May 01, 2018 | By Samuel Trotman
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Nov 03, 2009
With Scott Morrison (known for founding Paper Denim and Earnest Sewn) as creative director, Evisu is now re-launching its brand with a new collection for men and women (from $150 to $700 a pair). The collection pays homage to the fascinating roots of the brand’s quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity. The new concept focuses on authentic washes, new fits and a smaller Evisu seagull pocket logo – with some styles featuring no seagull logo at all. The relaunch will attempt to re-brand the denim as the “it” jean, like in the late 90s, when there was a long waiting list for them at Barneys.
The new line proposes three collections, with no two pairs the same: Evisu Genes ($150 to $198), Evisu ($198 to $265), and Private Stock ($600-$700). Each collection features replica quality, one-of-a-kind pieces, that are numbered and have hand-painted logos. For this line, craftsmen use various techniques to create unique detailing (e.g. burns using cigarette lighters, hand-painted buttons etc.) Evisu’s new collection will be available exclusively at Barneys this month, and will also be available at Fred Segal starting in January.
Evisu’s heritage goes back to the 80s. In 1980 “otakus”, or vintage denim enthusiasts, obsessively searched for methods to produce an exact replica of vintage jeans. 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 small production of only 12 garments per week, started the “Replica Movement”.
Evisu’s brand name and logo are tied to the origins of denim. In Japanese Levis is pronounced “Levisu”. Evisu was originally known as Evis jeans, after the Japanese god of prosperity, and later became “Evisu”. In 1944 (during World War II), Levi’s screen printed the arched logo on the back pocket of its jeans after the US Government banned the use of non-essential materials that could be better utilized in war efforts. Over the years these printed arches became distressed, chipped and faded, and this 1944 Levi’s 501 became the most valuable and collectible jean and later, an inspiration for the hand-painted Evisu logo that has its roots in vintage jeans as well.
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