After over 20 years in business, Japanese denim brand The Flat Head is entering a new chapter. The brand made an announcement on their website stating that their founder, Masayoshi Kobayashi, would step down from his role as president. Kobayashi started the brand in 1996 after working for several years disassembling and repairing vintage jeans in his shop, Dessert Hills Market. Since, he’s gone on to create one of the most sought-after denim brands to date, meticulously crafting Americana-inspired goods driven by a philosophy that believes that a product is fully finished only after the customer has worn and molded it to themselves. Though not part of the Osaka 5, The Flat Head’s presence in the denim community is equally as important.
TFH cites the changing market for their decision and the brand is looking to reorient themselves to keep up in this new market. The upcoming Spring/Summer 2019 season will be the last full collection under The Flat Head.
Katsuya Miyasaka, TFH’s former managing director, will take the reins as the new president and help in the rebrand, using the same manufacturing techniques they have cultivated over the years. The first collection in this new era will be their Fall/Winter 2019 season. But before that, TFH will suspend production, save for certain products.
Under Miyasaka, the new brand will, “inherit Flat Head genes and create more fun and exciting things that pursue manufacturing with more commitment.” Along with the new president, they also state that they’re looking to reinvigorate the company with young staff, an allusion to the increasingly difficult and evolving market. And, they’re also moving toward creating an entirely new brand as well. What that looks like remains to be seen.
As for Kobayashi, his voice will still be heard as he will remain as one of the chairmen.