AS THE SUN finally began to set over the Kamo River after a day of record-setting heat in Kyoto, we made our way over to meet Takashi at BRODISM, the home base of Sassafras. Since beginning with a collection of 10 pieces in 2004, Takashi’s label has earned a reputation for its elevated gardening wear. But we learned that there’s much more to the Sassafras story than the fact that Takashi, an avid gardener himself, designs his collections with the green thumb in mind.

Takashi began his career working in specialty menswear shops, where he was inspired by iconic outdoor and workwear-driven American labels like Sears, LL Bean, and Ulrich. In fact, whenever he’s in the US, Takashi told us that he also enjoys visiting stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s to search for tools and supplies that are rare in Japan.

Looking around at the carabiners, shovels, scythes, horticultural supplies, buckets, and rubber boots that line the store alongside Sassafras editions new and old, Takashi’s creative vision makes itself clear. But anybody who’s familiar with Sassafras knows you don’t have to appreciate gardening to appreciate the super utilitarian construction and clean details that have enabled the brand to steadily grow for 14 years. Take, for example, the extremely versatile Green Thumb Jacket Plus, with a clean corduroy collar, not-too-heavy 8oz Japanese Denim that’s wearable almost all year, and pockets–made from vintage overall bib pockets–that wraps around from front to back, so you’ll have more than enough room for whatever you’re carrying. No wonder Sassafras doesn’t stay on the floor long.

Images by Nathan Zack
Words by Nathan Zack