An Introduction To Edwin Jeans
The denim brand famed for pinning down the highly renowned reputation of Japanese denim- Edwin has kept its roots and beliefs since its inception in 1947. Heralding from the gritty underbelly of Tokyo’s fashion scene, Edwin was founded by a man who has since become an icon in Japan- Mr Tsunemi. Mr Tsunemi had a passion for denim, a love which at the time, was only reflected over in the United States through huge denim production brands like Wrangler and Levi’s. Using this to his advantage, Mr Tsunemi started out in the denim industry by importing used pairs of jeans from America. He then repaired and laundered them, before selling on the pairs to his customers.
Denim had never been manufactured in Japan until 1951, and even when it was starting to be made, it was of a hugely inferior quality to its counterpart in America. The vast gap in quality drove Mr Tsunemi to create his own denim, made entirely in Japan, which would rival the denim he had been importing from America for so long. However, his ambition did not stop there. Not only did he want to create a fabric of superior quality, he also wanted to use the denim to create pairs of jeans that would come in a hugely diverse range of fits to suit anybody. Mr Tsunemi had a vision to make Edwin the mark of innovation, quality and craftsmanship in the denim market. He soon realised his vision, and in 1961, the first pair of Edwin jeans left the sewing machine, having been made entirely in Japan. Mr Tsunemi used the word ‘denim’ as an anagram, and reversed the ‘m’ to make a ‘w’ to create his now infamous brand name.
Developing Edwin’s Washing Techniques
From there, Edwin grew with huge success, setting bench marks in the modernization of denim, by reaching heights no brand had ever reached, and creating concepts that no other brand had ever dreamt of. In 1963, Edwin created the world’s heaviest jean. It weighed in at 16 ounces, and was the first pair to feature the brands now infamous three colour rainbow selvedge edge denim, which is still being produced today. However, Edwin was set to make its mark upon the denim industry in a much, much more telling way. In the 1970’s, they became the first manufacturer to create a system to replicate years of wear on a pair of brand new jeans. They called it ‘old wash’. This concept was taken to a new, longer lasting level in the 1980’s when Edwin pioneered a technique which is now used by every denim manufacturer on the planet: Stone wash. The stone washing technique is an indispensable asset to any denim company, giving unique characteristics that were never believed to be achievable before Edwin began attempting to create denim with a specific used look. Finally, in the 1990’s Edwin began specializing in the replication of heavily worn jeans. The ‘New vintage’ concept was again copied by a host of denim brands, as brand new pairs of Edwin jeans were sculpted by skilled hands to create years of wear and tear from jeans in the Edwin archive dating back to the 1940’s.
Edwin Jeans Crafstmanship
It’s not just the idea of innovative style and heritage in craftsmanship that makes Edwin so special though. It’s the small details that make a pair of Edwin jeans add up to be one the ultimate pieces of denim craftsmanship. The stitching used on every pair of Edwin jeans can only be sewn using special sewing machines, developed by the brands skilled craftsman. Up to 13 types of thread are used for each part of the jean that is sewn. On the inside of every care label on every pair of Edwin jeans is a quality certificate. By using the number on this, all jeans can be traced, from when they were made, to where, and who made them. This makes every pair of Edwin jeans fully accountable.
Popular Styles of Edwin Jeans
True to Mr Tsunemi’s word, Edwin offers a truly eclectic range of fits and styles. Three of the most popular include the ED-55, ED-39 and ED-80.
The ED-55 gives the wearer a relaxed tapered fit, allowing more space on the thigh as it graduates in to the ankle. It has a medium rise on the waist and comes finished with a button fly.
The ED-39 offers a more relaxed fit, which is slightly looser than a straight fitting jean. It has a medium raise on the waist, and comes finished with a button fly.
The ED-80 is a slimmer offering- a slim fit with a tapered leg; it has a low rise and a zip fly.
Edwin jeans set the bench mark for Japanese craftsmanship. They continue to leave other denim brands in their wake as they continue to develop styles with more unique processes than ever before, giving Japanese denim a hugely deserved reputation for class and quality, which is beginning to comfortably challenge its American counterparts.
Edwin Jeans Video
This video from the Edwin Europe Youtube channel gives us a fascinating glimpse of life behind the factory walls in the Edwin Europe factory showing how the jeans are made.
Browse this seasons full range of mens Edwin Jeans