shirts still have those skills?

Luck was on our side, as several skilled professionals still remained at the factory, and they hadn’t forgotten their craft.

The next question was what to do with the pattern? The dialogue began between our technical team and genius pattern-maker, Mr. Shibayama, a true master of British and Italian clothing. Sadly, traditional American style was out of his area of expertise.

Then something truly amazing happened. Mr. Shibayama decided to put aside his inhibitions and began constructing an "American-style” pattern from scratch. He came up with a button-down collar design that would sit comfortably with an American soft shoulder jacket. The theory behind the construction and design was completely different between American and European shirt models. A concept had been born.

I know that our employees had high expectations for the SPORT shirt too.


— Yoshio Sadasue, Founder, Kamakura Shirts