How Okayama Denim Became a Go-To Place for the Best Japanese Jeans (with Merv Sethi)

Merv Sethi from Okayama Denim Joins Thomas on the Denimhunters Podcast

One of the reasons I do the Denimhunters Podcast is that it gives me a perfect excuse to hit up some of the great people in our little niche of the denim world that I otherwise (sadly) don’t get to spend too much time with. Merv Sethi from Okayama Denim is a good example of that.

Merv and I met for the first (and I think only) time in real life at the very first CC Show in 2015. We stay in touch on a regular basis, but as we both have growing families and busy schedules, it’s too rare we get to catch up.

In this episode of the podcast, Merv shares his story and gives some insights into his background: his grandfather immigrated from India in 1952, and his family has been in the trading business ever since.

We also talk about how the Okayama Denim Project that Merv did in 2011, in the wake of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, became the start of the Okayama Denim we know today. It all start when Merv was looking for a maker of the bracelet he did. That’s when he met Ken-ichi Iwaya, the founder of Pure Blue Japan, in his store on Jeans Street in Kojima.

Merv Sethi, Okayama Denim, Denimhunters Podcast,

Okayama Denim is one of the few international Japan-based online retailers of Japanese raw denim. They retail most of the brands we all love to countries around the globe. In fact, in 2019, Okayama denim shipped to more than 70 countries!

But the key USP of Okayama Denim has to be collaborations. They have to be right at the top of the ‘most collaboration’ list of any denim retailer. And they collaborations go far beyond the details of the jeans; they also collaborate with the makers on the denims.

Make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast on your favourite player. You’ll find it on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, and of course here on And please leave a rating and a review, it’s very much appreciated.

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