TAKUYA TANAKA: ALPHA JAPAN
In celebration of Alpha Industries’ 60th Anniversary, we are also celebrating the people who helped us get there. We look to those who wear Alpha Industries with pride, ensuring we’re not just part of their wardrobe, but part of their identity. These people are our Everyday Heroes and we’re excited to share their stories. Today we give special recognition to Takuya Tanaka, Head of Brand and Marketing for Alpha Japan. Mr. Tanaka has worked with Alpha in the Japanese market for 22 years, and has witnessed first-hand the growth and evolution of Alpha in the Asian market.
You’ve worked with Alpha for over 15 years. What makes Alpha so interesting for you?
Mr. Tanaka- “Alpha not only has 60 years as a military heritage brand, but it is a brand that is always evolving. Working alongside and watching the brand grow has been an honor and privilege for me. We retain our authenticity and as a result resonate with consumers, influencers, and major designers. As one torch bearer connecting two generations, I am proud and honored to be a part of the Alpha family.”
How have you seen the company grow in the last 15 years?
Mr. Tanaka- “ have worked with Alpha since 1997. Alan Cirker (Mike’s father) grew Alpha in Japan from a military apparel brand to casual wear brand, appealing to people looking for functional clothing with military design. .His son and Alpha’s current CEO Mike Cirker has since grown Alpha in a fashion brand that is now recognized widely in Japan by its unique designs and high quality.”
How do you envision Alpha in the next 15 years?
Mr. Tanaka- “ As I mentioned, Alpha has grown from its roots as a military brand into a fashion brand.
Through time and diversity, I believe it has potential to grow even further through collaborations in different fields such as outdoors and athleisure.”
As Alpha is a brand strongly rooted in American history, how do you communicate Alpha’s story overseas?
Mr. Tanaka- “We cannot forget that this is a heritage brand that has been worn by men and women who risked their lives in conflict. Now in peacetime, musicians, artists, athletes and many different types of “soldiers” and heroes exist. Alpha’s story is communicated through many different everyday heroes who broadcasting their own unique Alpha styles. This message resonates with consumers in Japan.”
What do you think resonates more with the Japanese audience?
Mr. Tanaka- “It is important to acknowledge the 60 years of development and high quality products Alpha produces.
I believe Japanese want to support such commitment and dedication.”
Which jacket story fascinates you the most?
Mr. Tanaka- “Though I love MA-1 Flight Jackets and N-3B Parkas, my personal favorite is the M-65 Field Coat. Already well established for their flight jackets, Alpha was challenged in the 1960s to develop nylon-cotton for the M-65 Field Coat. This innovation and growth is what makes Alpha stand out. I still remember the excitement I felt when I saw Robert De Niro wearing it in Taxi Driver.”
Which one would you say is Japan’s consumer favorite?
Mr. Tanaka- “I think Japan’s consumer favorites are the M-65, and more recently the MA-1 Hooded Rib Flight Jacket. These styles are not only suitable for functional purposes such as wearing for outdoor activities, but are also suitable for everyday wear such as over a suit. Alpha is an everyday “battle uniform” to be ready for any obstacle life throws your way.