Brand Introductory Series: Jury Black
If you attended Saitama’s V Rock Festival, it was hard not to notice that it was sponsored by popular menswear brand Jury Black. The brand appears in rock magazines and stages across Japan, and has been modeled by bands such as Golden Bomber, Nightmare, SuG, and ViViD. Designer J, with his leopard print jacket and cropped hair that read “Fuck” dyed into the side, looked just as wild as his brand but was happy enough to sit down with ROKKYUU and tell us a little about his background and Jury Black.
69: Thanks for meeting with us today! Please introduce yourself and tell us the key words of Jury Black.
J: I’m designer J, that’s my designer’s name. If you translate directly into English, the key words are “attacking rock.” Compared to other brands we use a lot of studs and we have a very wild look other brands can’t match, but it’s something even everyday people can easily wear around town.
69: When did the brand begin?
J: We debuted two years ago on June 9, Rock Day [6/9].
69: We know it as ROKKYUU no hi (ROKKYUU Day). [laugh] What started your interest in design?
J: When I was in high school I had a part time job at a shoe store. From that I developed an interest in fashion, and it progressed from shoes to clothes. I started working in a clothing store and then thought I’d like to make clothing too, so I began to study design.
69: Did you always have a personal interest in rock music as well?
J: From the time I was in my first year of junior high school, visual kei was starting to become popular. So the music I like is visual kei.
69: What are the easiest and most difficult parts of design?
J: Easy parts? What can I say?
69: Maybe there are no easy parts?
J: [laugh] I don’t have times where I can’t think of a design. I’m good at thinking of ways I can do things differently so I don’t really have any problems with that. What’s difficult is making the clothes I can’t fit into myself. Visual kei artists are all so thin, and their fans are girls, so I have to study how to make clothes for them as well.
69: So even though it’s a menswear brand you have a lot of female customers?
J: Yep, our sizes are unisex.
69: You work as a stylist as well. How do you decide who to work with?
J: When I started as a stylist I did the magazine spread in Mix, and that was really popular, so I was then selected by SuG and ViViD. I like their music as well, actually.
69: Is there any artist you really want to dress?
J: Hm. Probably Dir en Grey, I was a big fan of theirs in junior high school.
69: Jury Black was a sponsor of V Rock Fest. Did you go?
J: Actually, we had a booth set up and I was working!
69: Were you able to see any of the performances? Who was particularly good?
J: I guess I should say Seba! [DNR keyboardist and Jury Black model] DNR were good.
69: He’ll be happy to hear it. V Rock Fest was popular overseas, do you take overseas orders or plan to sell in overseas select shops?
J: We get a lot of mail from customers overseas, so we’re trying to think of the best way to easily sell abroad.
69: What’s the most popular item, and what do you recommend?
J: For what’s popular, definitely the lip mark items. Also, this lamb leather jacket. It’s called the David Leather Jacket. It’s got a kind of a Dracula-style design. We use the lamb leather in other items, too. It’s really easy to wear.
Jury Black is located between Shibuya and Harajuku stations, about a ten minute walk from either. Though it’s found on a side-street, the store is close to the main road and as soon as you turn you’ll see the red lettered sign. Stop by and get some of their aggressive rock design for yourself, and if you’re not in Tokyo check them out on Twitter or Facebook!
There are 25 photos in this visual kei exclusive.