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From its humble beginnings as durable material for work-wear

to its evolution as high status fabrication for designer clothing

denim is lauded for its versatility:

for use in the creation of

an array of garments from head to toe (hats to shoes)

to a symbol of fashion democratisation, accessibility for all.



Then … workers’ wear

levi strauss, RR workers in strass overall, levistrausshd.yolasite.com

Denim overalls

working on the railroad

(image from yolastie.com)



Now … worn by all

jeans, democratization, hands up in the air, urbandarlin

Denim democratization

hands up in the air for denim!

(image from urbandarling.com)

With its appearance on the American clothing scene

in the mid-19th century



(thanks to the entrepreneur Levi Strauss

who established the first company to manufacture jeans

Levi Strauss & Co, San Francisco, California)



denim wear has been long associated with American fashion

until now.


Iconic denim brand

levi strauss, label. news,nd.edu

Levi Strauss & Co

company label illustrating denim wear as work wear

(image from new.nd.edu)



Creating singular denim wear has become a particular strength

of a few Japanese design labels

who have become expert in producing denim fabrication

of a vintage quality as inspired by classic Levi Strauss clothing.

The effect is achieved by adhering to traditional denim manufacturing:

producing a raw finish that softens over time as well as using

shuttle looms to produce “selvedge” denim-

tightly woven edges which  prevent fraying.

The look is classic denim.


Selvedge “edge”

in orange stitching

apanese denim, selvage denim, nudiejeans.com orange

(image from nudiejean.com)

The characteristic features of denim wear produced in Japan

have revived much interest in the

aesthetics of traditional denim attire .

This fashion phenomenon has evolved over the past decade plus and

is sometimes refered to as “Japanese denim”

and by the term more industry-wide recognised-

selvage denim.

The finished garments are wonderfully “old school” in look and feel.

A few “Japanese denim” brands

made in Japan, influenced by the U. S.

Traditional look

           Traditonal cut

                                   Traditional fabrication

by Samauri Jeans, Japan

apanese denim, samura jeans, global.rakuten.com

by John Bull, Japan

japanese denim by john bull, global.rakuten.com

by Oni Jeans

no fuss, no frills denim jacket

apanese denim, oni jeans, jean jacket, global.rakuten.com

(images by global.rakuten.com)

by Blue Blue Japan

worker-wear inspired

patchwork jacket

japanese denim by john bull, global.rakuten.com

(image from mrporter.com)

Some “Japanese denim” labels, such as

Visvim by designer Hiroki Nakamura-

imprint a local stamp on vintage effect denim

creating singular pieces, which integrate

elements of Japanese dress aesthetics

into the finished design.

The resulting look is of intricate detail and silhouette.

Some added extras

from Visvim

by designer Hiroki Nakamura

modelled by Hiroki Nakamura

japanese denim, visvim, denim shawl worn by visvim creative director, wgsn.com

Denim shawl of print and pattern

(image from wgsn.com)

japanese denim, visvim, padded jacket, mens Stylesight

Blue padded jacket with tan lining

(image from stylesight)

The price tag?

Not exactly a “democratizing” feature of this brand of denim wear.

However, the finished pieces are special garments warmly welcomed by

denim wear enthusiasts.