If you’ve read this site more than twice, you’d know there’s no shortage of premium denim brands today. And that goes double for anything coming out of Japan and California. With so many names in the market, it’s tough sifting through all of the new and unfamiliar brands to find something memorable. Oneculture appears to be one such brand.
Oneculture has been an ongoing project for creator Mark Carter since starting the company in the early 2000s. They had several stockists in California’s Bay Area in the late 2000s but got their first huge boost when they appeared as the sponsored brand for the now dormant Denim Debate back in 2011.
Since then, Mark has remained hard at work to grow and refine the product to what it is today. For the handful who have known Mark and oneculture since its inception, anticipation for his next batch of jeans has grown immensely. But if you’re just learning about them now, keep reading.
Many new brands begin with products that are decently made but lack a unique sense of style, effectively becoming lost at sea. Others sadly go overboard, stylistically speaking, and overlook the factor of a quality construction. Oneculture avoids both of these hazards and hits all of the right notes in both style and quality.
Each pair of jeans is made in San Francisco using all Japanese selvedge denim and comes raw and ready to be beaten. Starting with the outside of the jean, the belt loops are not only sewn into the waistband but also sewn onto the felled yoke seams giving them a cleaner look and a stronger construction.
A super thick 9 oz. veg-tanned leather patch sports the distinct oneculture logo, a debossed depiction of San Francisco’s iconic Sutro Tower emitting radio waves. It’s also sewn so that you can loop your belt underneath the patch, giving it more chance for age and patina.
The pockets use a burly 10 oz. bull denim. They’re cut deeper than most pockets, made for those who actually like to use pockets to hold their belongings. Should come in handy for all you Galaxy Note and iPhone 6+ users.
After a run-in with a rear pocket blow out on an earlier production, Mark decided to line the rear pockets using that same 10 oz. bull denim. Although lining only the bottom half of the rear pockets might have done the job just fine, oneculture didn’t want to take that chance.
Moving on to the inside of the jean, you’ll find selvedge on both sides of the button fly, which is outfitted with beautiful ebony/copper buttons. Eventually, the ebony finish will patina and reveal the copper layer underneath. Uncommon, but certainly welcomed. And in case you ever forget the size of your jeans, you can find the size inscribed on the backside of the buttons.
Clean construction is further enforced as the inseams are felled rather than overlocked. Although I’ve never personally had any construction issues with an overlocked inseam, it’s nice to know that Mark has taken the extra step.
As for the cut, the Pulsar Slim Taper is the middle-of-the-road fit in the oneculture lineup. The mid-rise is actually a mid-rise and the top block is slim without choking your thighs. The tricky issue with my legs is the fact that my calves are larger than that of the average guy. Because of this, certain ‘slim’ jeans will often taper too much below the knee for me resulting in a silhouette of my calves. No bueno. However, the Pulsar Slim Taper is perfect for my taste and isn’t an overly aggressive taper. oneculture’s Gam is their slimmest cut, with a slimmer top block and leg while their Pulsar is the brand’s straight cut.
Taller guys will definitely love the fact that oneculture jeans all come long. And when I say long, I mean really long. However if you’re tall enough to need an inseam longer than the 38 inches you’d find on a pair of onecultures, then the search for your perfect jean still continues. For a shorter guy like myself, though, that’s a full 9 inches longer than my normal inseam (with no break). And depending on your preference, you could sport a pretty gnarly cuff or go insane with stacking.
The denim itself is a 15 oz. Japanese selvedge from Kurabo Mills. It’s a nice mid-weight, though it can feel heavier than it actually is due to the heavy pocketing. The denim has a surprisingly smoother hand than most other jeans which makes it super easy to break in, especially for those who aren’t used to the raw denim life. And if that doesn’t pique your interest, their jeans come in a few other fabrics.
oneculture doesn’t aim to be a vintage-inspired denim brand, nor does it rely on minimalist aesthetics á la A.P.C.. Rather, it presents a simple and modern style all its own without going over the rails. The rear pockets boast no arcuates, though the topstitching and the shape of the pocket itself are enough to distinguish the jean. Bartacks are used both structurally throughout the jean and as subtle accents.
With everything that these jeans offer, you’d be hard-pressed in believing that they’ll only run you $230. At that price point, there are plenty of competitors but few who can offer as much bang for your buck. Speciality denim was once a small pool but has since grown to a sea of indigo. In the middle of all that, I’m glad to say that oneculture really delivers the goods for those who love jeans.
For more info, have a look at oneculture’s website.