For our latest venture into the Black Selvedge game, we team up with Japan's oldest denim maker to bring our latest concept to fruition. Big John was the first Japanese garment manufacturer to produce a 100% Made in Japan product for the local market back in 1973. The Okayama-based brand continues to innovate and deliver premium quality Japanese Selvedge denim with expertly crafted fabrics and modern silhouettes.
The name "Makuro" (真っ黒）means "pitch black" in Japanese. Besides the obvious reference to the color of the fabric, we wanted to portray the beauty that can be found in simplicity, and letting the quality speak for itself.
Working closely with Big John throughout this project we were able to conjure up a pair of jeans that epitomize versatility, with extra touches that pack a punch. In order to build the Makuro Jeans from the ground up, we were stoked to be able to work with Nihon Menpu, a boutique Selvedge denim mill based in Ibara, Okayama. The fabric we opted for is a veteran amongst the company’s arsenal, with the denim continually being milled for over 10 years. What is interesting about this fabric is that as opposed to most black denim that sport a black warp and weft, the weft of these jeans is dyed gray. The combination of this sulphur dyed warp and gray weft result in a jet black fabric face - worthy of the “Makuro” moniker.
For the artwork featured on the leather patch, pocket bags and flasher, we once again turned to our good friend Nathan Spoor. After much deliberation and sampling, Nathan conjured up the wonderful "Kagome" inspired artwork that is featured as the backdrop for the custom OD+Big John logo. The Kagome pattern is a traditional Japanese design characterized by an interlocking lattice of hexagons or triangles, often associated with bamboo baskets. It has a rich history in Japanese art and design, appearing in textiles, ceramics, and architecture. The pattern represents unity and interconnectedness, while also symbolizing good luck and protection against evil spirits.
The New Tapered cut is a complete revamp from any previous Big John cut to date. We took the previously available Slim Tapered cut from Big John and reworked it for a more flattering final aesthetic. The Rises & Thighs are now roomier than previous iterations of Big John's Slim Tapered silhouette, with the taper beginning just above the knee and continuing down to the leg opening. Given that this fabric is sanforized, the shrinkage is absolutely minimal and the jeans can be worn right out of the bag.