The combination of denim’s comfort and durability have kept it on store shelves since its first popularity boom in the late 1800s. Since then, virtually everyone owns at least one pair of jeans. Japanese denim brands have taken the traditional American fabric and made it their own. Read on for our top seven.
Nepenthes is a Japanese fashion line which takes its name from a tropical pitcher plant. Their denim subsidiary, Needles, carries quirky, atypical pieces – for example, denims of different washes stitched together to make one piece, unusual patchwork or stitching where there normally wouldn’t be stitching. Find Needles’s denim on Union Made Goods.
Studio D’Artisan carries a wide variety of styles and colors of denim for men. Their fabric has a unique tight weave and texture because of the natural imperfections in the cottons. Their ladies’ selection is much smaller, but no less stylish. Find out more about their products on the Studio D’Artisan website or on Corlection.
The Flat Head creates trendy, durable denims in a variety of colors and styles. They are particularly famous for their “3XXXX” denim, a fabric that appears richly-colored but in fact has intense fading properties. The unsanforized denim will shrink to fit, as well, so the pair you buy isn’t the same one you end up with. The Flat Head is available at Self Edge.
Designer Takahiro Miyashita takes inspiration from vintage pieces, and sometimes even vintage materials, to piece together his signature patchwork denims. Their “The Jean Indigo” pair is constructed entirely from vintage Levi’s 501 indigo denim, ensuring no two pairs are exactly the same. TAKAHIROMIYASHITA The SoloIst. is available on Haven Shop.
Blue Blue Japan focuses on the rich hues of their denim, achieved with traditional dying techniques. Their clothing is expertly crafted in Japan from quality cottons and indigo dyes. The fabric will naturally wear over time for that worn-in, comfortable look a favorite pair of jeans craves. Find some of Blue Blue Japan’s good at Mr. Porter.
Tokyo-based clothing label Neighborhood creates stylish streetwear. Their pieces are built to last, with expert cuts and an overall stylish design. Neighborhood’s attention to detail down to the last button is what sets them apart from the rest. Most come pre-faded and won’t shrink, so there won’t be any surprises down the road. Find their stuff on End Clothing.
45RPM began in 1977 with their first store, Shibuya Fire Street. Their popularity grew, and by 2000 they’d opened up a shop in SoHo, New York, called R by 45rpm New York. Their R by 45rpm line specializes in traditional Japanese indigo dye and techniques, using expert craftsmanship and the utmost care to ensure customers keep coming back for more. To get your hands on a pair, shop online at their official store, which now ships to Europe and America.