Studio D'Artisan are back on a mission for 2023 with the first few arrivals of the year streaming in as we opened up the doors for the year. Drawing inspiration from what Lee originally developed as their “Westerner” series, and being that the brand is from the West, SDA maintain that playful approach that we’ve come to love them for with the release of the "Easterner" series which showcases ancient dyeing techniques. The moniker "Easterner" pays homage to the popular Lee 100-J "Westerner" Jacket from the 1960's~70's which used a White Cotton Satin fabric base. This fabric base is the perfect canvas for the "Amami Dorozome" mud-dyeing process that each pair of jeans has undergone.
The process of mud-dyeing involves two key stages. The branches taken from Hawthorne trees are first chopped before being simmered in water for two days. This creates the all-important tannin base which is required for mud-dyeing. The ecru jeans are first soaked in this bath, prior to being introduced to the mud bath. The mud itself is derived from Amami-Oshima's rice fields which are highly rich in iron, constantly replenished by the abundant mountain streams flowing through the area to the sea. When the jeans are soaked in the mud bath, a chemical reaction occurs that extracts the colors from the mud, and assists in penetrating them into the fabric. Depending on the levels of exposure to the wood chip and mud baths, the resulting colors will differ. It is thanks to the expertise of the aging craftsmen that this ancient and sustainable dyeing approach is still possible today.
Also arriving on the naturally dyed train from SDA is a salute to the very first model of jeans that put the storied Osaka 5 brand on the map. Taking the vintage denim scene by storm in the 1980's, SDA have painstakingly examined archived pieces of these jeans to replicate the uneven texture of the fabric using a rough no. 6 yarn composition. Going one step further, the yarns have been dyed 20 times using the fabled Kasezome (skein dyeing) technique by Shokunin (craftsmen) based in Tokushima. The DNA of the original "DO1 '' is thoroughly intact with this latest iteration, as the brand has maintained a classic Regular Straight fit, in tandem with the metal cinch back fastener - a detail seldom seen on jeans these days.