Shinichi Haraki established The Works Inc and the Iron Heart brand in 2003. After 20 years of working in the garment industry in Japan, beginning as a pattern maker for Edwin and advancing to designer and producer/director for the company, he decided to combine his wealth of experience with his passion for motorbikes and create his own clothing brand, with a focus on heavyweight denims and durable fabrics, designed for the Japanese motorcycling community. The Works Inc is based in Japan, with offices in Shibuya, central Tokyo and Hachioji, Haraki san's home town on the outskirts of Tokyo prefecture. There are Iron Heart stores in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kojima.
In 2005 Giles Padmore was appointed by Haraki san to manage international sales, marketing and distribution. This close partnership which quickly became a firm friendship, and coupled with the increased focus on the market outside of Japan, has generated a loyal following throughout the world. Our customers come from all walks of life, and many of them – but certainly not all – are bikers. The common factor is a love of ethically manufactured, beautiful and durable clothing. Giles and his wife, Paula head up the international business from their base in Gosport, Hampshire, UK, which is managed by their son, Alex, who leads a small, skilled team who are all passionate about the brand.
The Works creates classic and timeless clothing crafted out of the finest materials to the highest standards. This is not reproduction clothing; rather the study of classic denim and workwear styles and constructing them for today’s lifestyle. No attention is paid to fashion trends, nor that other jeans manufacturers have jumped onto the heavy denim bandwagon in the last few years. From the selection of the type of cotton used, to the weave of the denim, Haraki san and his team at The Works is actively involved in the full garment lifecycle. This also includes designing and producing bespoke fabrics. The mills and workshops used are mostly small and family-run, whose deep pride in their products matches that of The Works.
Iron Heart was originally designed and made for bikers, and still today that focus guides design and construction of the clothing. Confident that the clothes appeal to a variety of owners, Haraki san conceives of them to be worn by riders and for their preferences. Iron Heart garments are in the main made from heavyweight fabrics, designed to be durable, and to some extent protective for motor bikers. Iron Heart clothing is classic in materials and styling, using mostly flannels, denim and chambrays for shirts, and basing jackets on time-tested military or riding favourites. Some designs – for example the 25oz XHS (extra heavy selvedge) denim jeans - are at the limit of what can actually be woven and sewn: “over-engineered is our starting point.”
Iron Heart has a dedicated forum which we believe to be unique in the industry. Initially created to discuss Iron Heart clothing, it has developed into a friendly and interactive forum covering many aspects of today's lifestyle. With approximately 4,500 members, it is now an extremely valuable resource for those wanting to find out more and to discuss Japanese and international clothing brands, shoes and boots, motorcycles, watches, coffee and much, much more.