Fabric is a local skate shop in Yokohama Japan, widely known by almost every skater in the Yokohama and Tokyo area. Because of the shop's name, however, they sometimes get the occasional visitor mistaking it for an actual fabric store.
After a brief 10 minute walk from Yokohama station, through a couple of back roads, we come to a stop.
In the display window is a handmade board, made in collaboration with the charismatic Eric Dressen and the shop's owner. We're told that he is a friend of the owner and that they skate together whenever he visits Japan. On the first floor, we see Fabric's small board workshop, which also equip with a small mini-ramp. As we go up to the second floor, we climb up a very recognizable and graphically appealing staircase leading up to a somewhat heavy metal door. As we go walk inside we find ourselves in a small room, which happens to be the main shop. With a space that's only around 3 meters long by 3 meters wide, we are surrounded packed with a variety of neatly organized apparel and skate products.
As we walk in, we find ourselves being greeted by a white, orange, and black spotted cat, and then shortly after, the shops owner, Hideya Kojima. Being as calm as he is humble, Mr. Kojima is incredibly passionate about everything skateboarding and talks to us about how Fabric came to be.
"I only wanted my shop to sell skaters the necessary 'Materials' they needed. But then I thought that the word 'Material' was a bit rough and I wanted to give my shop a bit of a softer image, so I chose the name 'Fabric'. About 12 years ago there really weren't any proper skate shops in the Yokohama area and since this is where I grew up, I really wanted to open a shop here in Yokohama. I custom-shape all of our shop-decks myself while my wife makes a variety of hand-knitted soft goods and does custom embroidery work.” It's shop owners like Mr. Kojima, who put skating first, that are the backbone of the industry.
This kind of passion and determination is the reason why this small shop has done so well over the past 12-years and has attracted a constant stream of skaters as well as non-skaters from all over Japan, and the world stopping over to buy their shops "Skate Materials".