Editors Note: This article is written by beatle, the co-creator of the 21 Oz. Iron Heart Beatle Buster SBG (among other models), co-organizer of the HWDC2, and founder of the newly established brand, bybeatle.
Japanese Denim. I’m of the opinion that it’s a lot like Sushi – unless you have the finest ingredients prepared by skillful masters you might as well skip that meal. That is pretty much what I’ve kept in mind as I’ve set out to Japan to finally start my own brand.
The journey has been both highly challenging and extremely rewarding at the same time. Most of you might imagine the sound of shuttle looms, the smell of fresh raw denim and being able to actually get a taste of the production process, each of which keeps you going through some of the more difficult steps. I always knew that there wouldn’t be any room to compromise in the most important ingredient when making the first pair of bybeatle jeans – denim.
The vast variety of denims being milled in the Okayama prefecture is overwhelming so you have to be pretty focused and know what you are looking for. Otherwise, you end up feeling lost and blown away like a child staring down all the candy in a candy shop. My quest was to find a denim that would suit all climates and seasons; a denim that would provide comfort on a hot summer day as well as keeping your legs warm when the snow hits. That to me is a denim that weighs somewhere between 17 – 19 oz. Above and beyond that basic requirement, I was hoping to find a fresh raw denim that has never before been used.
The piece of denim that caught my attention was a 17oz raw shuttle loomed red line selvedge denim – a denim so fresh that there wasn’t even a sample fades attached to the denim file. The hand of the denim was very smooth with a rich slubby texture at the same time, a characteristic that I personally find very appealing, particularly as difference between denim with some slub and non-slubby denim has a huge impact of fading. On top of that, knowing that this particular 17oz denim was rope dyed and dipped 24 times pretty much made this instantly my choice for the Volume One jeans.
In terms of construction and durability, bybeatle has one goal and one goal only – quality. I do believe that artisans in Kojima are the best possible partners you can find when it comes to sewing and construction, as there’s something in the craftsmanship combined with the pride they take in their work that makes them such an asset.
TCB – the garment factory that is putting every single jean in our first edition together is a family run business where 2 generations are working under one roof. For example, I am very happy knowing that Hajime-san’s godmother was in charge of folding and creasing each back pocket. Every stitch was made in Japan – that is what bybeatle stands for.
bybeatle pays attention to every detail that makes a great pair of jeans your favourite piece of clothing. Proof of that attention can be found in every rivet and in every doughnut button. Rather than using standard solutions I opted for cox buttons that are coated copper button and which will age just as nicely as the denim. All threads are UEJ poly core threads which not only provide longlivity but will also fade with every wash. This way they will stay in tune with the denim.
In terms of construction, another important detail in my eyes is a reinforced crotch. Putting a denim patch over the point where inner leg seams and back and front seams meet takes away the strain and force that comes with biking and other activities. It’s been field tested on the sample jeans for almost 3 months and I am seriously impressed how well it works. Crotch repair jobs will have to wait a lot longer.
Denim, construction and hardware are the key ingredients for bybeatle – ingredients that still need to be mixed together with the perfect fit. As a fresh brand my style very much supports people who are looking for more modern slim fits; something that works in an office, something that feels good when you are out and about, something that works in an urban environment as well as on those active outdoor adventures and finally something that feels right when you kick back and relax. For me that very much translates into a mid-rise slim fit with a strong taper. It looks good when you wear your favourite Vans but it also works so well with a dress shirt and some leather boots.
It took almost exactly 5 months to produce bybeatle Volume One – and now that it’s finally here I seriously couldn’t be happier. The details, the craftsmanship and the fit all feel spot on to what I’d imagined. It almost makes me forget about the 4 week delay during the milling process and some of the other challenges that every brand will have to face at one point. For me, knowing that it is worth the wait makes all the difference, and at least it gave me the chance to gather a first insight into the fading with my sample pair.
The bybeatle Volume One jean is now available at Rivet and Hide in the UK. I’d be happy to see them on your legs and I’d like to use this forum to say thanks again to all those denim heads who’ve put their faith in me and pre ordered a pair. I’ve already seen some stunning fit pictures and I am thrilled to receive every bit of feedback. It’s so important to know what people think and I seriously appreciate being in touch with all those legs and fabulous minds out there.
As a final note, if any of you are in London on June 30th make sure to pop by the new Rivet and Hide Workshop. Danny will have cold beer in the fridge and of course you will be able to try on a great pair of jeans, plus we have a surprise from Texas waiting in some special boxes. For more bybeatle updates, come by and visit me online.