Imagine what would happen when two century-old companies both with histories that stretches back to 1889 find each other and decide to work together and create an outstanding product. That’s what happened when Saint James and Lee decided to create a limited collection of high quality knitwear consisting of two pullovers, two beanies and two shawls. The collection was exhibited at the latest Blueprint show in Amsterdam, but Denimhunters’ Jan den Hartogh stopped by the Dutch Lee office to have a closer look.
Ruedi Karrer is probably the single most knowledgable enthusiast and collector in the denim business. Since his childhood in the Swiss mountains of the early 70s when he had to share a single pair of Levi’s jeans with his siblings Ruedi has been crazy about denim. Piled up in his Jeans Museum in Zurich is an impressively massive collection of over 12,000 (!) denim items including around 7,000 pairs of jeans and somewhat 5,000 denim jackets. At the Bread & Butter trade show this winter Ruedi wore a pair of 23 oz. Strike Gold jeans that he has been wearing for about 18 months, an original Lee Rider jacket from the mid-60s that he has been wearing in himself from deadstock for about 6 years, and for underwear Ruedi sported a pair of beat-up Nudie jeans.
With 102,000 square metres of manufacturing space, a weekly cotton consumption of 1.1 million kilos of raw cotton, and a production capacity of 2.3 million square metres of denim each week, the Mount Vernon Mills denim plant in Trion, Georgia is one of the largest manufacturers of denim in North America. Watch the short documentary presented by Americana Classic Vintage of Stockholm here.
Let me be completely honest about this, once you get outside of Copenhagen there isn’t really that much to explore for hardcore denim nerds in Denmark. Sure, there are a few decent shop scattered around the country that know a thing or two about denim and run a tight operation, one of such is Kul & Koks. Located in Kolding on the southern east coast of the Jutland peninsula, Kul & Koks is the no. 1 shopping destination for the 90,000 residents of the Kolding municipality. The shop celebrated its 20th anniversary in November 2011 and for almost a decade Kul & Koks hasn’t been following the regular sales season – that’s how well-established the shop is.
For this fall season Lee has introduced a capsule collection in collaboration with KRISVANASSCHE to celebrate the heritage and expertise of the old American denim brand by revisiting timeless jeanswear styles. It’s a mixture of tough cotton twill workwear and the sophisticated modern masculine world of the successful Belgian fashion designer. The collection is made up by five iconic styles from the Lee archive including the original Rider jacket, the work blazer, a denim shirt, chinos and the original zip-fly jeans.
Denimhunters is seriously branching out. Readers from all over the world are sharing our passion for denim. Our international appeal has also reached like-minded denim loving businesses that wants to support what we’re doing. It is my pleasure to introduce our supporter of the month of July 2012, Oldboy Trading Co., a collective of vintage clothing merchants from Thailand that sell rare and amazingly gorgeous vintage denim online. Read the story and background of the company below and visit the webshop here.
On my way to a meeting in the late afternoon of the first day of this year’s Distortion festival in Copenhagen I met Karl who was wearing a pair of Lee 101Z jeans from the Gold Label collection. It’s been a while since I last approached a complete stranger on the street to take his photo, which still can be a bit overwhelming, but fortunately he already knew about Denimhunters and what we do. Being the manager of the denim department in Urban Outfitters Karl also knows a thing or two about denim. Actually he told me about a bit of worn in denim they keep in the shop that I might drop by to have a look at soon. Until then enjoy the fruit of his efforts and patience.