JAPAN DENIM Book : pure blue japan feature translation
CLUTCH Magazine Denim
"The fabric is important, but we want to put a bigger emphasize on each item’s character"
Based out of Kojima in Okayama prefecture, considered the mecca of denim in Japan, Pure Blue Japan offers a lineup that specializes in indigo dyed items. Today, the brand is known throughout the world by fans of high quality denim. The brand’s founder, Mr. Iwatani, was raised in Okayama, and began his career selling fabrics in Kojima.
“When I was selling fabrics, I would look at 5-pocket denim jeans and notice their plane patterns and that they could be made with a small number of parts and I thought that I could design them myself. That’s how I started the brand. To be honest, it was almost a spur-of-the-moment idea.”
However, manufacturing denim didn’t go as smoothly as he thought they would. And that was the start of what pure blue japan is today.
“At the time, replica denim was at its peak in Japan, there was a lot of selvedge denim available, and it was an environment that enabled us to make a wide range of different vintage-type denim models. So I tried to make them myself, and it just didn’t work out like I thought it would. I was able to make decent denim, but they always ended up looking like another brand’s model. Because 5-pocket denim jeans are made with a small number of parts, it’s really difficult to make them beautiful, and stand out from others. Because of its simplicity, I realized that it was an item that you couldn’t deceive people with. To be honest, I think that I was underestimating how difficult it was to make a high quality product. I also began to notice that you needed a fine balance between the fabric, patterns, and stitchwork for the final product to have its own unique “face”. That was what really motivated me to approach the manufacturing process seriously.”
Today, Pure Blue Japan has mastered a variety of techniques with beautiful indigo dyed products to produce fabrics that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. However, the brand puts an even bigger emphasis on something else.
“Developing fabric is important, but that alone is not enough. Especially overseas, where silhouettes are heavily emphasized, I think that the overall “shape” of the denim is equally important. Denim was created in the United States, but my goal is to continue making denim completely made in Japan by Japanese, from the fabrics, to the designs and production, and deliver them to the rest of the world.”
Japanese denim has been attracting a lot of attention from the rest of the fashion scene. One day, when Japanese denim establishes itself as its own fashion category, we’re confident that Pure Blue Japan will be major reason for its success.
*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.
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