In Search of Enduring Denim
Photographed by Charlotte Wales
Despite its rugged composition and sturdy yet dimensional weave of colored warp with undyed weft, denim is the fabric most susceptible to the vagaries of fashion trends. Shapes, cuts, fits, washes, and even lengths can shift dramatically from one season to the next, making the perfect pair of jeans elusive—unless you know where to look. Seeking styles that reveal new creative possibilities yet don’t come with an expiration date? Walk this way...
Described by couturier Charles James as “America’s gift to the world,” denim has been elevated to an art form in Japan, where selvedge—construction that makes use of fabric’s outer, or self, edge—is a mark of authenticity and old-school weaving techniques, often on vintage looms. Quietly leading the country’s modern-day mastery of mid-century workwear is Chimala, named by founder Noriko Machida for a Himalayan mountain that exists only in her imagination. The company’s workshop in the Japanese countryside is a haven of nostalgia and meticulousness, from dyeing and weaving to sewing and distressing, that results in hand-finished jeans that look and fit like decades-old favorites.
One reason I love denim is that it’s very sustainable. It’s not a garment that you throw away every season.Jonny Johansson, creative director of Acne Studios
Styling Vanessa Traina
Hair Bok-Hee at Streeters
Makeup Daniel Martin at The Wall Group
Model Tami Williams