It’s not the Pokémon Company who’s pulling the plug, though.

Four years ago, the Pokémon Shirts line was launched, and the planners went all out. They could have just taken some ordinary dress shirts and added a little Pikachu or Eevee silhouette on the cuff or pocket, but instead they designed 151 different textile patterns, one for each of the Gen-1 Pokémon, and allowed you to mix and match them in just about any arrangement you wanted.

More and more Pocket Monster species were later added, as were additional shirt styles, with updates coming as recently as this month. So it’s both sad and sudden that the entire Pokémon Shirts brand is shutting down.

▼ ブランド終了 = Brand shutting down

The news came via the official Japanese Pokémon Twitter account and through a statement posted on the Pokémon Shirts website. So why is Pokémon Shirts coming to an end? Because Original Stitch, the apparel company that partnered with the Pokémon Company for the shirt line, is ending its operations.

It’s not hard to imagine that Original Stitch is having a rough time recently. The company’s specialization is high-quality dress shirts, which shoppers can customize and order online. With work-from-home becoming so widespread during the pandemic, though, and such arrangements lingering into the post-corona business climate, there’s not nearly the level of demand for dress shirts that there was, say, five years ago.

Original Stitch hasn’t publicly commented on how the Pokémon Shirts line performed financially compared to its other divisions, but in a casual-dress era, Pokémon-themed dress shirts do seem like they’d be sort of a tough sell. If you’re in the office five days a week, there’re more opportunities for fun, but still office-oriented, attire. On the other hand, if you’re telecommuting frequently, there’s a grater chance for formal conferences or meetings with outside clients to be concentrated on those in-office days, meaning you’ll need to wear clothes that are all-business, without playful Poké-points.

That doesn’t make the end of Pokémon Shirts any less of a bummer, though. And yes, Original Stitch shutting down also means their One Piece dress shirts are going away too.

Thankfully, there’s still a chance to have a Pokémon Shirt made. The brand is officially closing at noon (Japan time) on June 12, but orders placed up to that time through the Pokémon Shirt website will be filled. As of this writing, the site is so flooded with visitors that it’s inaccessible, and such popularity suggests that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for the Pokémon Company to look for a new production partner for the line, but they haven’t said anything officially to that effect, so if you’ve had your eye on a Pokémon Shirt for a while, now’s the time to put that order in.

Related: Pokémon Shirt website
Source: Twitter/@Pokemon_cojp via IT Media, Oricon News
Top image: Twitter/@Pokemon_cojp
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