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The Year In Review – Our Top Articles of 2015

It’s been a big year for us here at Heddels, considering we spent the majority of it winding down as Rawr Denim. Now that we’re here at the end of 2015, we’d like to take a quick look back at what we thought were some of the best articles of our past year.

We’ve done interviews, product reviews, trade shows, historical retrospectives, and lots of lists of five plus one. Have a look and hopefully a read, whether once more or for the first time.

Iron Ranger Wins Best Entry Level Boot

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Our multipart Entry Level Boot Showdown saw us destroy over $1000 worth of perfectly good footwear to crown the best starter option in Goodyear welted workboots. See all the carnage and the analysis here.

Who Made Japan’s First Jeans

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Long have denimheads quibbled over the myriad of origin stories for Japanese denim. Well cultural historian and author of recently released book Ametora (seriously, read it), W. David Marx, finally gave all of us a definitive answer with his in-depth analysis of Japanese denim manufacturers in the 1960s and 70s. Discover the history for yourself here.

Behind the Fades – Jeremy Tooker of Four Barrel Coffee

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We’ve covered faded jeans practically since the inception of the site nearly five ago, but we haven’t spent a whole lot of time detailing many of the fascinating people who wore them. Our new series Behind the Fades does just that, writer Young Lee has profiled a variety of fascinating individuals and the clothing that’s a part of their daily lives. Read all about famed coffee roaster Jeremy Tooker in the inaugural installment here.

The Complete Guide to Dad Jeans

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As past years will tell you, we are big fans of April Fools here. This year, Kyle Robinson took us on a journey none of us thought we wanted, down the sandblasted rabbit-hole that is dad jeans. Have a read at how to get your best high-rise, high-crotch fit here.

The Malling of SoHo NYC – From Unique to Uniqlo

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We like to dig deep to discover the narratives behind our clothing–where the design developed, where the raw materials were harvested, what machines did the sewing. Robert Lim went another level deeper with his column Beneath the Surface to examine one neighborhood in New York City and how it’s amorphous identity over the past fifty years has affected the clothes we wear. Read it here.

The White Oak Economy – How Millenials are Changing Retail

White Oak Weave Room

Veteran denim reporter Amy Leverton joined our team this year as a regular columnist and lead off with a hard hitting article that plumbed the relationship the high end artisanal denim market has in influencing the high street mall denim brands. Our voices are louder than we think! See your effect on the marketplace with a look at the article here.

Rakuten Demystified – How to Buy From the Japanese Mega Retailer

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One of the largest hurdles of buying Japanese clothing is, well, buying it from Japan. There are many great stores that import Japanese goods, but if you’ve got the itch for that one shirt from that one brand in that one size, then there’s only one way to scratch it. Forrest Old delved into Rakuten, one of the largest retailer/proxy sites in Japan to show you how to avoid the pitfalls of buying through Google translate. See the guide here.

Japanese for Denimheads – Vocab to Know to Buy in Japan

Japanese o-mikuji at a temple in Hakone

In that same vein, our man in Tokyo, Kevin Steinberger, broke down (literally) the terms you need to know in Japanese so you can buy your ideal pair of jeans when you go abroad. Learn the phonetic Japanese pronunciations of everything from Fit to Chainstitch here.

Denim Bruin 2015 Recap

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Selvedge conga line.

The San Francisco three-day denim weekend happened as per usual this August. Gerald Ortiz was on the scene to snap this pic, which may be the best internet pants photo we’ve ever seen. See his full recap here.

William Gibson Interview – His Buzz Rickson Line, Techwear, and the Limits of Authenticity

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We’ve interviewed dozens of designers, store owners, and consultants in this business, but this is the first time we had the pleasure of interviewing a best selling author. William Gibson might not initially seem like the most appropriate fit for a site that started about blue jeans, but our chat with Mr. Gibson reveals one of the sharpest minds to ever don a pair of Iron Hearts. Read the full interview here.


That’s all folks! Thanks for sticking with us and here’s to looking forward to more great denim coverage and beyond in 2016.