I thought jeans were jeans until I came across the behind the scenes video (below) from Momotaro Jeans in Okayama Japan. Their motto is:
“Made by hand without compromise”,
so I just had to have my jean loving self try a pair of these on.
Jeans Street, Okayama
I’d heard of Jeans Street in Kojima where there are ‘japan made’ denim retail outlets, and I knew it would take several hours on the train from Kyoto to get there. Jeans Street is not where the textile industry factories are, those are in Kurashiki nearby, hopefully my next visit. Where I went is purely a small retail store area.
Jeans Street itself is about a 15 minute walk from the train station (ok maybe 45 min if you go the wrong direction). Thank you to the lovely people in the bakery that day who not only spoke some english and pointed me in the right direction, but gave me a map of the area as well.
All of a sudden you’re just in Jeans Street, which isn’t just one street but a few little blocks intermingled with small residential homes and restaurants. Although Jeans Street initially came about to revitalise this area and to showcase local denim, today apart from me, the torrential rain and a cat, I saw no-one.
Japan Blue Jeans
Fortunately though Momotaro Jeans was open as well as their other company called Japan Blue.
Japan Blue’s shop was gorgeous, set in a japanese style house with a beautiful garden and all sorts of great jeans and pants that you’d expect. I tried a few pairs on and ended up with a navy blue pair of denim trousers. I thought it appropriate I wear these the rest of the day, which I did as I happily made my way down the street to Momotaro Jeans.
It was instantly clear where all the people were – in here in this teeny weeny store. There were people from Singapore, Germany and India and of course me from Sydney. This brand of jeans are visually known for their distinct stripe, usually in white on one of the back pockets.
The staff in here know what they are talking about, and gave great service. These jeans are stiffer than expected when you first put them on and they told me I should get them slightly tight. I think she saw my reaction as I wasn’t prepared for the stiffness. She showed me another pair but they were lighter in colour and much softer. As it turned out she was just showing me how they look when you wear them in. They were perfect. These jeans apparently mould to your shape (still wearing mine in but feel good so far) and it’s said that once you buy these jeans you will never go back.
Why buy a pair of these?
I won’t pretend I understand the process to explain why Momotaro jeans are different, but I do know that it comes down to a few things. The Zimbabwe cotton they use, their indigo colour and method of dyeing, their vintage sewing machines and looms and of course the skilled craftsmen. Yep, Made by hand without compromise says it all really.
I admired the creation of Momotaro Jeans and their wonderful craftsmen from that initial video I saw, and will never look at a pair of jeans again without wanting to know their story.
I live in jeans and any day is definitely a better one when wearing a pair. Urban Love Life is all about celebrating timeless beautiful things, so it’s perfect that Momotaro say their jeans are “to be loved forever”.
“Jeans are tools for creating lifestyles.
Those who succeed in life take care of themselves and select only the best quality tools.
Quality tools serve as encouragement toward
self-betterment and attract good luck and success.”
– Momotaro Jeans