JAPAN DENIM Book : BIG JOHN feature translation
CLUTCH Magazine Denim
“10-year denim” was created in 1980.
In 1972, Big John partnered up with Kurabo to develop Japan’s first domestic denim fabric. It is well known that Big John laid the foundation for Japanese denim, but not many people know that they were pioneers in the developing of vintage quality denim. When Big John celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2010, they released a rare denim model as a memorial item. This was the third special model that was created with authentic Japanese craftsmanship and the brand’s extensive knowhow.
The first model was created all the way back in 1980. At the time, the value of vintage denim was still unknown to the majority of consumers, but according to current Big John men’s designer Daisuke Inaba, “Big John created a selvedge denim fabric that featured tate-ochi (vertical faded stripes) using a spinning technology that enabled them to artificially control the uneven yarn. The first model also had another revolutionary feature. With regular denim, the more it is washed the more the fabric becomes worn out, but the rare model had the opposite effect. It was made with a pattern technology that straightens the fibers after it is washed several times.” That first model, which was filled with quality craftsmanship, was priced three times as much as standard denim, and never truly penetrated the market.
To commemorate their 70th anniversary, Big John has produced their latest rare denim model. “Our concept to create the best possible quality denim of that generation has remained the same. However, unlike the past model, we have created a highly evolved type of denim.” For the third commemorative model, Big John collaborated with Sakamoto Denim to produce a deep blue indigo dye and carefully selected raw cotton to make a durable fabric and clean silhouette. The concept of the model was to make the ultimate “10-year denim”. The tough fabric has a completely different texture than the heavy-ounce denim that was a popular model last year. “We believe that our rare denim should constantly be of the highest quality possible. Like the original 1980 model, we poured a great amount of effort into making the third 2010 model. Our concept is to make the ultimate “10-year denim”, so we hope to create an even more evolved model for the fourth 2020 model. However, at the moment, we believe that we have given it our all, and to be honest, it seems like it would be difficult to find any aspects where we can further evolve. That is how high the quality of this current rare model possesses.”
*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.
Japan Denim BIG JOHN