Table Speech

Clothes that Make Professionals Shine Out

March 27, 2019

Mr. Masanori Yazawa
President, KAZEN Holdings Co., Ltd.

 Our company manufactures uniforms for professionals working in various settings including hotels and restaurants as well as medical and nursing care facilities. Just recently, a major league baseball player Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement at a press conference wearing his uniform. I was deeply impressed to see his confidence and pride best exemplified by his uniform that embodied professionalism and commitment. To “make professionals shine out,” clothing designers must sharpen aesthetic sensibility and exert originality in selecting the most suitable design, fabrics, cutting methods and sewing techniques.

 The latest technology of “4 Dimension Motion Cutting System” identifies the areas and measures the extent of human skin stretched by different body movements. The data is applied to make the pieces of a garment move and to use different materials to ensure elasticity and stress-free movements that lead to utmost comfort.

 Having said that, cloth material or technology alone cannot produce clothes that make professionals shine. The most important element is to make each cloth fit for a specific purpose. For example, we designed a medical uniform with printed scrub of famous cartoon characters for pediatric nurses to make children feel relaxed as they are given an injection. We discussed with nurses and came up with a simple pattern so that nurses can make a story out of it to better attract the attention of children. We have been manufacturing various uniforms for nearly 70 years and striving to make them “fit for the purpose,” yet there is always something new to learn from down-to-earth comments shared by professionals in different settings. I believe uniforms that are loved by professionals can make them shine out.

 One issue I want to raise today is excessive emphasis placed on product quality in Japan. For example, any subtle blurred color irregularity on fabrics will result in B classification here. I experienced in Italy, on the contrary, such irregularity in terms of color is appreciated as customers can choose from a wider variety of options. I think if we can reframe our mindset, try not to be obsessed with uniformity and quality and try to increase our tolerance level, we can make the world eco-friendlier and more sustainable.

 As I close my speech, let me invite you to a new museum our company will open shortly in Higashi-Kanda. It will exhibit splendid works by an Italian sculptor Mr. Cecco Bonanotte, who is one of the laureates of the Praemium Imperiale in Honor of Prince Takamatsu, a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art Association.