Edwin Jeans and The Story of Japanese Denim

Origin of Japanese Denim

The history of Edwin jeans isn’t just a history of the brand but also of denim production in Japan itself. Japan post-war isn’t best known for its obsession with denim and American fashion in general, but a small movement of young men were determined to move away from the restrictive fashion of war torn Japan to embrace an international look.

Part of this focus was on denim, and more broadly, the tough, work ready denim of America which was known for its strength and durability as well as its fashion status. It wasn’t easy however, Japan at the time had no factories capable of creating denim which meant that denim had to be imported. This is where Edwin founder Yonehachi Tsunemi stepped in, he began to import American jeans in the late forties, bringing a new wave of durable jeans to the newly fashion conscious youth of Japan.

Japan soon started to create its own iteration of denim jeans, however, due to the restrictions of Japanese factories, which were set up to weave much finer fabrics, it wasn’t until the 60s that Japan started to create proper American style denim. A handful of different brands popped up, Canton jeans, Big John and Edwin to name a few of the most well known, all with the intentional of crafting Japanese made jeans in the American style.

Edwin’s Innovation

Edwin began to pull ahead of some of the other brands with their impressive repertoire of innovations. Creating their now iconic Rainbow selvedge in the 60s, which you still see on a lot of their premium jeans today, and becoming the first brand to utilise pre-washing and stone washing techniques in the 80s  which became hugely popular. With these key innovations, Edwin soon became a household name in Japan and gained a smaller but still significant following in Europe. Since then Edwin has opened up its own European branch which focuses on selling premium heritage denim throughout Europe. With a focus on high quality but affordable selvedge denim, they cater to a variety of different customers with different fits in mind.

Do Edwin Make Good Jeans?

Japanese denim is used throughout their models, ensuring that the denim is of high quality equal to Japanese standards and will fade and age beautifully as you wear them. For those looking for a more relaxed fit, the ED-39 is perfect. With a mid-rise and a relaxed straight leg. For those looking for a classic taper style, the ED-55 and ED-45 cater nicely. The former is one of Edwin’s most popular styles with its regular taper fit that works well for most styles and outfits. The ED-45 is a bit more loose with a roomy thigh that tapers down at the ankle.

Edwin Jeans UK Stockist

When looking through denim brands Edwin is definitely one to keep an eye on, with premium Japanese fabrics they have remained one of the key players in the denim game.

Check out the Edwin range here.

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