Japanese products are known for their unmatched quality and excellent craftsmanship. Two examples are luxury shirt maker Kamakura Shirts and Suntory, purveyors of award-winning whisky. The two brands came together on May 11 for a special tasting at the Kamakura Shirts location at Brookfield Place downtown.
Against a backdrop of the exquisitely crafted Oxford, knit, and linen dress shirts at Kamakura Shirts, representatives from Suntory poured Suntory’s Hibiki Japanese Harmony, a meticulous blend of malt and grain whiskies. The two makers will have one more free tasting event on Tuesday, May 16 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Kamakura’s store at 400 Madison Avenue, the company’s first U.S. location, which opened in 2012. Three years later, the popular shirt maker turned heads at their fashion show during Japan Week at Grand Central Terminal.
Why the shirts-and-whisky collaboration?
“We are both high-end, high-quality brands,” says Hiroyuki Hayakawa, Suntory’s director of corporate planning, as he pours the smooth Hibiki over ice cubes that were impeccably crafted by Okamoto Studio. “We thought it would be natural to have this tasting for customers.”
Suntory and Kamakura Shirts were the subjects – along with Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko – of a “Buying for Value” column in GQ last summer. In the article author Michael Williams writes, “What Japan brings to the whisky world is a cultural obsession with quality and precision that harmonizes perfectly with what top-tier spirit-making is all about.” Of Kamakura Shirts, Williams says, “The original company mission was to make high-quality shirts for a fair price using the best materials available. This philosophy, coupled with an intense attention to detail, continues to yield what has to be, pound for pound, the best dress shirt in the world today.”
That’s high praise for two products that are easily accessible right here in New York.