My love of denim began in the 80’s when I met a kid at school who wore a black t-shirt, Levis 501 cuffed high, black and white Converse All-star’s and a digital watch. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a kid wear a watch …it was the first time I saw Levis. He listened to the Beastie Boys in a walkman and didn’t talk to anyone. He was the coolest kid I’d ever seen.
“Why don’t I have a Walkman? Who are the fucking Beasties Boys?!” I thought about it seriously. I was too young to understand that when my parents divorced a year or so before it took everything my mother had to raise my little brother and I. She was busy worrying about how to close the gap between my fathers child support and our bills. I was so disappointed when I got black acid wash stretch pants instead of 501’s. Payless knock offs instead of Chuck Taylors.
In the late 80’s I got really into glam rock, leather pants and jackets. I didn’t like when leather would look too clean and new. I didn’t yet know the word patina. Obviously leather clothing was out of the question for a child.
By the time the 90’s rolled around I was a full blown skateboarder who loved garage rock and gangster rap. I finally got my first pair of Levis. A dark black warp with a white weft. I wore them every day for a couple of years until I grew out of them. As the 90’s rolled on I got into shopping at army surplus stores. Camouflage cargo pants, scratchy cotton tees. I wore one shirt and pair of pants at a time watching them get softer and softer until they slowly dissolved away completely.
In the mid 2000’s I picked up a pair of Levis 501’s super skinny and it slowly rekindled my current obsession with denim fabric and watching it age.
Here are some pics of those Levis after about 1,000 wears and countless washes.
From there it was all over, down the rabbit hole. I’ve reviewed over 100 pairs of jeans and own at least twice as many. I have to have a storage unit, just to store my denim collection – I don’t know how I feel about that. I’ve even traveled to Japan and spent a week just looking at (and buying, a lot of) denim.
Some pics from the pilgrimage to Jeans Street in Kojima, Okayama.
I hope yo enjoy the blog and benefit from my strange obsession.
~The Denim Hound.