Whether you’re new to this obsession or have been in it a long time, it’s hard to forget putting on some raw denim for the first time. For many, it’s at that point and during the next couple of days that you realize how hard it actually will be to get them to look all worn in and faded like the google image results.
Some who’ve jumped in as part of a trend may never achieve the wear they were after while others stick it out and achieve those coveted lines and creases over time. It is a labor of love and a test of patience, not for those who seek instant gratification.
The Indigo Invitational has screeched to an indigo-dyed halt after a successful second-speed run and to say contestants pushed the envelope is an understatement.
Although all 326 denim athletes who crossed the selvedge line are winners — no literally, they all walked away with a pair of jeans significantly more worn-in than when they started a year ago — in the spirit of competition, it’s only fair that the top 10 finishers be recognized. So for a massive fade buffet, head over to the Fade Invitational website where you can see a breakdown of the top 10 fades of the year as chosen by fellow competitors and 8 expert judges.
But before you go, let me just prepare you for what you’re going to see. You know those little Fade Friday things that we do? Well, word on the street is the Invitational judges had their work cut out for them because a good chunk of the contestants churned out Heddels-approved fades.
Take Amin in Malaysia, for example. Their runner-up pair of Cheese Denim jeans (image 4) feature deeply contrasted katana whiskers spread like barbed wire across the front and porous sponge-like honeycombs and ankle stacks.
Puriwat’s Ruttloffs (right of image 7) feature all the makings of an all-star pair with uniquely curvy creases which have been elevated by the motion-packed weave. This pair look like they have an indigo stream flowing down the legs.
And what would a recap be without addressing the 32 oz. elephant in the room (image 4)? Charles in the US faded the living indigo out of a pair of Naked and Famous Heavyweights over the past year, and in addition to magically grainy extra hard-earned fades, just know he soldiered on with the equivalent of 2+ pairs of raw denim pants for a whole year – which is a feat in itself.
Congratulations to all the competitors and look out for next year’s competition, expected to be the biggest yet.