Image Courtesy of Evisu
These are great news for all the jeans lovers out there: Evisu decided to re-launch its brand with a new collection for men and women that will pay homage to its fascinating roots. Surely many of you remember the late- 90s Evisu mania when there was a long waiting list for the 12 pairs that Barneys received each month. Evisu was also the first denim brand to sell in mass for over $100 a pair. Evisu teamed up for this comeback with Scott Morrison that will be its new Creative Director and CEO. Scott Morrison, a pioneer in the premium denim movement, is known for founding Paper Denim and Earnest Sewn. The new collection was unveiled for first time today at "Project" in Las Vegas (1-3 Sept) and will be sold exclusively at Barneys in November.
The re-launch initially includes 3 collections for men and women with no 2 pairs of jeans alike:
- Evisu Genes ($150 to $198)
- Evisu ($198 to $265)
- Private Stock: ($600-$700) Replica quality, one-of-a-kind pieces, hand painted logo and numbered. For this line craftsmen use various techniques to create unique detailing (e.g. burns using cigarette lighters, hand painted buttons etc.)
Sanding Tandem // Image Courtesy of Evisu
We should point out that this time there will be cleaner construction contrasts with the look of distressed hand painted logos that were a core vision of Evisu’s creator Hidehiko Yamane. The logo of the brand has also gone through a progression resulting in a more subtle form. Evisu played a very important role in the history of denim and was the brand that started the "Replica Movement,” that led to the popularity of premium denim we know now. In 1980s, vintage denim was sought by collectors around the world. Especially in Japan, vintage denim enthusiasts, or “otakus”, obsessively searched for methods to produce an exact replica of vintage jeans down to the minute details. In 1988 Evisu’s founder Hidehiko Yamane, a trained tailor, managed to find and buy a 1950s American shuttle loom capable of weaving 40 meters per day and produced exact replicas of vintage jeans. His production of only 12 garments per week started the “Replica Movement”.
Image Courtesy of Evisu
Evisu as a brand is tied to origins of denim in many fascinating ways beyond the meticulous attention to quality and detail. We should add that in Japanese Levis is pronounced “Levisu”. Evisu was originally known as Evis jeans, after the Japanese god of prosperity, and later became “Evisu”. The hand painted Evisu logo has its roots in vintage jeans as well. In 1944 (during World War II), the US Government banned the use of non-essential materials that could be better utilized in war efforts, and as a result this was the only year that Levi’s screen printed the arcuate logo on the back pocket of its jeans. Over years these printed arcuates became distressed, chipped and faded, and this Levi’s 501 from 1944 became the most valuable and collectible jean. That influenced Hidehiko Yamane to hand-paint the logo on the back pocket of its jeans – which like the most valuable vintage jeans would get chipped and distressed over time.
The logo inspired by the American Eagle and the Levis arcuate is synonymous with the Evisu brand today.
the new Evisu logo //// 2010
Besides using the best Selvedge denim in the world, Evisu jeans go through a “dry” and “wet” process” that gives each pair its unique look and can take up to one week for a pair to be finally ready. The dry process is completed by hand: The uniqueness of each garment is created during the dry process as a craftsman hand-sands one piece at a time on an apparatus called a “Sanding Tandem” and uses hand applied scrapping tools to create vintage effects, forgoing molds or more conventional methods. Wet process is completed in washing machines. Resin, color treatments and other liquids are applied. The jeans are then put into a bath with an enzyme or stone wash giving each pair its unique look and feel.
the famous washing machines // Image Courtesy of Evisu
We must say that the whole hard work is totally worth it and that we can’t wait to have a new pair of Evisu in our wardrobes.
The one that said that the past is always better than the present should really think about it!
On March 30th 2006 Evisu organized an art exhibition in the Evisu Paris store based on the Japanese concept of “cubicle gallery”.
Art was created in tiny boxes acting as miniature art spaces.