The Legend of Goro's, Part 2: Jake's Personal Pieces and their Sentimentality
Whether its genuine craftsmanship, spiritual value, or character beyond measure, we find ourselves searching for fashion that represents something deeper. Goro's is one of few brands that achieves all three qualities. In our 'Legend of Goro's' Series, longtime enthusiast Jake Van Parys brings us into the world of legendary Harajuku brand, from its history to its approach to fashion and more. Today we take an intimate look into the Jake's own personal Goro's collection, enjoy.
Piece #1: Silver Chain with Eagle Head + Medicine Wheel, Turquoise XL Feather, Silver XL Talon Feather
This piece is my go-to as it is the current iteration of the very first piece of Goro’s jewelry I owned. The chain, purchased on my first visit, houses my very first feather. I then added a large turquoise feather, talon feather, and a small feather for balance. Each piece of the ensemble represents a different trip and its own story. The eagle proves to be the most sentimental, as conversation was struck about my 2 eagle tattoos done in a traditional Japanese style by the artist Mutsuo from Three Tides in Osaka, Japan. I began to explain to the staff that the eagle was my spirit animal given to me by my B-Boy crew and like Goro, the eagle was something I earned. This opened up a new relationship between the staff members and I.
These pieces also represent a spiritual connection I share with this couple from Canada who were veterans of Goro’s. They helped me on my first trip and a year and half later, I ran into them again in Japan without any planning. It was a serendipitous moment. When we queued up together again, we received the number 2. That meant we were going to be the second group in. It was a surreal experience. After that trip, I left with a large talon feather that is only supposed to go to one client a day. It is precious memories like these that makes the Goro’s experience greater than just a transaction.
Piece #2: Leather Necklace with 2x XL Silver + Gold Feathers
This piece is my second Goro’s necklace and utilizes a leather strap, instead of a chain. This style typically places beads to compliment and anchor the feathers in place. This allows the owner to wear over a dozen feathers at once, making this style great for displaying one’s extensive collection.
Piece #3: Deerskin Leather Medicine Pouch with Goro’s Concho
The history of Goro revolves around his journey as a leatherworker prior to learning how to make jewelry. Although Goro’s is mostly known for its iconic jewelry, it is the leather products that are of the highest quality. Goods ranging from belts, bags, and wallets are crafted at the highest level with lifelong longevity. The leather products, similar to the jewelry, can “evolve” with more pieces being added or modified after each in-person visit.
After wearing the bag for roughly 2 years, I returned to Japan in 2019 to present my bag for modification. Another strap was added on the bag, allowing for a new method to style it. I was also allowed to add a concho to adorn the new strap.
Piece #4: White Deerskin Medicine Pouch
This piece is extremely sentimental to me because it was purchased for my dear girlfriend during our first trip to Goro’s in 2019. The pouches come in many variations and feature a buffalo nickel concho closure.
Piece #5: Small Silver Chain with XL Turquoise Feather
This piece was also a gift to my girlfriend during our trip in 2019. She was able to obtain the chain and feather on her first visit. She opted for a smaller chain with a single turquoise feather because she only wears it during special occasions, allowing for it to maintain its original shimmer.
Written by: Jake Van Parys
Jake Van Parys is a 33 year old fashion designer, bboy, and pharmacist, currently residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the founder and curator of Graveyard.jp, a project which explores the rich cultural conversation between Japan and America by carefully curating vintage and designer pieces. His latest project is Brass Tacks, a clothing brand re-examining Americana through one of a kind upcycled garments.