TCB founder Hajime Inoue has a deep love for mid-twentieth century Americana and worked in the garment industry from his teens before finally creating his own sewing company in 2008, incorporating his jeans brand in 2012. Located in the denim mecca of Kojima, Okayama, Inoue-san works his craft, making some of the best vintage reproductions in the world, of course only using antique looms and sewing machines. TCB is rather rare in that they have their own sewing factory (located on the first floor of their Kojima store) and do all of their sewing in-house, also doing work for other well-known Japanese denim brands. Inoue-san himself is also a master repairman of these old Union Special machines, having worked for years as a machine technician for one of the old factories in Kojima that used to do the sewing for Levis.
Inoue-san chose the name TCB to have a double meaning, one being “Taking Care of Business”, or doing one’s best, and also “Two Cats Brand”, Inoue-san being a huge cat fan (cats can be found on TCB’s back patches). Like many others, Inoue-san stumbled up on Zimbabwean cotton back at the beginning, citing its similarity to the cotton used in 1940s and 1950s Levis, though he now uses several types of cotton depending on the feel and effect he is trying to achieve. If you’re ever in Kojima, head in to TCB and have a chat – Inoue-san is famously friendly and enjoys chatting with customers about, you guessed it – jeans. You’ll have to look for the shop, as it’s not on the famed Jeans Street, but it’s certainly worth the effort to seek out and find.
Check out our epic chat with TCB’s Hajime Inoue here.