A Day in Okayama
Posted: Jan 26 2013
We had a day trip yesterday from our hometown of Kobe to Kojima, Okayama - a two hour car ride (or 30 min on the bullet train!). It was an early start, but we managed to make a quick stop at this beautiful park in Okayama - perfect setting for snowflakes in January.
Just behind the park at a rest stop, we saw this patriotic truck to say the least. These vans still go around Japan, even in the urban areas like Osaka and Tokyo, blaring songs and sometimes hurling phrases from a megaphone supporting the old Imperialist Japan, and the way Japan was pre-WWII.
Getting into Kojima is always a good feeling - this place should really be renamed Denim Heaven.
Our first stop, seen in the picture below, was at an OEM manufacturer that has quite an impressive resume of brands they have worked with, including : Neighborhood, Soph.net, realMadhectic, and many more! Below you can see trimmings of their latest production project for a Tokyo based brand.
Couple Denim rolls wait for pick up.
We then made our way to the office of longtime fabric and more recent garment manufacturer, Japan Blue, the creator of Momotaro Jeans. The impressive list of companies that falls under the Japan Blue name is exceptional. It all began with their fabric manufacturing arm know as Collect. Collect fabric is world renown and their fabric is sought after for its often unique features and high quality Selvedge construction. Then they began Rampuya, which focuses on Natural Indigo dyeing in Okayama. Rampuya jeans are considered uber premium and can fetch over US$2,000 for a pair produced on a manually-run vintage wooden shuttle loom. Next the company started the Momotaro Jeans company about five years ago and have been more than successful within Japan, and outside with over 20 countries carrying the brand to date. Finally, several years ago, the company began the Japan Blue line to give consumers a good variety of great quality jeans at reasonable price points.
As soon as you step into the front doors, there is a large entrance area where they have placed a refurbished original vintage shuttle loom.
We made our way to the conference room on the second floor for a series of meetings with the people from both Japan Blue and Momotaro Jeans. We can't really show much of what happened in the meetings (you will see in the coming months) but what was amazing is they served us delicious coffee on these original Momotaro denim coasters!
Finally, after our meetings, we had to make it over to the studio for a few hours of shooting for new products that are coming to our webstore soon. First you can see a few of the Japan Blue pieces that we will have available here in the coming weeks.
Selvedge for days. Always Made in Japan.
Brand new pocket bags on some of the newer models by Japan Blue - "Material is a Key Factor in Jeans". Amen.