Thursday, November 27, 2008

Harajuku streets: WW2 Levi's

Yesterday I was riding the subway to Harajuku and I noticed this fine gentleman who was exquisitely dressed. He was wearing a heavy sweatshirt that looked like it could be vintage, even though it was in great condition, together with some mid-blue jeans that were vintage Levi's or Levi's replica.
The jeans had not so distinct fading but very nice texture and a few stains and repairs here and there.

He got off at Harajuku too and while standing behind him in the escalator I got a chance to have a closer look at his jeans. I noticed the crooked stitching on the backpockets and the curved shape of them and that there was no trace of an arcuate at all. They were real World War II Levi's!

It's a rare sight to see these worn, even though it does happen from time to time in Harajuku, so inquisitive me stopped him and asked to take his picture.

Mid picture: notice the crooked stitching on the coinpocket. Also, look at the long vertical yellow stitch that connects the back piece with the front piece at hip level. Ryo from Ooe Yofukuten & Co. taught me that you can use this seam to date Levi's--on pre-50s Levi's it will reach below half the height of the backpocket, but on later Levi's it is shorter and ends at about 1/3 of the backpocket.

His name is Inoue Satoshi, he's 24 and a carpenter. No, don't be afraid, he doesn't wear these jeans to work!
He had been interested in vintage clothing for about ten years, since he was a little kid. Nowdays he wears vintage almost exclusively.
In his bag he had another pair of Levi's, 1947-1951s, in a similar state as the jeans he was wearing, and a vintage leather jacket and some other vintage garments.
The sweatshirt he was wearing was 1950s vintage.

His favourite vintage stores were BerBerJin(likewise), Santa Monica and Lost Hills, which I actually hadn't been to before since it's on a small street off Harajuku street. It's a nice store that deals with 50s-80s, mostly American but also some European, vintage clothing, with fair prices.

And yeah, in case you wonder about the prices of vintage Levi's in Tokyo, these jeans cost 300,000 yen or about $3,000.

Thanks, Inoue!


vince.chan said...

Nice! I like how he has the old zippers on his keychain too.

blueblood said...

great...question: du u see a lot people, wearing selvage-denim?

erik said...

Those are absolutely stellar.

lilldavid said...

Ja jävlar, jag säger då det...

"vad gjorde du idag? nä inget särskilt, hängde lite i Tokyo och fotade andra världskrigs levis"

Jag MÅSTE fan i mig komma och hälsa på dig i mars...

Mike said...

totally amazing. what a dude among men!

spacelounge said...

Sorry for the late reply.

I don't really see a lot of people wearing selvedge jeans.
No matter what you might believe or have heard about the Japanese, they're not much different from anyone else. They're not superhumans in anyway.
There are however lots of them, so there's bound to be some cool ones.

In school and in areas like Shinjuku and suburbs, basically anywhere 'normal' people make out the majority, you will very rarely see selvedge or other types of nods to vintage garments.
In Nakameguro, Daikanyama, Shibuya and of course Harajuku they're plentiful though.
But I guess the same go for SoHo in NYC and London too.

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