I remember a little back & forth with Paul Trynka back in 2010 in which I was quite adamant about the superiority of Japanese denim in comparison to American (i.e. Cone) denim.
My experience with Cone’s fabrics up until then was limited to some of LVC’s models…vintage-style fabrics which, to me, were a little boring.
Just a disclaimer here: I know some folks in the hobby don’t take criticisms re: Levi’s/Cone’s, etc lightly, just keep in mind that I grew up in Edwins (not Levi’s, Lee or Wrangler) and I’m not American… it’s not to say I’m not interested in Americana or 20th century American culture, just that I don’t care much where a particular garment is manufactured unless it is Australia!
This skepticism is probably why I was part of the Roy x Cone contest… the K87211 denim was an experimental loomstate fabric from Cone’s White Oak plant, and I wanted to see first hand how it – perhaps one of Cone’s most special denims of recent times – would compare against the various Japanese denims I was already familiar with.
My opinion regarding American denim has changed since this contest…but before that, I’d like to show you my progress at the contest’s end.
The photo below is from January 2011, when I first received the contest jeans from Roy:
Now one year later, around 8 months of effective wear:
The denim has certainly changed dramatically from it’s loomstate form.
I’ve washed these jeans around once every month, and in the following photos the effects of frequent water exposure on the denim is quite evident:
The whiskering is sharper than usual, from my habit of sitting cross-legged.
From the waist band you can discern that I’m a belt wearer!
All that ridging and rippling – I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂
The outline of my coin pouch is clearly marked out on the left pocket.
The wallet fade is not so clear on the right pocket, perhaps since I changed wallets half way through the contest.
Due to my habit of wearing jeans on the looser side & the frequent washings, the honey-combing is not very defined.
Initially I though about starching the back of the knees after every wash to achieve sharper honeycombs, but after some consideration I decided to let the denim to run it’s own course instead.
(to be cont.)