For our eighth collaboration in the ongoing series with Samurai Jeans, we decided on a fabric-focused approach to this project. Putting arguably one of the most textured denims we have seen from the sword-wielding brand on a pedestal was our vision for this latest piece.
Formed during the late 1800s, the Shinsengumi (新選組, New Select Brigade) emerged as a bastion of order during a tumultuous period in Japan. Their inception was spurred by the political turbulence between Imperial loyalists and the Tokugawa Shogunate. Originating as a protective brigade for the Shogun, the Shinsengumi evolved into a formidable force, divided into factions led by key figures such as Serizawa Kamo, Kondo Isami, and Tonouchi Yoshio. Notorious for their ruthless policing of Kyoto, the band of men originally dubbed the "Mibu Ronin" garnered a fearsome reputation and eventually were known as the "Mibu Wolves" or "Ōkami" (wolves in Japanese) by locals and adversaries alike.
Back in 2021 the 18oz. extra-Slubby "Makoto" Selvedge fabric was created from scratch by Samurai, just like the grassroots formation of the Shinsengumi. The streakiness and varying levels of hues of indigo ripple throughout the heavyweight fabric, enough to leave even the most seasoned Denimhead in awe. Released as three separate special models in Samurai's in-house seasonal collections, the "Makoto" fabric has certainly left its impression within the denim community. Jumping on the opportunity to bring this textured series back for one last hurrah, we were stoked to secure a limited production run of this fabric totaling only 45 pairs.
Along with the unique fabric, the devil really is in the details for this heavyweight pair. The eye-catching shade of blue and red seen in the Selvedge ID was carefully selected by Samurai to pay homage to the instantly recognizable light-capri blue (浅葱色, Asagi-iro) haori that the Shinsengumi donned on top of their battle regalia. The red color is symbolic of the red "Makoto" battle standard that was carried into battle. As a salute to the iconic shade of blue featured and reserved for just the wearer to enjoy, we opted to use Natural Indigo Sashiko pocket bags - with just about enough available for this limited run!
The customization doesn't end there - taking elements from various collaboration projects from the past, we opted to use black-coated Yamato rivets (reserved purely for OD+SJ projects) and an assorted metal button fly.