A piece of the puzzle you’ve seen before, but you didn’t know where it came from, flapping in the breeze, this feather has delicate veins extending from the rachis and an embossed eagle in gold at the very tip and if you’ve ever seen feather-shaped jewelry before, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything quite like it and native feather owns that.
How it All Begun- Read Along!
For more than 35 years, Goro Takahashi made these native feather, he died on November 25th, 2013, and they aren’t only a piece of jewelry, they’re also part of what keeps a culture together that’s been growing for that long.
Takahashi’s adventure began in high school, when American Marines in Occupied Japan taught him how to cut leather, his first shop opened in Aoyama after he was given leather-carving tools by an American soldier who had served in Japan during the war and when he arrived in the United States, he set out to learn more about silver engraving from the Native Americans who lived there.
To the Lakotas, Takahashi was the 1st non-Lakota to participate in their Sun Dance ceremony, according to folklore. A nickname was given to him, Yellow Eagle, this moniker came from the fact that an eagle is an Eastern bird, and yellow is a medicine wheel color associated with Eastern philosophies and practices.
A few years later, he relocated his shop from Aoyama to Harajuku, where the native American-inspired creations quickly made him a brand in the silver accessory market, many Japanese celebrities, like Kimura Takuya of rock band SMAP, wore Goro’s designs, and they have subsequently spread to other nations, where you can see his designs on celebrities like John Mayer and Ed Sheeran.
Since Takahashi died in 2013, his children have carried on his art & legacy, you may argue that Goro’s works have grown more acclaimed than ever before due to the growth of media and the internet. Since the only location to buy them is from his Harajuku store, lengthy queues of admirers form to try and get their hands on the limited supplies that are available each day.
A maximum of five customers are allowed in the store at a time, and they can only purchase one thing at a time because each piece is made the night before and there is no way to guarantee that a consumer will be allowed to buy something because of their personality.
On top of that, it can be difficult to figure out how to get into the store in the first place, let alone buy anything. A lottery system has been used by Goro’s, albeit retaining many of their traditional ways of manufacture and selling.
To Sum It Up!
Finally, I feel Goro’s is the final frontier of exclusivity because of the information, it’s all about knowing why the product matters, it’s about workmanship, its history, its accessibility, and authenticity. The collections communicate with other collectors and people who know what they’re talking about in a secret language wherein each piece reflects the brand’s philosophy and values, as well as the status of the wearer although having money can get you anything, but knowing what you’re doing is priceless.
To appreciate Goro’s work, one must earn and merit it and to own a piece, one must travel to Tokyo and experience the pilgrimage firsthand wherein each piece of knowledge gained is priceless in and of itself.