There is some debate about its provenance, but most agree that denim originated in Nîmes, France. Originally known as “serge de Nîmes”, the material quickly spread around Europe and across the Atlantic due to its strength and durability. Debunked legend even tells that Columbus’s ships were equipped with denim sails. But regardless of how the material came to the States, it’s an irrefutable symbol of American heritage. Denim covered westward bound wagons during Manifest Destiny and outfitted laborers during the Gold Rush. Despite how we may feel about those histories today, denim was as tough, as durable, and as stubborn as the people who wore it into the wild unknown. In my personal opinion, few other denim brands live up to this heritage as well as Tellason.
Bread & Butter President Karl-Heinz Müller can look back at a very successful January edition of his ‘tradeshow for selected brands’. Taking place for the 8th time in the majestic hangars of the old Tempelhof airport, Bread & Butter is definitely on the rise. With 560 brands exhibiting and only 12% of these being German (in addition to 7 out of 10 of all guests being non-Germans) Bread & Butter’s position as the leading international fashion trade platform is undisputed. The most noticeable growing group of international visitors were the Japanese. Along with the boom of Japanese top brands exhibiting at the show, the number of Japanese visitors has doubled. “We’re very delighted by this development since Japan is still an essential indicator when it comes to quality and trends of the future,” says Mr. Müller. More than ever Bread & Butter is about quality over quantity.
“Just when I thought I would never want to go through the process of breaking in another pair of selvedge denim, I discovered Tellason.” The quote (and picture) is taken from Matthew Hranek’s short GQ-article about Tellason that was published the other day. Honestly Matthew, is it that painful to break in a pair of dry denims? Should it be news to anybody, Tellason are sewn in San Francisco from White Oak Cone Mills denim using all American trims. It’s a no nonsense jean that, “are worthy of the ass-busting effort to break in,” as GQ’s reporter notes. Read more about Tellason here.
The Bread & Butter tradeshow in Berlin is not just about scooping out the next big thing; nurturing existing relationships are often much more important. Visiting the Fire Dept. at the L.O.C.K. area I once again met the very honest and humble Pete and Tony of Tellason and I got to ask Pete a few questions about his background, motivation, inspiration, and the future of the All-American San Francisco-brand.
Bread & Butter is one of the world’s most important tradeshows. Period. It’s the biggest, the most visited, the most creative, and most inspirational show in Europe – maybe in the world for that matter – but for the 27th show this summer many of the usual suspects including Levi’s, Lee and Diesel were not exhibiting. The question “why” was on the lips or in the back of the minds of many attendances. Is Butter & Butter losing terrain, is it too expensive for the big brands, or is it the economy were some of the questions? However, instead of mourning the loss of the giants, I personally celebrated the birth of something new, something very exciting for hardcore jeans lovers and denim enthusiasts; the Tempel of Denim.
For the last three years there has been an oasis for the Australian denim connoisseurs in the dry grasslands down under. The Australian denim culture is growing and it has a European feel into it. Located in Adelaide in South Australia and opened in March 2009, Right Hand Distribution offers a wide selection of denim brands that allows customer to find the right fit, material and colour in any age group – especially if you have a taste for Japanese denim.
In recent year, Aarhus has in many ways removed itself out of the shadow of Copenhagen. The combination of rural idyll, mini-metropolis, and a growing range of cultural experiences and education enhance the city’s appeal to the youth. On the fashion scene the city has as well stepped it up. Through two years of employment out of the three years I spent as a student in Aarhus this shop became my second home. Therefore, it is a pleasure to present this shop review from [ei'kon].
This could very well be a citation from my mental denim dictorary of ‘Tellason’: an All-American denim brand from the hometown and birthplace of jeans, San Francisco, that is steadily turning into one of the most successful commercial high-end heritage denim brands. The two founders, Tony Patella and Pete Searson, have been friends for two decades and they have, “always had an affinity for all things well crafted and authentic,” as they put it. After 20 years the apparel industry working for other brands, they felt it was time to take things into their own hands and make something for themselves. I visited the Danish distributor of Tellason to have a closer look af the products.
One of the shopping related highlights of my visit in Amsterdam back in April was Tenue de Nîmes where I had a chat with co-owner Rene Strolenberg. The shop is beyond compare the best denim shop in the city and I actually visited it nothing less than three times during the weekend I spent there. I just had to get back to have another look. But the greatest feature of the shop is actually not all the premium denim brands themselves, it’s how they’re mixed in with each other. You have high-end classic Momotaro jeans right next to fashionable skinny Acne jeans. And with every visit you discover something new.
In 2010, according to Statistics Denmark 18,000 new companies were set up in Denmark. One of these was Wardrobe 19, but while half of those aspiring entrepreneur have had to close shop the unique men’s wear shop in the centre of Copenhagen is an immense success. Wardrobe 19 is owned and run by the creative and fiery entrepreneur Martin Vestphael, who has created a highly personal and evocative stop that really stands out from the crowd.