Masterpiece & Co.
03 October 2007
Stylish traditional obsessed with Edwardian tailoring precision
Date of Establishment: 2000
Parent Company:
Masterpiece & Co.
Hisayo Hidaka / Hideaki Miyahara

"Designers" usually steal all the glory, but Hideaki Miyahara is working to bring back the glamour and prestige of being a "Pattern Cutter." Everything about the brand Scye and its showroom hark back to the good old days of Edwardian tailoring in the 19th century. In order to illustrate the derivation of the brand name "Scye," he pulls out a yellowed copy of the Frederick T. Croonborg's 1907 classic The Grand Edition of Supreme System for Producing Men's Garments and points to the old sartorial term for armhole.

Miyahara and designer Hisayo Hidaka started Scye as an independent label back in 2000. They, along with PR director Mami Kondoh, had all worked together for almost a decade at other companies — first seven years at Trans Continents, then three years at the World brand Obrero. They got fed up, however, with the corporatized fashion world and wanted to go indie. Miyahara explains, "There was just too much restriction on production. We had to get the bosses' permission on everything, and it all just came down to the cost. Everything revolved about market trends."

The creative team behind Scye now use their newfound freedom to create extremely detail-oriented collections with little attention to fads. Miyahara states, "We are not chasing trends, but instead base everything in traditional, classic British styles." The brand's website and new showroom — done up in handsome wood like a 19th century apothecary — seek to ground the project in traditional styles and artisanal expertise. Most of Scye's items and original fabrics are produced in Japan by the country's many family-run factories. Miyahara explains, "We are proud to make our clothes in Japan, but we worry that the factories may be closing soon. Sometimes you order something and go to the place and realize it's just two old men who are making your stuff."

Although a tailoring fanatic, Miyahara rarely lets his love for hidden details deviate from functional needs. There may be special fabric under the belt-buckles once in a while that no one will ever see, but in general, the unique and oft-maniacal features are those that will come in handy. "Customers buy our clothes because they like how they look, but later they will comment on how easy it is to wear," says Miyahara. For example, many of the Scye jackets use pivot sleeves to give the wearer more freedom when sitting down. Khaki biking jackets for Spring/Summer sport well-crafted ventilation on the back flaps. And the seat of Scye jeans is branch-back to give more freedom of movement.
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