Rin Tanaka: Inspiration

We spent the weekend in sunny Los Angeles, hitting up some key retail and visiting the famed Rose Bowl. But most importantly, we attended the niche but massively inspiring and aptly titled ‘Inspiration’ by renowned vintage author, Rin Tanaka.

This low-profile but exclusive vintage event- held on the Queen Mary boat in Long Beach – attracts dealers, collectors and enthusiasts from all around the world. All the big names of vintage were present including Larry from Hellers Cafe, the famed J’Antiques from Tokyo and Vintage Productions from L.A., plus many more up-and-coming and obscure dealers and emerging denim brands. We will be bringing you a full report on the site very soon, but in the mean time we’ve highlighted some of our show highlights and favorite booths.


Local denim company, Pasadena-based Rising Sun were present again this year and held a beautiful stand with vintage fixtures and plenty of duck canvas (images: bottom row). Newcomer brands to the show included Japanese favorites Betty Smith and The Flat Head. Among the show highlights were Artec Lab (images: middle row) and Blue Blanket (images: top row) run by denim aficionado, Antonia De Battista. We also chatted to new brand Legacy of Cool. It’s actually an upcoming denim film exploring the process of making an authentic, purist pair of jeans. The project has led the film makers to actually set up their own denim brand based in LA. using Japanese denim – an interesting project to look out for.


De Rien London wowed us with their exquisite range of beautifully patched and repaired French sateen workwear pieces and glossy antique linen jackets with fine pin-tucked necklines. Heirloom Store from L.A. exhibited a fantastic range of textiles, including indigo kimonos in repeat block prints with fabulous boro repair and sashiko stitchwork.

Hug from Harajuku, Tokyo presented a more retro, feminine stand mixing bohemien 70s styling with quirky, high-color pieces, and Vintage Production’s collection of WWII painted flight and military bags were exceptional.

Rin Tanaka also added a new event to the proceedings with 41 handpicked vintage pieces based on basic vintage from the 1930s to 50s, including Levi’s 501XX, workers’ uniforms, military sweatshirts, etc.

The event was a real “must attend” on the denim calendar and has given us much inspiration for the season to come. Here are some of the street style looks, with more entering our Image Library over the next week:




Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.