JAPAN DENIM Book : Johnbull feature translation
CLUTCH Magazine Denim
A look at new models released by Johnbull.
Johnbull, which led Japan’s denim culture during its early days, is beginning to start a quiet revolution in the denim industry. With an extensive history of working with denim that spans over 60 years, Johnbull has taken on a new challenge from last year. Under the theme of “traditional styles made with workwear manufacturing techniques”, they have begun to challenge a completely new and innovative style of clothing manufacturing. One of the most obvious differences is their switch to a white tag, as opposed to their traditional black stitching.
“They aren’t two different labels, both the white and black tags are both part of the Johnbull brand,” explains Yoshiaki Yano, the chief designer of their menswear division.
“However, our approach to manufacturing is completely different. Our products are still only available in retail stores, but eventually we hope to bring our items to as many people as possible.”
The strength of Johnbull is that they have their own sewing plant. As efficiency is constantly being demanded in their plant, Johnbull’s new approach to manufacturing consists of stitching processes that take even more time and effort than before. For example, denim is typically stitched using a twin needle stitch sewing plant, but Johnbull’s denim jeans are stitched twice using a single stitch for optimal quality.
“From the perspective of regular denim stitching, I’m sure that many factories would dislike this kind of specification. Because we have our own factory, we can afford the luxury to try out new things. In recent years many companies have started to manufacture cheap jeans, and at first glance you often can’t tell the difference in prices. However, there is something “mechanical” about those kinds of jeans. That is why we decided to make jeans that you can feel were made by hand, before the rise of mass production. I think ultimately that leads to the owner becoming attached to a pair of jeans,” he explains.
Of course the brand is not only aiming to manufacture items the old fashioned way. The Japanese denim culture has generally looked at the 501XX as the ideal model, and has continued to evolve. People know that if you make denim that ages beautifully, they will sell. “However, I wanted to make something different from the traditional style of denim,” says Yano. Simply following the lead of other brands does not provide satisfaction. As an established brand, it’s important to continue being innovative.
“I want to pave a new path, and acknowledge what makes vintage jeans so amazing, and use that knowhow to continue creating new styles of denim.”
*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.
Japan Denim Johnbull