JAPAN DENIM Book : 45R feature translation
CLUTCH Magazine Denim
Deepening along with the true essence of vintage, but not transforming.
Like many brands have demonstrated, the shape and form of jeans have been completed from over 100 years ago. It’s difficult to expect any more drastic changes. However, 45R has been able to skyrocket into the global market with their “100% Made in Japan” jeans, which have received accolades from throughout Europe and the United States. Tracing back to their history, they first created their original 5-pocket denim in 1991. They are not a denim specialist brand, but they are also not a replica brand either. So how did they attract the attention of hardcore denim fans? The answer lies in the brand’s meticulous attention to detail and thorough manufacturing processes. The brand’s iconic “Sorahiko” model, as well as the jacket worn by Masanori Shimoda were both manufactured using years of knowhow, obtained by analyzing vintage denim. To create the ideal fit and texture, even the yarn was originally developed and woven using an old-fashioned loom. On top of that, they were manufactured in small lots, as a lot of time and effort is required to make each item. This commitment to quality is what makes 45R stand out. Even with their standard items, they make tiny, subtle changes when they feel an upgrade is necessary, and create new ways to express their indigo each season – in other words, they are constantly deepening their collections without completely transforming them.
It has been approximately 20 years since the release of their original selvedge jeans. In that time, they have continuously added new processing techniques, silhouettes, and details to even their most standard Sorahiko model. So what has 45R’s pursuit to continue deepening has resulted in? According to Shimoda, the style of 45R can be defined as an “elegant working style”.
“45R is really a group of manufacturers who continue to do what they love. After we started producing jeans, we decided that we wanted to make jeans that would match well with sneakers, but now we want to focus on more elegant jeans that can be paired with leather shoes. We want to offer denim that can be worn in more formal situations.”
Items made using rigid denim symbolizes the direction that the brand is currently heading towards. Their goal is to make high quality denim items that, like European antiques, can be passed down through generations, from parent to child, and even down to their grandchildren. Their ideal jeans are not simply to be worn so that they fade and age beautifully, but to be able to be worn for years and years while preserving their rigidness and elegant features.
“Of course, we are still utilizing the knowhow that we have acquired over the years. On top of that, we have used a light, soft twist yarn for the warp to create a natural elasticity, and to give it a natural non-wash look and texture after it’s been washed and pressed. Being able to feel comfortable wearing our jeans and feeling the natural texture of the fabrics is what makes 45R denim unique.”
*This article was previouly featured in JAPAN DENIM book.
Japan Denim 45R