Raw+: Leather and grace RAWTUS INTERNATIONAL Co., LTD.

Category: Japanese Apparel & Textiles

Raw ideas


Taijiro Otake, CEO of Rawtus International

Formed in 2008 by two designers from Muji who valued simplicity, Tokyo-based ladies’ fashion brand Raw+ is taking conventional leather style in new directions. Their traditional-with-a-twist designs-or “raw plus”-feature both masculine and feminine elements. Relying on their own ingenuity, they have created new ways of using leather in their high-end women’s clothing line.

Raw+ is renowned for their new goat leather, a hide so light that it doesn’t require a lining. When the brand first started, leather was only used seasonally and made up only a fraction of their collection. A question in 2010 changed everything. “Is it possible to create a new type of leather that is thin, light and elegant?” The answer to that question is the basis of their brand’s success today.

A thin skin


From the Raw+ 2013-2014 fall and winter collection

Previously, the common understanding with leather was that it’s thick, heavy and one-sided-meaning only the surface is smooth. The suede on the inside has a rough texture, creating friction, and is also prone to color transferring to the inner wear, making inner linings a necessity. However, the inner linings would create restrictions in tailoring and limit the extent of designs.

Therefore, Raw+ questioned if they could tailor the leather to be solely one layer. They were able to develop a new goat leather that’s innovative and light, and capable of being tailored as one sheet. They applied a process in which both sides of the leather are made uncommonly soft and smooth; the single layer is as thin as 0.4 millimeters. In addition, it’s antifouling and water resistant, protecting itself from soil and rain-breakthrough ideas they’ve patented.

Armed with these fresh possibilities, they created a complete collection using only their new material. For the winter, Raw+ paired the exquisite Japanese technique of “double side fur-finished cashmere” with their leather. For the summer, they innovatively combined jersey material with their slim and soft skins. They now create a new 40-50-piece collection each season, something unheard of with leather fashion houses before.

The future of innovational Japanese fashion


A complete Raw+ leather collection display


The 2012 Raw+ spring and summer collection at the Paris-Tranoi Exhibition in France

Their slim, textured creations, born of a sensitivity and delicateness familiar to Japan, were highly acclaimed at their first global appearance in Paris in 2010 and attracted clients from all over the world. Now seen as a contemporary international brand, the Raw+ collections appear alongside imported designer brands at select shops and department stores throughout Japan. As they expand internationally, their continuous innovation never ceases. A line of accessories suitable to their designs is next on their list of challenges, and their newest couture collection is currently in the works.


(Courtesy: JETRO)

JETRO, or the Japan External Trade Organization, is a government-related organization that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. Originally established in 1958 to promote Japanese exports abroad, JETRO’s core focus in the 21st century has shifted toward promoting foreign direct investment into Japan and helping small to medium size Japanese firms maximize their global export potential.

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