In the past 4-5 years, the rising popularity of raw selvedge denim has brought forth an increase in brands. And while they all have the same goal of creating better made goods, inevitably they begin to release products that seem to differ from each other only slightly, with many opting for a minimal and more classic heritage aesthetic.
There is a rather heated and ongoing debate of whether or not there is a flood of the same kind of brands in the market (although whether or not there really is a surplus of brands, it does seem like a positive thing that consumers are looking for higher quality clothing and support smaller brands but we’ll save that for the forums).
Regardless of where you stand on the topic of the increasing number of emerging brands, there is still some room for those who recognize the traditional way of approaching garment making but still push the envelope a bit and introduce some new and more modern design elements.
This brings us to an emerging brand from Los Angeles, !iTem Denim.
Started in 2011, !iTem Denim was started by Charlie Chung, John Rossell, and Chris Hapner in response to a limited amount of options when it came to finding jeans that featured the same solid construction and higher quality materials as many of the emerging brands but with more of an edgier look and less of the heritage aesthetic.
Like many others before them, they started small with a significant amount of R&D and tweaking of fits and slowly finalized designs that eventually made it to their current collection of denim.
Looking through their collection and you’ll see many of the familiar fabrics from Japanese and American mills and construction details but adapted to different fits.
As expected, there are a handful of slim and skinny cuts like their #321 Slimmer Jean and #303 Super Skinny that utilize triple needle stitching and 12oz raw denim from Kurabo Mills with a some stretch which will satisfy those looking for a skinny cut that can be more easily worn than a more rigid 100% cotton fabric.
Their #322 Arc Slim and #311 Saddle Slouch jean offers a unique arc leg design that is accentuated by darting on the leg to allow for a slimmer fit without restricting movement. With the different leg design, they’ve twisted the seams to again allow for better movement and maybe unintentionally give a nod to the leg twist seen in many vintage and repro jeans.
These models also use lighter weight fabrics, which fits their younger edgier aesthetic. Like other brands that go outside of the norm, the fits may not be for everyone but it’ll definitely please those looking for a more non-traditional modern fit.
They’re in the midst of ramping up their online store which will include not only their raw options but their wide collection of non raw denim and pants as well as a women’s collection. For now, their jeans can already be found at various retailers in the US, Japan, and online.