Among denim heads the Superdenim forum on Superfuture is the only online community worth the time. Kiya Babzani, proprietor of authentic denim mecca Self Edge in San Francisco, facilitated a collaboration between his shop, the Superfuture community and (my personal favorite) Japanese denim brand Dry Bones. The collaboration yields 300 pairs of the SEXDBXS09, a slim, straight-leg jean made from 16oz pure indigo-dyed, high character denim woven specifically for this project. Further involving the community, everyone who buys a pair is invited to wear them every day and document how they break in. Whoever has the best looking pair after a year will get a free pair of any jean Self Edge has in-store.
The Self Edge, Superfuture, Dry Bones collaboration jeans go on sale for $275 at 8am PST Saturday 28 February in the Self Edge online store and at noon the same day for in-store customers.
Below is an interview with Kiya and Jimmy Crow, Superfuture community member who designed the label.
Photos by Sidney Lo
Cool Hunting: Self Edge x Dry Bones is easy to grasp, but how does Superfuture come in to the mix?
Kiya Babzani: Superfuture from the beginning has had a forum by the name of Supertalk. Within Supertalk there's a subsection by the name of Superdenim, this is the largest collection of information available on the internet about denim and the history behind it. Years of online conversations are archived there, and many people's first exposure to a higher education about denim starts within the forums of Supertalk. We thought it was time to produce a jean that lived up to the Superfuture name, and have the members that spend time there help with the design process of the model.
CH: Tell us about the jeans. Fit, construction, expected wear. How many pairs were made?
KB: The jean is a straight leg model, a tad bit on the slim side with a long inseam which can then be hemmed to any length. The denim used was woven for this project, and is truly one of the most amazing types of denim we've ever seen come through here. It's got massive character and is lightly resin pressed to give it a nice sheen, but underneath that sheen is a pure indigo dyed 16oz denim with great variations in the weave pattern through the fabric. The stitch is poly/cotton, the back pocket stitch represents the rep bar that Superfuture users are so familiar with, the back pockets are lined with dark green canvas, and a leather tag designed by one of Supertalk's own stars, JimmyC. We had 300 pairs produced, which is an astronomical number for any jean produced for only one retail store, yet we think they'll move quick considering the quality and uniqueness of the project combined with the $275 price tag.
CH: Did the Superdenim members know they were helping to design a pair of jeans or was it more about scouring the forums to get a sense of what members look for in the perfect pair?
KB: They definitely did, we had multiple samples made and we'd put up photos and take the feedback and tweak the jean, all the while adding our own touches to it. The initial samples even were made out of a completely different denim which wasn't good enough for the critical tastes of the forum, but the final denim that I had the mill make samples of came out so good I'm thinking that people need to see it beyond just this one jean, it's truly an amazing denim.
CH: Who is going to judge the contest?
KB: It'll be voted on by the users of the forum after 12 months, there will be an online poll taken.
CH: What's your background? Are you an artist? Designer?
Jimmy Crow: I have been an artist and graphic designer for the last 20 years. I own my own printing company (Tattoo Productions) to subsidize my art career. :)
CH: Is this your first label design?
JC: Yes this is my first label design. At Kiya's request I submitted a design for the SExDBxSF jeans. As a moderator for the forum (and a big fan of Self-Edge) I jumped at the chance.
CH: Tell us a bit about your inspiration and process.
JC: My inspiration for the design came from both Dry Bones and Self-Edge. I knew that Dry Bones has a history of using traditional Japanese imagery on their labels and I wanted to combine that with something iconic from San Francisco to represent Self-Edge. The Golden Gate Bridge was an easy choice and Hokusai's "Great Wave" seemed to fit into that image perfectly. I rarely sketch anything on paper anymore as I usually just begin in lllustrator with initial sketches drawn there, but for this I did overlays of the bridge and the wave to see how they
would work together. I was worried that the two images would not work out proportionately but in the end I thought the exaggerated size of the wave over the bridge showed how much the Japanese influence on denim has come back to America and is poised to take over something that is so uniquely American. The three different logos in flowing banners was very easy to incorporate into the design as well.
The design was well received on super future but there were some detractors. After 20 years of doing design I am used to that. You can't always please everyone. I am happy that the folks at Dry Bones were happy with the design and I was glad they approved of the one color outline embossed on leather which has become synonymous with raw denims. Overall I am very happy with the design and I think it does Kiya (Self-Edge), Dry Bones & Super Future justice in this collaboration. Hope everyone that buys these awesome jeans feel the same way. I know I cannot wait to get my pair!