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Fade Friday: Indigo Invitational ’20-’21 Edition

In this very special edition of Fade Friday, we are celebrating the return of the Indigo Invitational. After great success during their first year, it comes as no surprise that the competition has come back stronger than ever. And to be clear, I say competition but it’s more like a regatta where everyone is in the same rowboat and there is only one boat? Just hear me out!

With the goal of bringing the raw denim community closer together, participants are encouraged to support and motivate one another to produce the best fades possible. Heck, it’s even one of the rules. However, the real magic of the Invitational lies in its denim inclusivity. All brands, all weights, and all people are welcome! Basically, your jeans just need to be new, raw, and worn naturally.

And then after a year, boom. You’ll have awesome wear thats all you, and a great story to tell afterward. Not to mention, a reset from the impulse urging you to buy more jeans before you’ve faded your last. Capitalistic denim fade therapy/support group at its finest.

With over 350 denim heads expected to cross the selvedge line (up from 65 people last year), the growth has been incredible. And with amazing prizes like a trip to Japan with a hotel stay from SOSO, a $1,000 gift card from Iron Heart, a free pair of boots from Wesco, and a custom Indigo invitational championship belt from Pigeon Tree Crafting, its easy to see why so many indigo fiends are throwing their pants into the ring.

Featuring faders from St. Louis, Missouri, and Grass Valley, California to Johor Malaysia and Chonburi, Thailand, the competition is international but the fades are out of this world. From modern high contrast, lightning-fast creases to washed out ‘ are we sure these aren’t your dad’s vintage jeans’ gradients, each pair brings its own individual charm to the table, all at varying price points. In this cross-section alone, we’re looking at a range of under $20 to over $300.

So whether the goal was to wear their jeans as hard as possible or strategically focus on carving out the most eye-catching whiskers and honeycombs, just about every style of fading is represented in these 8 pairs from the likes of Iron Heart, Naked & Famous, and Mister Freedom. And we can’t wait to see the rest.

Good luck to all the participants as they enter the home stretch and keep your cuff rolled for the start of round 3, starting on April 1st, 2022.

Featured Faders:

Image 1: Chuck Stockstrom –
  • @32oz_denim
  • Naked and Famous Super Heavyweights (32 oz.)
  • Pictures from end of Month 9
Image 2: Rudss Jengss –

  • Johor, Malaysia
  • @rudsjengs
  • Iron Heart 666S (18oz)
  • Pictures from end of Month 10
Image 3: Suwit Prasertsung –

  • @holland139121
  • Piger Works 22MD (22oz)
  • Pictures from end of Month 10

Image 4: Warayut Kaisomboon –

  • @lailaiwatayuj
  • BigRig BR16 (16oz)
  • Pictures from end of Month 10
Image 5: Chris Newey –
  • @newey_edc
  • Old Blue Heavyweight Beast (21/23oz)
  • Pictures from end of Month 10
Image 6: Ivan Velez Salas –
  • @indigotamer_denimwhore
  • Naked and Famous Elephant 4 (22oz)
  • Pictures from end of Month 10
Image 7: Muhammad ‘Ariff Kamarudein –
  • @apostrophe_ariff
  • Mister Freedom Californian Lot 64 MD (16oz)
  • Pictures from end of Month 10
Image: Nemo –
  • @rawdenimwelldone
  • Rustler Regular (12oz)
  • Pictures from end of Month 10