I am Osamu. I am Bulang.
For our 4th edition of our ongoing series, we cross continents into the land of the rising sun and meet Osamu.
Back in 2011, Osamu started his Instagram account osamu19760714 posting general stuff of his personal interest and what soon became a lot of fashion related content. Not much later in summer 2012 first pictures he posted were top down snaps from his current outfits.
He’s still running his account and is also taking the same kind of outfit pictures nowadays. And they have not lost a bit of their great value of peak men fashion gusto.
We became aware of Osamu when he tagged our straps in his posts and we quickly became fans of his regular detailed outfits. We were and are very happy that our products are worn by someone at the other end of the world who has a common taste in terms of style.
Welcome Osamu. Before we devote ourselves to the topic of fashion and style, we would like to know something more about you.
What do you do when you’re not putting together and taking pictures of great outfits?
My name is Osamu, I am 44 years old and I live in Minato ku Tokyo with my wife and my two kids.
I’m a marketing director in a furniture import agency.
I’m not only into fashion but also a big football (Soccer) fan.
When I got married my lifestyle absolutely changed which is quite common to anybody having a family. A funny coincidence that created my signature top down picture style is that I didn’t have much time to arrange my outfits of the day in the morning for a nice picture anymore because l was now in charge for making breakfast every day. So I started to take pics from directly above which was easier and didn’t take much time.
Simple as that.
How would you describe your style?
As you know, I like vintage American and European products. But I’m not a fan of just being stuck to one genre or type of style. Not just the worker, army, prep student, skater style…
I prefer to pick out my personal favorites from any kind of genre and combine these elements to create my own style. And I also like to combine real vintage pieces with contemporary classics or completely new items.
For sure I am influenced by a lot of people I follow on Instagram but sometimes my style is influenced by myself. If I go back scrolling through my Instagram account I stumble across pieces I may have sold. And now I really feel the urge to wear it again and find myself searching for it again.
For me it is not important to always have the deepest knowledge of the vintage items to be able to like and enjoy them. But knowing that every vintage item has a history which I can appreciate by taking care of it and wear it is my personal pleasure. By handling these items carefully, I can ensure I can wear and use the items for a long time and appreciate their very own stories.
Where do you find/buy your clothes and accessories?
Before my kids were born I used to visit an area called Koenji. Very famous for its vintage and second hand stores.
Now I mostly buy my outfits on Mercari, Yahoo auction, Ebay and other auction sites because. I can research from anywhere at any time. The buying trips were such a fun time and I’d love to do them again when my kids grow up!
From the early beginnings we see different kind of illustrations that are often related to your outfits featured on your Instagram feed. One of the latest ones is visualizing your fashion favorites from the early 90s Highschool life.
Seems quite obvious that you were valuing what you were wearing and how you combined it. When did your interest start and how different was it back then looking for inspiration and getting the pieces?
I was born in Niigata, in the middle northern area in Japan and my home was a suburb of the center of Niigata city. When I was a junior high school student in the 90s, I was going to a cram school in the central area of Nigata city every Saturday.
I used to skip the cram school sometimes and visited some small imported clothing stores.
The stores were run by some specific guys which were back then quite intimidating for a teenager like me. It was not that easy to start a conversation or even ask something. But I bought some great pieces there back then.
These sellers and their selection of imported fashion were definitely one of my early influences. I’m glad that these shops are still located in the same area and the owners are also still working in it!
And of course, I got a lot of outdoor clothing from L.L. Bean and REI with the mail order system. Which was a little adventure back then and sure not as easy as online shopping today.
We love to see that you’re running your Instagram account with the same passion for almost 10 years now. Not only sharing your outfits but also letting the followers accompany you through your life, showing that you’re not only well dressed but also living in a certain style.
Have you ever thought you were doing it for so long and with more than 2000 posts and +20.000 followers from all around the world?
It’s a difficult question to answer!
It’s me documenting a part of my life.
Simple as that.
These were also the expectations with the whole thing once I started it.
Now I feel very happy having so many people all around the world that follow me and appreciate my passion and share it.
And I’m also very happy that I have an audience for my illustrations.
Another illustration is giving us an insight of what you title yourself: “What I have two or more of.” Can you tell us your motivations behind buying the same pieces over and over?
I don’t really have a collecting habit for these items. But I feel uncomfortable with the fact that I only have one of my favorite items. I may lose or destroy them by some incident. Or wearing it that often that they start to wear out. That’s why I try to buy multiples of my favorite items so I can wear them alternately and avoid such a bad experience.
With so much attention to all the details in your outfit, a proper watch shall not be missing. We see a regular alternation of your Submariner and the IWC Mark XVI. How important is it for you and your outfits to have a watch that can be styled by changing its strap?
I love leather shoes and boots and I always align the color of the leather shoes, my belt and the watch strap. It’s a fundamental theory of fashion and very important for me. I currently use five belts and six leather watch straps to match my shoes’ and the occasion -casual or formal.
For example, when I wear my Alden 986 burgundy shell cordovan pennies, I combine them with a dark brown belt and the Bulang and Sons classic dark brown alligator leather strap. On another day, when I wear my Trickers’s black scotch grain country shoes, I combine them with a casual black belt and the Bulang and Sons black leather watch strap.
If I make a mistake with my combinations I really feel uneasy all of the day! It’s simply important for me.
Many of your items are quite unique and also vintage pieces. Any special items you’re currently hunting for?
Actually, I didn’t buy much for the last few months. I’m currently searching for some 70s or 80s Adidas training jackets to combine them with my vintage Lacoste polo shirts that are made in France!
We’re honored that Osamu created an outfit especially for Bulang and Sons, dressing from the watch strap up. Enjoy!
Thank you very much for your time and we cannot advise enough to follow his instagram account: