Last month was a crazy one. We traveled form Amsterdam to Tokyo, to Basel, to Lisbon for both business and pleasure. In the coming days we’ll share some of our experiences here. To start with Japan. Together with Menno and Rene – Tenue de Nîmes – we went to Japan to get some serious indigo and retail inspiration. Besides our amazing visit to Takeo Paper, we were invited to visit this indigo paradise of the legendary Bryan Whitehead.
In his gorgeous wooden house in Fujino, a few hours away from Tokyo, we experienced the true basis of our love for denim. During a 24hr master class Bryan introduced us to the secrets of his silk farm, some of oldest weaving techniques and of course told us all about the history of indigo dyeing in Japan. (Tenue de Nîmes will share his story in their Nouvelle de Nîmes during the coming months, so stay turned un that).
The second 24 hours in Japan we went south visiting the capital of the Japanese denim industry, Kojima near Okayama. When we started Tenue de Nîmes Momotaro jeans was one of the first foreign denim brands that agreed to join us on our denim journey back in 2008. Our friends at Momotaro invited us to the epicentre of their denim company: the indigo dye workshop and the weaving factory.
We entered a blue world! From the little stool, the boots, the walls, to the ground – basically the complete building – everything turned blue. All the different shades, the nuance from light almost white blue, to the deep dark blue – simply amazing!
Then the weaving factory with its impressive sounds of five machines, working nonstop on the most amazing Rampuya denim fabrics for their own brand, as well as brands like A.P.C., Naked & Famous, Dior amongst others. Keep an eye on the Tenue de Nîmes site for a little video of the weaving process.
Then, for the remaining 72 hours, we literally crossed Tokyo to see as many corners of this metropole as possible. Friends warned us about Tokyo. ‘You will be blown away’, ‘The amounts of good (vintage) denim are dazzling’, ‘Do not buy something at the first 5 stores’, ‘Decide on your purchase limits while you are still in the Netherlands’, and so on. Well, we forgot about all those great pieces of advice the minute we entered the most amazing retail city we ever visited. We have never experienced the amount of taste, dedication and perfection elsewhere in the world. From beautiful architecture, delicious food, friendly people to retail spaces like museums, green and lively neighbourhoods and huge (but still style-full) shopping malls.
Thanks to some great advice upfront by Luis Mendo and Matt Francis at Jack Flynn, and two amazing guides – Michiya Suzuki, GM of Red Wing Japan, and our good friend Anneke Beerkens – in Tokyo, we managed to see more treasures than one can have in 3 days.
It felt like 5 weeks instead of 5 days in Japan. But most of all, it felt like a place we need to visit once a year, and preferably more than that!
Read more about our trip at Tenue de Nîmes online >