Farmtown Denim is a one-woman (!) brand from Sacramento, California – USA. It’s not common to see a denim brand founded by a woman. Great to see this initiative! Farmtown Denim was founded by Melissa Farmer. She had the idea that with enough time and effort, anything can be possible. Her first product was a jeans, but now she’s making a lot of cool small denim products, and also from natural tanned leather. The products are bow ties, bracelets, totebags, watch straps, etc. All the products are available on her site and are made entirely by hand by Melissa in her little workshop.
The latest addition in my private collection is this deadstock Wrangler Blue Bell reproduction Champion Jacket. The Champion jackets are special items, even the re-productions are not very easy to find anymore. Since a couple of years Wrangler unfortunately stopped producing this special premium Blue Bell line. The first jacket produced by Wrangler was in 1948. The same model as this reproduction, with buttons on the front (but without the embroidery on the back). These buttons appear until 1950, when the buttons were replaced by a zip front.
The original rodeo jackets were made for the best rodeo riders, so it wasn’t a piece in the regular collection. This also explains why these original jackets are really hard to find and very rare. True collectors items. My latest treasure has never worn, and also has the great moments comic book included.
One of the coolest denim spots just opened their doors in Amsterdam. During the Amsterdam Denim Days Denim City did their official kick-off. Denim City is an initiative from House of Denim and their partners. They created the ultimate blue city. Denim City is a center for craftsmanship and innovation in the denim industry. It was founded to connect and inspire denim lovers and stakeholders, on their journey towards a cleaner and smarter industry: towards a brighter blue. Denim City is something progressive, special and unique, but above something really cool. Denim City makes the heart beat faster of every denim head. But what is Denim City exactly? Check it out below!
Like its logo Denim City consits five elements: the first element is a Denim Workshop. The Denim Workshop is a fully-equipped production facility, featuring an extensive fabric archive of over 50 denims, cutting tables, pattern cutting tables and ‘Global’ brand sewing machines: exactly the type of opportunity the industry needs to train a new generation of bright blue talent.
The second element is the Denim Institute. The Denim Institute is co-founded with industry expert Adriana Galijasevic, the Denim Institute will collect, develop and share knowledge with, from and among stakeholders. The institute consists of an industry-academia-NGO knowledge network, a network office, study space and an archive.
Red Light Denim is an original Amsterdam denim blend woven from 18% denim worn and recollected in Amsterdam.
Element number three is the Blue Lab. The Blue Lab will offer opportunities to train craftspeople and educate professionals; to test and improve new technologies & solutions; to bring ideas to trial. The Blue Lab facility was initiated by Turkish industry visionary entrepreneur Mr Fuat Gozacan in close collaboration with House of Denim, Jean School and the City of Amsterdam.
The next element is Emabssy. Just like a real Embassy, it serves as a platform for (denim) diplomacy, networking, enterprise, and exchange. The Embassy consists of a showroom/meeting room for sales appointments and meetings, temporary offices and seats to meet.
Co-founders Demin City James Veenhoff and Mariette Hoitnink (House of Denim)
The last, but certainly not least, element is Jean School. Education is one of the primary pillars of this initiative. Jean School was established together with ROCvA in 2012 as a full-time, 3 year, MBO4 accredited course. The first class of students is set to graduate in the summer of 2015.
The official opening of Denim City by the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan.
Denim City is located at Hannie Dankbaar Passage 33 in Amsterdam. If you’re in the neighborhood, check it out for yourself! Congrats Denim City crew with the official opening!
(most pictures by Team Peter Stigter)
Mr Porter made a video about The Denim Lab from Levi’s Jeans in San Francisco. They visited the jean master Mr Jonathan Cheung, senior vice president of design at the 162 year old U.S.A. brand. In the denim lab the latest Levi’s creation was born, the re-make of the classic 501 called the 501 CT. CT stands for Customized Tapered, and that is what the new fit does, it has the authentic old school 501 block and tapered narrow legs. Check out in the video the ultimate denim experience lab. It’s a true small denim heaven factory for every denim designer. Thanks Mr Porter (www.mrporter.com) for giving us an insight in the laboratory of the worlds oldest denim brand. Enjoy!
Ru is a new denim label started in early 2014, and is based in Amsterdam. A while ago they went to Porto – Portugal to visit their denim factory. They made a great video to give us an impression of what we can expect from their new collection called: Chapter Amsterdam. Keep an eye on Ru Denim. Nice video Ruann da Silva!
During the Blueprint event – Amsterdam Denim Days – Bob Rijnders showed his latest collection of his brand Butcher of Blue. Next to jeans Bob developed some crazy tops as well. He also did a collab with Armor Lux. Bob has one of the best denim stores in Holland, located in the pittoresque Hoogland village near Amersfoort. About two years ago Bob decided to launch his own denim. He made something unique, something special as the Butcher of Blue. One of the best details is the hook on the back pocket which become more visible after hard wearing. Of course Bob also put a lot of sweat, tears and rock & roll in his first pair ever made. The result is extremely nice! This is how every denimhead should treat his jeans. It has an amazing fading and is patched and repaired a lot of times in the two years of non-stop wearing. Well done Bob! ”In the land of the pig, the butcher is king!”.
Bob Rijnders (Best of Brands stores / Butcher of Blue)
◾Owner: Bob Rijnders (owner Butcher of Blue brand) - Holland
◾Brand: Butcher of Blue
◾Age: 2 years old
◾Treatment: One rinse and a lot of repairs
Send your worn-out project to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since last week the denim industry has a new denim mill. The official kick-off from this new handmade selvage denim fabric took place at the Kingpins fair in Amsterdam. The fabric is totally made by hand, handspun and handwoven, which is pretty rare. I am very exited about this new fabric as I work as a consultant for them. The Kingpins fair was the moment that all the buyers, designers and media saw this unique and traditional made fabric for the very first time. The fabrics are all made by hand in India. The threads are dyed with natural indigo and woven on old authentic wooden shuttle looms. The result is the best of the best with beautiful indigo colours. True heaven for every denimhead. One of the best parts is that the selvage is made with real silver and gold which come from old Indian sarees. The kick-off was a huge success!
The first Seven Senses collections contains are variety of several different shades of blue. Even a green fabric was added to the collection. The different types of blue depends how often the threads got in contact with the indigo. To promote the fabrics on a right way we asked two successful denim designers to make a piece of the first light coloured fabric. The collaborated designers are Paul Kruize (Paul Kruize Jeans) from Holland and Mohsin Sajid (Endrime) from the UK. Paul made a great jacket and Mohsin an amazing pair of jeans. Both made of heavy woven fabric which is uncommon in the denim industry. The result shows something new and fresh. Below the booth from Seven Senses at the Kingspins fair and the two promotional items. Keep an eye on this revolutionary denim fabric! Congrats with the launch Seven Senses crew!
The jacket made by denim designer Paul Kruize
The jacket made by denim designer Mohsin Sajid
Companion Denim is a brand faithful to the values of quality, durability, honesty, respect for the environment, and to the aesthetics of clean and minimal subtelty. Straight to the core of denim pureness. Each pair of jeans is designed and handcrafted with the most attention to detail and an obsessively manicured confection.
All the Companion jeans are made in Barcelona – Spain with the finest selvedge denim coming from an accurate selection of qualities from the best mills, mostly from Japan, USA and Italy. The jeans are artisanally crafted with a selection of the best sewing machines for making denim. Using a mix of both modern and classic vintage machines which made the jeans of the old. Some of those machines are even 100 years old and make a beautiful and highly durable stitching. Check out the making of a pair of jeans in the movie here below.
Something really exciting is going to happen this week on the 2nd edition of Amsterdam Denim Days at Blueprint. Italy’s premium denim mill, Candiani, and the industry’s finest apprentices unite: students of AMFI and the Jean School / House of Denim. They will co-create 30 exclusive custom jeans with Candiani Denim. Candiani Denim’s loom weaves the fabric live, right then and there, and the students will be creating your customised jeans on the spot. This “loom state” journey that starts and ends with jeans created in the heart of the contemporary denim capital of the world. It results in one of the most exclusive denims possible.
Candiani Denim will install a 1950s’ Picanol loom and a Denim Atelier to take denim lovers on a journey from thread to finished product. Candiani is the only mill in Europe which still weaves on a day to day basis with these small, machine looms, which drove the first denim boom in the Western world. They result in a unique denim quality.
As they can only make 30 pairs during the 2 days of the event, you have to be selected to buy one of these 100% Made in Amsterdam pair of selvage jeans. The lucky ones can select the denim weight, styling and trimming details. You will have to pay a symbolic donation. The donations will be used to fund a Denim Archive in the new to open Denim City / home of House of Denim at de Hallen.
Looking forward to see this authentic loom creating the first Amsterdam pair of jeans. See you this week at the Amsterdam Denim Days: Zuiveringshal, Westergasfabriek.
A couple of years ago Lee Jeans launched their heaviest denim made so far in their collection, Lee 101z – 23oz. Lee Jeans launched their 101 cowboy pant in 1924, probably the first denim trouser designed specially for cowboys and rodeo riders. This same year they removed the back pocket rivets and added the bar tackings. After the 101b (buttons) they came with the 101z (zipper). The first denim pants with a zipper!This heavy 101z jean is made from 23oz right hand selvage fabric. The selvage is golden/brown. The jean was made in limited quantities, 250 pieces only! This is one of them.
Dutch denim brand Kings of Indigo is doing it very good last seasons with expanding their business. Their top products are made on old school small shuttle looms. They use only the very best organic and recycled selvage fabrics from Italy and Japan for the Kings of Shuttle loom premium range. The selvage fabrics are slowly woven on authentic shuttle loom machines with a narrow width of 29’’ for the best quality. The machines are slightly trembling, resulting in an uneveness in the fabric which makes each piece an one of a kind and thus extra special. Check the cool brand and the video of the production process here below. Keep an eye on this Dutch blue denim pride!
Mark Westmoreland is the founder of ‘The One Goods’ brand. Mark is a well known denim designer which launched his own brand. Every product is created by specialists, using vintage machinery and traditional methods. Every product is therefore unique and made in very limited numbers. Meet below The One jean from The One Goods.
Every garment has a hand embroidered label – every one is different
One piece fly is standard
Brass Hartt waistband button
Every batch of the one denim jean come with a variety of 10 different leather waistband patches. Each one is then hand branded – usually 1-10 but there are some exceptions.
All one jeans are made from the finest 14oz Japanese narrow loom denim
Their spade pocket, reinforcement stitch varies – fractionally, from batch to batch
The last few seasons you see more and more black denims in jeans collections. And of course also shuttle loom made black selvage denims. Black coloured denims won’t fade the same way as indigo does. The black penetrates the fiber all the way through, making it almost impossible to get the same contrast as a blue pair of jeans. You could get some moustaches and honeycombs and such, but when washing it, the color will fade and make it grey. I know a black denim looks really cool and rock and roll, but I personally prefer the blue dry ones. Especially because these will age very nice with your own pattern over time. But Nudie Jeans made a cool black dry selvage with their Steady Eddie fit. And the result of wearing looks great after months of wearing. Below some detail shots of this black beauty.
Worn for 6 months
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.
Deadstock Resurrection is a new initiative from Peter Overbeek from Holland. DR will be the new kid in de denim-clothing industry with references to bikes, tattoo and authentic denim. Their philosophy is to re-use, re-claim and re-construct. They approach is creating new, one-off designs that transform surplus fabric and apparel. Apparel stocks from around the world. Their extensive global network sources small quantities of high-quality apparel and fabrics. These surplus stocks would be discarded so by reviving them they are helping to preserve the world’s precious resources. Eveything will be handcrafted in the Netherlands. Each design transformation is produced by hand in limited editions, never to be repeated. Their workshop in the Netherlands customized apparel labels, artworks, prints, patterns, trimmings and the details by hand. This gives each garment a rich and distinctive character, and exclusivity is guaranteed.
During the Amsterdam Denim Days they will officialy launch their brand at the denim Flea Market. Below some sneak images to give you a small insight from their first collection. Look out for Deadstock Resurrection!
Edwin Jeans is established in Japan in 1947. They were one of the first denim producers in Japan. Founder Mr. Tsunemi had a passion for denim, which inspired him to import USA made, Levi’s Jeans, to the United States. In those times there wasn’t a denim manufacturer in Japan. The first Edwin jeans was crafted in 1961. The name Edwin came from utilising the letters from the word denim, and reversing the letter M to create a W. The big worldwide breakthrough was in the ’80′s when they launched a new washing, the famous stone washing.
Nowadays the Edwin brand is still up and running and they continued the same quality and authenticity as back in the days when they started. Recently I received one of their most popular fits from this moment, the ED-55. The ED-55 fit is a relaxed tapered jean. My pair is made of red listed Japanese 14oz selvage fabric. The jean has a button fly, brown leather patch and contrast arcuates stitching on the back pockets (which are also reinforced and lined). There’s also a woven ‘E’ tab label on the right pocket, something I think it’s a great subtle branding. Check out the detail pics here below from this well made in Japan brand! Many thanks Maureen from PR agency Back to Back and the Edwin crew for sending a pair! Stay raw.
Established in May 2013, the Hoya Apparel brand from Indonesia is named after a tropical plant. In their own words: ”We are focused to make the products the best and durable “machinery” that support your various activities. With “form follow function” principles, we recognize craftsmanship in an object’s functionality. Using best and selected materials, crafted by skilled hands, we truly deliver you a remarkable experience in our products”.
The pair below is made from 13.5oz right hand Cone Mills fabric. Looking forward to see more of this brand in the future!
At this moment I am working on a really cool new denim expo with private denim items from Jason Denham (Denham Jeans). The expo is part of the upcoming Amsterdam Denim Days, www.amsterdamdenimdays.com. You can see the expo on the Blueprint event which will be held on the 17th and 18th of April. I will use for the expo only the best of the best, rare vintage items from Jason’s personal archive. As he built an extremely huge and cool archive during his long career it is a true blue denim paradise at his HQ in Amsterdam. So come and join the blue event in April and see where this denim master takes his inspiration from. Below a sneak peak of the expo, an old and totally worn-out Evis Jeans from Japan. Hope to see you in Amsterdam!
Check more of Jasons Denham’s archive items here;
Deadstock Atelier LaDurance Kiddies Longies workwear denim pants. This deadstock pair has still the original hangtag and repair bullit. Didn’t see these small ones so often. The pants is made from 11oz Japanese non-selvage denim. It features all the classic ALD details. This small one is for the cool kids! Great addition in my private collection.
Yesterday I posted the docu ‘In search of blue gold’ with David White from Ragtop Clothing – London. Today I show you a vintage child’s Lee cowboy jeans, circa 1945, from his archive. The jean is in perfect state and has a beautiful blue colour. The back is teared and patched. It’s an Union Made pant with one side selvage only. The backpockets are fastened with the famous X stitching.