There are lots of people around the world these days who collect vintage denim. Not so many years ago, that wasn’t the case. But there were enough of them in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s. Yosuke Otsubo was one of them and earned his living finding sought-after denim in Southern California and exporting it to buyers in Japan, his homeland. For the past five years, he has worked in Tokyo – Japan for Levi Strauss & Co. He handles sales and marketing for their best lines: Levi’s Made & Crafted and Levi’s Vintage Clothing. Meet style master Yosuke Otsubo.
Sometimes you see work of an artist which is so cool and after digging into more work of that person it only gets better. One of those few is Cory Piehowicz from Ohio, Colombus (USA). Cory has an extremely passion for photography and gives every pic something special. Next to his love for photography he’s also into denim, big time! He combines those two passions which creates the most beautiful pics you have ever seen. Together with his denim friends he’s doing trips which are a dream for every denimhead. Every now and then they go into old mines to check out if they can find some old denims and denim rags from the miners. Most of the mines were closed after the ‘Gold Rush’ period which started around 1850. Some miners left their old workwear denim items back in the days and these are the ones which Cory and his friends like denim specialist Michael Allen Harris (writer of the book ‘Jeans of the old West’) are looking for. On those trips Cory makes the most perfect shots which bring us all back in the time that the mines were fully operated and it makes us all jealous to make a trip of this by ourselves one day. Below some shots of one of the many trips Cory made in the desert looking for some blue gold. Check also his website for a total overview of his extremely cool work. Keep up the good Cory! Looking forward to see more of your great work in the future!
Denim Hunting Trip
In 1934 Levi’s Jeans introduced their first denim line for ladies. It was the 701 also called Lady Levi’s. The jeans was made out of selvage fabric but with white and pink thread instead of white and red. This new line was very revolutionary for the denim industry. Below some old Levi’s advertising with a focus on their Lady Levi’s.
Came across this very beautiful early twentieth century boro. This ragged short boro noragi or work coat is something of a masterpiece of stitching and mending. The amount and variety of repair are impressive, but more importantly is the manner in which all the patches and pieces are innocently arranged to form a beautifully collage of old cloth. The coat is shorter than most of its kind and it is clearly re-tailored from an existing garment. True indigo treasure!
Around 1848 the famous ”California Gold Rush” started. A lot of farmers left their farm in order to get a better life by finding gold in the mines. But in the early ’50′s they didn’t find any gold anymore. This was a true disaster for everybody as they gave up their old living. Some of them returned back to their farm. But soon their was some good news as they discovered something new in the Nevada mines. Silver, a lot of silver.
This is the beginning of the denim story as the miners needed some strong pants to work in. In the beginning they called these pants, Overalls, which later in the 1930′s became legendary as Jeans. Read the full story in the recently released new denim book: True Fit (http://truefitdenim.com) by Viktor Fredback and Fredrik Ottosson. A must have for everybody who’s interested in denim.
Kasuri is a traditional folk textile produced in Japan since at least the middle of the 18th century. Kasuri patterns have fuzzy edges and look as if they were splashed onto the fabric. The Japanese word “kasuri” refers to these blurry patterns. This particular kimono is from the early twentieth century.
Levi’s Jeans has a very rich history as it comes to denim. The early models are the most interesting as they tell all a great story from that time and these items are true historical moments in the denim industry. Not all the info is 100% garuanteed as the Levi’s HQ in San Francisco was destroyed by an earthquake in 1906, their complete archive was destroyed, and so are the stories behind every detail. Below some great old examples, from 1800 till 1947, from the one and only Levi’s Jeans from the U.S.A.
Levi’s Jeans 1800 model
1890 was the year that the 501 lot number was first assigned to the iconic jean. The number “5” were considered to be of the highest quality. A description of the quality of the pants was printed on the inside of the left pocket bag as another way to set the jeans apart from other clothing companies.
Levi’s Jeans 1922 model
Belt loops were add to the 501 for the first time in 1922.
Levi’s Jeans 1933 model
Hidden under the leather patch of the 1933 501 was a tiny, white cloth label with the letters “NRA” and a blue eagle. This was the National Recovery Act label which Levi’s was allowed to use because the company abided by President Franklin Roosevelt’s NRA labor rules of the 1930s.
Levi’s Jeans 1937
The 1937 501 featured the famous Red Tab with “LEVI’S” stitched in white capital letters on the right back pocket as an identifying mark to Levi’s Jeans. The Red Tab was introduced in 1936. This particular Red Tab is now also known as the BigE tab. In 1971 Levi’s swtiched to a small e in the Red Tab. The BigE tabs are true collector items nowadays. This model also has the first hidden rivets on the back pockets to safe furnitures from scratches.
Levi’s Jeans 1944 model
Most important change was the famous arcuate stitching, it had to be removed since the threaded design was decorative and had no function. During WW2 every brand was forced by the government to save materials. Levi’s decided to print the arcuate so customers could recognize the brand in the stores. After a few washes the printed arcuates were gone. They used also standard buttons, no rivets on the coin pocket and the cinchback was removed.
Levi’s Jeans 1947
After WW2 this would become the most popular denim fit. It’s also known as the mother of all fits. The classic 5 pocket with straight legs.
Today Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8, 1935, would turn 80 years old. Besides he’s the King of Rock & Roll he’s also an important denim icon. Happy B-Day Mr. Presley!
Beautiful pair of Momohiki Japanese boro indigo cotton worker trousers. Momohiki was a common garment among farm women and shop men during the 1800′s and
the early 1900′s. It was worn by men and women. A woman’s Momohiki tended to be
decorative, often showing sashiko stitching. This pair has a lot of different kind of blue shades. It’s patched a lot which makes it a true authentic piece of art. Really nice!
Lee Jeans introduced the Lee Rodeo Clown Pants for rodeos. These were very popular events, and this oversized pair of Lee Riders was made for rodeo clowns who played a critical role in rodeos. They not only entertained the crowds during breaks but also distracted a bull or horse from fallen riders, so that the injured could exit the ring. A true cult item and nowadays very hard to find and a collectors jean. Came across an original vintage one at Ebay today from the ’40′s, the auction starts at $ 975. Unfortunately too much for me to place a bid, but damn cool!
Artist Moe Bandy in Lee Riders Rodeo Clown Pants
Check the pants here on Ebay:
Jay Adams (February 3, 1961 – August 15, 2014) was an American skateboarder most prominently known as one of the original members of Z-Boys skateboarding team. He is known as “The Original Seed” of the sport and considered one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. Adams died of a heart attack on August 15, 2014.
Check this great blog: http://sanforized.blogspot.nl
Elza and Joost from the Amsterdam based brand Atelier de l’Armee are making the most amazing bags from old and deadstock camouflage jackets and denim fabrics. Over the years they collected many different types of camouflage from all over the world. Here is an overview of the ones that pass through their hands either as cloth or as a garment. My personal favourites are the German (flecktarn), Korean and Swiss camouflage patterns. Very nice overview and check out their great handmade brand!
1960′s East German”Blumentarn
1950′s Belgian Denison Smock
Brazilian lizard camouflage
British desert camouflage
British Woodland camouflage
Dutch Jungle camouflage
Dutch Woodland camouflage
Finnish M62 Camouflage
French Foreign Legion Lizard camouflage
German Flecktarn desert
Korean Duck camouflage
Portuguese lizard camouflage
Russian TTsKO camouflage
Swiss Alpentarn camouflage
US Army Choco chip camouflage
US Army Desert storm camouflage
US Army Rhodesian camouflage
Taken from the great blog from Piero Turk: