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Open Your Clothes

A unique Japanese community for people who love clothes.

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My good friend Yasutoshi Kouda runs an extremely unusual site in Japan: Open-Clothes

Open-Clothes is a community on the Internet for people who make clothes, for people who need clothes, and for everybody who likes clothes. Anybody can participate in this ‘my size clothes’ community for free. Makers can enjoy making clothes at their own pace and at their own convenience. Users can enjoy choosing clothes they like to fit their bodies perfectly.

The Open-Clothes community is like a tree. The trunk is the clothes-making network of Makers. The community function is substantial, from information exchange to sale of work, like the formation of rings around the trunk. The network supports the activities of beginners to experts in connection with making clothes as an individual.

Each branch of the tree bears fruit, the work resulting from the network of Makers. Users can search for clothes and read about their background. The user-specific demands relating to how clothes are made and individual sizes etc., demands which are difficult to respond to with ready-made clothes, are realized together with Makers. This reflects a two-way buyer/ manufacture relationship between Users and Makers.

Moreover, the tree needs roots to absorb nutrition and send it to the trunk. The cooperation with the professional contractor who provides a foundation for Makers is indispensable to making clothes. Open-Clothes also features a two-way system of communication between Makers and Contractors.

[1] Individuals with the energy to make things get together and build a Makers’ society.

[2] A new user culture develops which realizes the value of the work produced, quite different from ready-made clothes.

[3] The industry flourishes, supporting Makers, adding value and responding to market needs.

A healthy tree may bear lush leaves and rich fruit, which fall to the ground as nutrients. These are absorbed by the roots and sent back to the trunk so that growth may continue. Like the tree, cooperation between the user culture, industry and the Makers’ society is based on the power of the community and the continuation of making clothes.

Open-Clothes encourages such expansive circulation. Open-Clothes provides assistance in finding ‘my size clothes’ using communication. People participating in Open-Clothes discover many opportunities.

Makers can:

• resolve questions and troubles by exchanging information
• present her/his works and hear opinions and evaluations about them
• sell work
• perform manufacturing management tasks
• find business partners
• share sales/advertisement channels
• produce a great deal by investing only a few
• enhance her/his knowledge and technology.

Users can:

• buy clothes and see how they are manufactured
• make clothes by mixing size and design combinations, making clothes together with the Makers.
• take their time browsing and still be involved in the manufacturing process.

Open-Clothes provides the platform for people to construct a network and pursue various communications through knowledge and work processes.

Kjeld Duits About the Author

Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.

Recent articles by Kjeld Duits:

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http://www.japanesestreets.com/reports/104/open-your-clothes
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