As if you didn’t already need an excuse to check out Playboy, the March edition gives denimheads an alternative excuse. Brit Eaton (aka denim hunter Indiana Jeans, who we profiled in 2013) was accompanied on a denim hunting journey to search out more textile treasures lost to the west. Bandit Photographer Cory Piehowicz, one of denim’s iconic photographers, was chosen to lend his eye and lens to the event.
Piehowicz visited Eaton this past November in Colorado where he led the group to unknown locations, forgotten to the masses yet treasured for their utilitarian heritage. According to the article, he had taken Playboy writer Mickey Rapkin on a four-day trek in South Dakota and other parts of the Midwest last spring.
While well known in denim circles, Rapkin does well to both enlighten the masses regarding Eaton as well as unearth tidbits of information that denimheads may not have known about him. His approach, philosophy, and enthusiasm for vintage are all on display, in addition to his unique entrepreneurial spirit. For instance, Rapkin discussed Eaton’s father’s recollection from when his son left for college.
“When Brit went off to college,” he says. “we found a note he wrote to his brother. It said, ‘Steven, don’t forget to water the marijuana plant.'” Brit was growing weed on Princeton University’s property that butted up against his family’s land. This kid was never going to have an office job.
Eaton has made a living doing something few others have been able to pull off. So why do companies pay such large sums for his finds? Denim industrialist Jacqueline Cameron, a long time buyer of Eaton’s denim, provides perhaps the best insight as to why.
“I don’t want to buy a pair of denim because it’s a buckle-back single pocket from this time period,” she says. “I like to hear the story. That is has sun fading because it was used as insulation in the rafters of an old barn. What I’m more interested in, particularly at this point in my career, is starting from an authentic place. Anyone who has broken in a pair of jeans for five years? Their life is imprinted there.”
Both Eaton and Piehowicz have been featured in a variety of publications in the past, but Playboy is likely a special notch in each of their belts. As for us denimheads, it’s another win for the passion’s credibility. If you don’t want to shell out the cash for the magazine, check out a video Piehowicz put together for Playboy below.