Being the first Japanese denim brand to sell to Americans, Evisu had to convince an audience that did not look further than their own country at the time, that the future of high-end denim passed from Japan. Evisu dates back to when Hidehiko Yamane launched the brand as ‘Evis’, although he meant no harm, denim competitor Levis thought Yamane was copying his brand name, which led to Evisu being created. Evisu is acquired from Ebisu, which Shinoist deity of Japan, standing for luck and prosperity.
Evisu is a Japanese brand that is best known for making high-quality selvedge denim that was founded in 1991 in Osaka Japan by Hidehiko Yamane and is named after the Japanese God of prosperity Ebisu, who is the happy chap that can be seen on the Godhead leather patch. Starting out by only making up to 14 pairs of jeans a day, the manufacture of Evisu jeans has been said to be more of a labour of love where quality can never be compromised. It is this quality and attention to detail that has earned Evisu critical acclaim as one of the best makers of denim goods in the world.
Yamane was strictly against the use of disposing of the clothes which is why he decided to import vintage denim and give them a new life. Although this wasn’t good enough for the precise designer, he decided that he would go back in time and produce denim the traditional way. He would make only 14 pairs of jeans a day and finalise them with the iconic Seagull logo which was hand-painted by Yamane, returning all luxury craftsmanship of the product. Yamane made sure that every denim piece was individually made with the same amount of thought and time put into them, which is why he made so little amount. The designer previously worked as a traditional tailor, however he disagreed with how thin mass-produced jeans were being made which is why he wanted to make a denim brand where the denim was as strong as the vintage pieces he owned himself.
The Popularity Remains…
As a rise of baggy denim and patchwork pieces in the 2000s, Evisu saw these times as possibly a peak for the brand, it meant that they could show off their creativity through their denim by repeating the logo throughout some of their silhouettes, and like today, everyone was after a pair of Evisu jeans. As we know, fashion repeats and so does Evisu’s classic silhouettes so it is no surprise that their denim sees a rise in popularity once again.
The Production Process…
Raw denim is the starting point for every pair of jeans or other products, it adds a stiff and durable character while adding starch during the weaving process increases the durability of the final product. Followed by a technique called counter-twisting which prevents industrial twisting, denim treatment is applied and to complete, burning off scattered cotton fires adds a smooth finish to Evisu’s denim. Each Evisu denim product has been indigo dyed by vintage loop dying machines that pumped a cotton yarn through a royal blue dye, where after it would be kept in the roof of the Evisu factory to allow the colour to oxidise.
How they achieve this quality and authenticity in their jeans is by using only selvage 12.2oz to 13.5oz weights of denim which is made in the traditional vintage way using original shuttle looms, which produces a looser weave and rougher texture making for a solid denim. The unmistakable indigo colour is achieved by loop dying the yarns up to 30 times and will change over time in the unique way as the owner wears and washes their Evisu’s. As well as the quality, the attention to detail is quite literally in every inch of Evisu jeans, starting with the 9 different threads that may be used on certain parts of the jeans as a nod to how classic workwear was made.
he Godhead patches made from leather, poplin and cotton all depict Ebisu the God of prosperity and feature Kanji script which refers to the quality roots of Evisu. The back pockets also feature a lining at the bottom so any objects in them will not protrude or damage the pocket and as a finish with a flurry each Evisu Seagull logo is hand-painted onto each back pocket making for slight differences with each pair of Evisu jeans.
It is no surprise that celebs also wanted to hop onto one of the best denim brands out there, Beyoncé was seen wearing one of the brands most iconic denim silhouettes in Destiny’s Child ‘Lose My Breath’ music video, while Jay Z also mentioned in one of his songs, ‘his ain’t Diesel… These is Evisu’. Evisu has become its own aesthetic during these times and was represented as a ‘luxury’ product. These American-style jeans have been purchased by the likes of David Beckham along with many rappers and DJs, people seeing these figures wearing Evisu meant that the brand was able to convince many outside of the denim community that the future of high-end denim was in Japan.
However, Evisu offers more than just their classic denim jean silhouettes like the Evisu Yellow Seagull Print Jeans or the Evisu White Seagull Print Jeans, classic monochrome Daruma T-Shirts in White and Black also hit the shelves of Aphrodite. With a bold Daruma Doll pattern to the front reading the brand name, these instantly recognisable pieces can be easily paired with any Evisu denim for a classic all-Evisu look. Or the Evisu Seagull Denim jacket sees the perfect outerwear piece for the spring weather ahead, layer over a hoodie or a t-shirt for a casual outfit to suit any occasion. Arriving in a trucker fit, this timeless style is one to grab if you’re after a versatile jacket to throw on.
When Yamane first started to paint the seagull arcuate, he said he started it as a joke and he had no idea that anyone would actually buy them. From something that went from a joke to being something that the designer spend his whole days putting time and effort into one pair, this shows his love and dedication to his brand but also denim.
Shop the Evisu new arrivals online and in-store now.