And we’re back for round two of our Vegas show mop-up. If you missed the first post you can get caught up here, otherwise, let’s get into it!
Kato’ by Hiroshi Kato
Don’t mistake Kato’ by Hiroshi Kato for The Green Hornet, this new LA based brand is taking a more modern approach to raw denim while still using fabrics any denimhead would approve. Swapping minimalist bartacks for rivets, and a zipper for buttons on the fly, Kato produces a slimmed down jean with 15oz. Japanese selvedge denim.
Donwan Harrell and PRPS may be most known for washes, but the raw jean they’ve produced for over a decade is still a fine piece of work. The jean is entirely constructed in Japan and made from an exclusive Zimbabwean cotton 14oz. purple-ID selvedge denim from Kuroki Mills. Details include half-lined back pockets with an extra folded pen pocket, a deerskin leather patch, camo print pocketbags, and coated copper hardware. If the rest of the PRPS line was raw like this, I would be a much poorer man.
Portland’s Tanner Goods is as strong and innovative as ever, but they’re keeping the majority of it in house. While they continue to develop amazing things for their Woodlands stores and their webshop, wholesale is limited to their core product. It’s an interesting business model as all of their core wallets, bags, keychains, etc. are tried and true timeless stuff, so now Tanner Goods can make pretty much whatever they want and sell it at their own stores without worrying if a retailer will pick it up. Not a bad situation!
Like many American workwear companies, Velva Sheen started out in the Midwest (Cincinnati, in this case) and is now run in Japan. Velva still makes all their knits and tops in the US, but for some of their projects they do cut and sew in the States and then dyeing in Japan. Now before you get your carbon footprint hackles up, know that the majority of their product sells in Japan as well, so it’s not like all of their clothing flies 10k miles just for a bath.
Following the success of their denim MA-1 jacket, Big John has expanded further into outerwear with indigo dyed wool Chesterfields and varsity jackets. The denim line itself remains pretty much the same with no new fabrics or fits.
The Flat Head
Our very own Kyle Robinson was repping for The Flat Head this season. The Japanese label is looking to expand their North American presence but don’t worry, they haven’t watered down the brand at all in an attempt to expand their appeal. Kyle also had a couple standout customer fades on hand, one from Flat Head’s women’s line and the other from their collaboration with Real Japan Blues.
And if you just know The Flat Head and RJB from their jeans, there’s a whole new world of leather goods, footwear, and shirting both companies have to offer. The Flat Head does a novelty weave shirt every season, and this fall’s is a real doozy–red, white, and black all woven together in a nubbly geometric pattern.
Good Art Hollywood
He may not have had a booth, but all Josh Warner needed to show his jewelry brand Good Art Hollywood was a backpack and a flat surface.
Naked & Famous and Unbranded
The unambiguously Canadian duo of Brandon Svarc and Bahzad Trinos is now a trio with the addition of Risa Saito at Naked & Famous. The biggest news from the brand is their fifth iteration of their Elephant series of heavyweight denim, which will use a super slubby white weft 22oz. denim with a buffalo leather patch AND come in a trucker jacket, so you can have a full Ele armor suit.
The other showstopper is jean piece dyed with coffee beans. Naked & Famous isn’t the first to dye jeans in coffee, but they’re the first to make the dye hold fast, which makes sense as they didn’t taste much like coffee. The sample here has a red selvedge ID, but the production jean will have a Starbucks-esque green. And hardcore denimheads will rejoice at the release of the Okayama Spirit II, which will be 18oz. of unsanforized super irregular denim with an indigo weft.
Not much new at Unbranded except that their Tight fit will not be available in their standard 14oz. denim instead of just the 11oz. stretch.
One more post to go–come back soon for the latest from Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Rising Sun & Co., and more!