The most exciting thing in printed textiles – Horiyoshi the Third arrives in London

We took an afternoon off from the grind yesterday as the sun was shining and we felt like enjoying it. In the course of our meanderings we found the newly opened Horiyoshi the Third on Connaught St.

Horiyoshi is a master tattoo artist based in Yokohama, Japan. In recent year’s he’s add to his portfolio of activities of permanently inked designs with the more ephemeral inks of printed textiles and clothing.

What excited us the most is that instead of a repeating pattern textile where the design is not uncommonly conceived of independently of the garment it will be made into these designs have clearly been made to fit each garment and the way it would be worn by an individual. This gives some movement like the animals they depict (tiger, phoenix, dragon) others wrap around the torso and limbs like a tattoo.

What interests us from a business perspective is that this is a smart way of diversifying a business, particularly when Horiyoshi is no longer accepting new clients and focussing on completing the tattoos that he has started. This move into clothing capitalises upon his brand value and his designs but moves him from the realms of a business limited in scale to the number of hours Horiyoshi can work and the amount per hour that he can charge. Having broken the direct relationship between income and labour cost he can scale the business nationally and internationally.

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