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JAPAN DENIM Book : KOJIMA GENES feature translation

CLUTCH Magazine Denim

Making the world’s first high cost performance jeans.

Kojima, Okayama is widely recognized at the birthplace of “Made in Japan” jeans. It is known for its textiles, craftsmanship, and denim from throughout the world, and many brands have their denim manufactured at the factories in this small town. Incorporating the town’s name, Kojima Genes has gained a reputation for conducting their entire manufacturing process, from the cutting of fabrics, weaving, and stitching, all done in Kojima. They are also known for their extremely affordable prices. While most high-end jeans cost over 20,000 yen in today’s age, Kojima Genes offers a lineup of jeans that cost under 15,000 yen without compromising the authentic Kojima quality. They use selvedge denim, so you can even enjoy the beautiful ageing process of the jeans the more you wear them in.

“In today’s age, it’s actually harder to find Japanese-made jeans that don’t fade well. All Japanese denim tend to age beautifully.”
Hidemitsu Kawazome, who serves as the brand director of Kojima Genes, was born and raised in Kojima, Okayama. His parents, many of his relatives, and friends work in factories that specialize in dyeing, weaving, stitching, and washing, so before he could even remember, denim was a huge part of his life. He was born and raised in the perfect environment to learn about the craft of high quality denim manufacturing. So, it comes to no surprise that he found himself working in the denim industry. Because he was raised surrounded by jeans his entire life, to Kawazome, they were a part of his lifestyle, and not something that should cost a fortune. That mindset is one of the common similarities he has with America, the birthplace of jeans. In American history, jeans evolved from workwear to fashion, to daily items. They have been and continue to be loved by everyone, regardless of age or gender, and that is why they have become such a symbolic item in American casual fashion.

“Of course I pay special attention to every detail of the jeans that I make, but I always receive hints from different lifestyles and incorporate them into the designs. I like to include features that I personally would want to see in jeans, so I’m able to take on challenges that other brands might not be able to. Making the world’s first ever style of jeans, and having people from throughout the world be able to experience the quality of jeans manufactured here in Kojima without spending a fortune is what Kojima Genes is all about.”

*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.


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