Harbour Town is a new concept label based in the Netherlands founded by Wing Mok. It brings forth a modern heritage look and appeals to that adventurous person who knows what they want and reflects on what they stand for. Harbour Town uses only the finest handpicked fabrics and materials. They search for the best fabrics from the East and the best leathers from the West. Since they only use deadstock fabrics and make everything by hand, every piece is unique.
Last weekend I got this great gift from Wing for my little baby girl. It’s a baby selvage denim apron. The apron is made by a deadstock rainbow right hand selvage fabric which is famous from Edwin Jeans from Japan. On the front they branded the apron with a nice piece of natural vegetable tanned leather with a handstamped logo. Both the denim fabric and the leather will age nicely over time. The apron is adjustable in the neck with a button. Many thanks Wing, it will be usefull for the little monster!
Zace American Dry Goods Denim from Ohio – U.S.A. is founded by Zace Myers. Zace and his family are farmers with a vegetable, herb and berry farm. After experimenting with 100’s of vegetable varieties over the years, they have found their niche in growing the hottest specialty peppers and herbs on the planet. During daytime they are farmers, but in the night Zace makes the most cool raw denim products. From denim aprons, bags (even Yoga bags), wallets, hats, and ofcourse jeans and overalls for men and women. The products are made from the best fabrics from the mills Cone (USA), Kurabo (Japan) and Candiani (Italy). Even his own kids Denim and Diesel (perfect names bytheway) are dressed with his own creations. The combination of raw denim fabics is prefect with their raw pure food from their own biologic farm. Check out this great Zace brand!
Zace Myers as farmer
Zace Myers cutting denim
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.
British denim artist Ian Berry (a.k.a. Denimu) conjures remarkably detailed portraits and urban landscapes using nothing more than old jeans. Over many weeks he cuts, stitches and glues using only the varying blue indigo shades of the denim fabric to provide contrast and shadow. The effect is amazingly detailed images, with a depth and texture that is hard to reproduce in print and online. He made portraits from Elvis Presley, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and recently he did racing driver Ayrton Senna da Silva. Ian used for this awesome portrait old jeans from the Senna family to create this masterpiece. If you aren’t familiar with this great talented denim artist Denimu, check a few famous portraits of this guy here below.
Ayrton Senna da Silva
The making of Ayrton Senna da Silva portrait
One of the best denim jackets ever made are the Wrangler Blue Bell Champion jackets. These jackets are also known as Promo jackets. This history about these jackets is really cool. They were made in the late ’40′s and ’50′s for the rodeo champions to promote the Wrangler brand. Rodeo events were very popular in those times. It was a clever way from Wrangler to use these heroes as living advertising boards. These rodeo jackets were specially made for them, 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.
Wrangler Jeans also known as one of the Big 3 denim brands. The other two brands are Levi’s and Lee Jeans. The Wrangler name came from cowboys who worked with horses for their living. In 1947 Wrangler changed their name from Blue Bell into Wrangler for their cowboy oriented line.
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. My Wrangler Blue Bell 11MJ Champion jacket is a replica from 1956. This is the first jacket produced by Wrangler in 1948. It has a button front until 1950, when the buttons were replaced by a zip front.
The jacket featured vents on the back of the shoulders seams that were held in place by elastic strips on the side. It was tailored to give a tighter fit and still allow free movement.
The jacket is made of left hand golden selvage fabric.
And it has the famous Wrangler Jeans, Shirts and Jackets advertsing embroidery on the back.
The latest fit of the Amsterdam – NL based brand Benzak Denim Developers (BDD) by Lennaert Nijgh is the 006 Dark Tone. The BDD-006 is a slim fit with a modern mid rise, a snug thigh and slim legs. The dark tone denim is made from a right hand twill, slubby 14 oz., made by Collect from Okayama, Japan. Both warp and weft are indigo dyed, which creates the super dark indigo colour and will allow very interesting fading. The jean is created in Holland and crafted in Japan. The specifics of the jean are;
*slim fit / slim legs. *14 oz. Japanese selvage denim *right hand twill / dark tone. *unwashed – sanforized. *heavy chambray pocketing. *hidden 6th pocket. *fully lined backpockets. *hidden rivets. *embossed natural tan leather patch. Check the jean here below. Looking forward to see this jean aged. Think the fabric will be beautiful over time. Great work Lennaert!
BDD-006 Dark Tone fit
BBD-006 Dark Tone details
Lucky there are still people who are making something special and unique instead of mass production. Yesterday I came across another small denim brand from Lansing, Michigan (USA). Ray’s Raw Denim is a one man brand. They make world-class jeans by hand and believe that style is better than fashion. The garments they build are designed for hard wear and intended to make you stand just a bit taller and have a spring of confident comfort in your step. Seriously. These are the sort of jeans that will be like your favorite go-to sweatshirt or your lucky ball cap. And they’ll last you for years to come.
Mohsin Sajid from Endrime Denim – UK made a few months ago something which is the top of the top. A 100% full hand stitched denim. Every single detail is added by hand. It’s made from heavy denim fabric, 18oz Amhot selvage. No sewing machine was used to make this pair. It took 5 sewing days to complete one pair. This is something really uncommon and special. Great idea Mohsin! Check below the handmade Endrime jean.
Pics source: Rawr Denim
Dulac is group of designers who share a love and passion for denim. Frustrated with the mainstream fashion industry, they decided to produce jeans the right way, and so a Kickstarter campaign was launched in November 2014. Their jeans are simply styled, meticulously constructed, and built to fit our bodies. They only make small runs, using the best denim stocks. Limited edition jeans crafted from the best quality denim from Japan and the USA. Check out their pocket flashers, really cool! Great work guys, good luck!
Antonio di Battista is besides a great denim collector, with an extremely huge and rare collection, the founder of Blue Blanket Jeans. The Blue Blanket collection contains some classic authentic jeans and blue tops. One of them is this great denim shirt. The specifics of the shirts are;
- Japanese pure indigo selvage chambraix.
- Hand stamped internal tag.
- Removable brass logo buttons applied with O ring.
- Fish eye buttons in real corozo.
- Shuttle loom care label made in Japan.
Old denim jackets with a customized back panel are my favorites. In the ’60′s and ’70′s a lot of bikers and hippies started to make this trend because they wanted to express themselves or they wanted to show their membership from a club. But also commercial companies did this personalisation on the back of jackets as workwear garments for their employees. This particular Lee Jeans Rider jacket from the ’70′s is in my private collection for a while and it has a nice chain stitched back. The jacket is made from a left hand fabric which feels very soft because it’s washed a lot during the years by the pre-owner(s). Check out this ‘Blue Ridge Pool Service’ jacket.
With recovered material from the archives, Roy Roger’s from Italy presents a heritage collection which is vintage inspired featuring an unique eye for details like the raw selvedge denim, contrasting stitchings and vegetal tanned labels: the Rugged Collection. Roy Roger’s Rugged grounds its roots on the historic archives of the company and celebrates the collective imagination of the American world of the 40′s and 50′s. The collection is an alternative to the regular menswear line, yet staying close to the roots of the brand, offering quality denim and handmade in Italy pieces.
Drawing inspiration by the vintage world, the Roy Roger’s Rugged collection is a journey throughout legitimacy. A trip across the American imagery, from hotrods and bikes inspirations, to raw denim and washed chambrays, where each piece of the collection recalls the authentic spirit of enduring freedom of USA roads. Roy Roger’s Rugged chose for this cool photo set models Jimmy Q, a pro skateboarder and tattoo artist, and Ricki Hall, who has been nominated from Esquire Weekly “The man with the most influential haircut in Britain” this year. A deeply evocative photo-shooting seen trough the lens of the camera of the photographer Luca Campri.
Check the collection at www.sevenbell.com
Recently I got my hands on this Lee Jeans ‘Farmers Fair’ Rider jacket. This jacket is a re-production of the original from the fifties. On the farmers fair in the U.S. in 1957 they reached out a denim jacket to the best farmer of that year. The best farmer was M.U. Aggies, his name is embroidered on the front of the jacket. On the back there’s a beautiful horseshoe with the date of the fair. It was the 52nd fair. The jacket is Union Made with a left hand non-selvage fabric. The original jacket, what was the inspiration of this repro, was found in Italy. Can you imagine what a nice story this is how the jacket came in Italy from a farmer from the U.S. Guess we will never know. Anyway, I’m glad with this item in my private collection. Lee on his best!
Evisu Jeans from Japan made 10 years ago a homage to Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler. Each homage jean had the specifics of the original brand. The branding on the back pockets were made in Evisu style, with their famous paint. I have these specials in my private collection for a while, but I was still searching for the final 4th item, the Levi’s Jeans Orange Tab. Finally I got my hands on a deadstock pair, so now this collection is completed! The jean is really nice, made out of a slubby Japanese two colour selvedge. And of course the orange tab on the back is amazing! Check it out here below.
Evisu Jeans Homage to Levi’s Red Tab – Lee Jeans – Wrangler
The Manabe denim family from the brands Momotaro and Japan Blue are always making really high premium quality jeans. Made by their traditional Japanese craftsmanship on old small shuttle looms. Their president Hisao Manabe announced the launch of its latest product “Cote d’Ivoire Cotton Jeans” in their denim brand Japan Blue Jeans. The product is made from hand-picked cotton from the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire and will be available worldwide from November 26th, 2014. This jean will be available through their flagship store, online and only 10 selected retail shops in- and outside of Japan.
Really nice one, check the two colour selvage!