Friday, 12 December 2014

Spotlight on NAIGAI, Part 1

We recently brought Hosiery For Men readers news of a brand of men's tights from Japan, SmooFit Tights.

SmooFit tights are made by the Japanese hosiery manufacturer NAIGAI, under a subsidiary brand called N-platz.

We have already reviewed the SmooFit 80 denier men's tights, and will shortly be starting to publish a series of reviews covering the SmooFit range, as well as the men's WarmUP tights, that are also produced by NAIGAI.

Hosiery For Men recently interviewed Tom Tamai of NAIGAI and we are really pleased to now publish the first part of this exclusive interview.

Can you tell us more about the Naigai and the N-Platz brand? It would be great to know some of the history of the company?

Naigai Co. Ltd was established in 1920 as Japan’s first modern socks factory.

Nowadays, we are mainly working as designer/planner and wholesaler of socks and hosiery for men, women and children for the Japanese domestic market as well as export.

We have been producing products for many global brands under license and we maintain quite a high market share in department stores in Japan.

N-Platz has been our own brand since 2004, and is popular with customers who enjoy shopping at department stores. N-Platz includes styles for both men and women with a concept has both function and fashion, and which are produced at our own high-end factory in Japan.

When did you start manufacturing tights for men? Was this a market opportunity that you wanted to develop?

We originally started the planning in 2011, when we also carried out some test sales .

The original idea for men's tights was suggested by customers themselves through our customer service facility.

There was actually particular feedback from many women customers who were keen to buy fashionable men's tights for their husbands and partners to wear when the weather was cold.

You currently produce tights for men under two brand names: SmooFit and WarmUp. Can you tell us more about the idea behind each brand?

The SmooFit tights were developed by producing the yarn and then making the tights on factory machinery that makes tights and pantyhose. The aim was to produce a fine gauge knit similar to opaque tights, and have a fine, smooth product that men can wear under business suits.

The WarmUp tights are produced on machinery that knits socks. Hence the knit and appearance is similar to socks. The aim is to have tights that have an appearance and texture similar to socks, and which will be useful and comfortable for outdoor activities and sports.

Part 2 of this interview will appear shortly. Stay tuned.

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