Denim @ The Men’s Shop

The New Look of True Religion

Once best known for bedazzling men’s back sides with eye-catching orange stitching and crystal studs, True Religion has since embraced the continuing move toward thoughtful minimalism in menswear.

The brand’s newest launch, a step-ahead take on jogger pants that they’ve dubbed the ‘Runner,’ eschews overt branding and focuses instead on methodical design: A relaxed fit up top eliminates any fear of “tight pants,” a sturdy button fly reminds you you’re not lounging in PJs, and TR’s signature twisted leg seams help fabric sit favorably above the elastic ankle cuffs.

Tech specs aside, the fact is that they look great on, as our in-house photo crew proved when they styled these suckers out. Keep reading to see three ways to wear ‘Runners’—and to catch a Q&A with Zihaad Wells, True Religion’s men’s senior design director.

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From dark and raw to bleached and faded, we can all agree that a great-fitting pair of jeans is a menswear essential that will never go out of style. With more new and unique denim brands entering our Men’s Shop lineup than ever before, we asked our buying team to name a few whose stories (and, of course, jeans) they thought you, our valued reader, would like to know. Keep reading for the low-down on eight cutting-edge denim brands—from zany Canadian start-ups to 125-year-old American icons.

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From a garage band to a bike builder, and now to a blue-collar seafood aficionado, our tour of quintessential Seattle characters continues. The next Denim Shop episode in our nine-part series captures a day in the life of fishmonger Taho Kakutani, as he shovels ice and chucks sockeye at Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market—all in a hard-working pair of AG Jeans.

Check out Taho’s bio on Pike Place Fish Market’s official site—and watch a comical but fantastic local news story about him here (Advil snatched him for a pain reliever spot before we did…at this point he’s never looked OR felt better).




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SHOP: AG JEANS | ALL MEN’S DENIM

…And watch more Denim Videos here.

 
 

[Still photos by Robin Stein.]

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Last month, we showed you how the lead singer of Seattle band Pickwick gets down (and annoys the neighbors). For our latest Denim Shop video profile, we got our hands dirty in the garage of motorcycle connoisseur Kia Karimi—and road-tested a sturdy pair of Joe’s Jeans.

A former pro fixed-gear bike rider who now builds custom choppers from scratch, Karimi nonchalantly says “I just love two wheels, I guess.” When he’s not wrenching on his latest creation, he works at Seattle’s small-batch, organic bitters company, Scrappy’s Bitters.

Hear about the symbiotic relationship between man and machine in the video above, and check out some outtakes from our shoot below.





SHOP: JOE’S JEANS | ALL MEN’S DENIM

…And watch more Denim Videos here.

 
 

[Still photos by Kyle Johnson.]

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Swedish denim brand Nudie knows its way around a killer fit (see their spring 2013 lookbook image above)—but their philosophy runs way deeper than just looking good. Last year, Nudie achieved the difficult goal of converting to 100% organic cotton.

The eco-friendly journey doesn’t end there: Nudie takes impressive steps to extend the life of your jeans by offering tutorials on how to patch your pair at home and opening a brick-and-mortar repair shop in London. They even offer wrecked jeans a chance at reincarnation with amazing projects like handwoven recycled-denim rugs.

The images below illustrate the ironic beauty of Nudie’s craftsmanship—despite the outwardly gritty appearance, the dyeing and recycling processes being depicted are sustainable and environmentally conscious. (For a video of Nudie’s recycling process, check out our previous post on selvedge denim.)



Besides being a clear leader in sustainable jeans, Nudie also has its finger on the pulse of independent music. Here’s a live performance from Nudie’s store in Gothenburg, Sweden, by a band from the same town called The Shy Lips (who, according to their own Facebook page, have been producing the “Finest Swedish indie rock since 2012”). For many more in-store shows by the likes of Little Dragon, Band of Horses, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and more—check out Nudie’s website.


 

SHOP: NUDIE JEANS | ALL MEN’S DENIM
 
 

[Video and images courtesy of Nudie Jeans; Nudie production images photographed by Ulf Lundin. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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When we interviewed AG Jeans Creative Director Sam Ku a few months ago, we noticed his favorite style icons were all of a vintage nature. From rough-around-the-edges antiheroes like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman to infamous ladies’ man Serge Gainsbourg, it was clear that Ku’s inspiration draws largely from the past—which provides a logical context for the latest lineup from AG Jeans.

Dubbed ‘AG-ed Vintage,’ the collection utilizes AG’s modern jean-crafting expertise in an ode to time-honored treasures discovered at a rare vintage shop. Each style is labeled with a number of years—the higher the number, the older the inspiration.

Here are a few favorites, from dusted-up greys that would look at home in the driver’s seat of a Mustang, to gently distressed blues for prowling Paris with Jane Birkin on your arm:


AG Jeans ‘Matchbox’ Slim Straight Leg Jeans (6 Years Destroyed)


AG Jeans ‘Dylan’ Slim Skinny Leg Jeans (3 Years Tonal)


AG Jeans ‘Matchbox’ Slim Straight Leg Jeans (7 Year Grey)


AG Jeans ‘Matchbox’ Slim Straight Leg Jeans (24 Year Fade)

 

SHOP: AG JEANS | ALL MEN’S DENIM

 
 

[Video clips © Solar Productions, Fontana Records, and Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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The deadline is drawing near for J Brand’s #TylerChallenge (in which Nordstrom employees all over America compete to break in their J Brand ‘Tyler’ Raw Selvedge Jeans as creatively as possible—and capture the process via Instagram).

Check out our first batch of #TylerChallenge pics here—and in the coming weeks, keep an eye out for the winner, who will get a chance to tour J Brand’s factory in California. In the meantime, here are our latest favorite images of J Brand’s raw jeans in action. (Check out many more on Instagram, under hashtag #TylerChallenge).


One of our Rail buyers (@Yellow_Govna, left) takes his J Brands high-low with wingtips and camo—while another Rail buyer (@DanDrewes, right) airs his out after a day of yard work.
[First image up top: @TamerlaneJunior, the legend continues.]


Kick flips and nose grinds are an effective way to loosen up stiff, raw denim (@NBozich, left). Jeans, T-shirt, Chucks—classic off-duty uniform with @Eric_Eugene (right).


We always appreciate women in menswear—and @OliveJuiceJay (left) does it with the best. Elsewhere, @SamuraiGeek accelerates the breaking-in process with a dip in a salt-water pool.


Two guys who are not afraid to put their J Brands to work: @SamuraiGeek rock-climbing, and @DanDrewes building a deck.

 
 

SHOP: J BRAND JEANS | ALL MEN’S DENIM

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Joining the ranks of past honorees like Alexander Wang, Michael Bastian and Billy Reid, Matt Baldwin of Kansas City brand Baldwin has been named one of GQ Magazine’s Best New Menswear Designers in America, 2013.

When Jay-Z wears your stuff, you know you’re doing something right. But the proof is in the pudding—here are the five Baldwin styles we have in-stock for Spring; try on a pair and see for yourself why GQ called Mr. Baldwin “the high priest of low-key gear.”

By Baldwin, from left:
‘Henley’ Dry Selvedge Jeans | ‘Ryan’ Camo Chinos | ‘Henley’ in ‘David’ wash
‘Reed’ Canvas Pants | ‘Henley’ in ‘Joshua’ wash
(Of the jeans shown above, Matt Baldwin told GQ: “Our Henley cut has a lot of fans. They taper at the calf, but the thigh’s not tight. It looks slim, but you can move.”)
 

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Hoping for a glimpse inside Baldwin’s creative process, we asked the designer to name a few current influences. His responses, exclusive to Men’s Shop Daily, are below. (Check out more on the brand’s Instagram feed, @Baldwin).

[Clockwise from top left]:

1. Mammoth Mountain, CA. “My first visit to Mammoth was this March, and I hit the powder trip of the year. My love for the sport led me into the clothing industry. Living in Kansas City, a good pow day is few and far between. This was an epic trip.”

2. DJ’ing the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. “I was asked to DJ the All-Star Game this last year, so I brought a good friend and musician, Miles Bonny, to play with me. A random and super cool highlight of last year.”

3. When Radiohead Played KC.Radiohead has been on constant rotation for me since high school. They played a show in Kansas City last year, and I was stoked to meet them in our shop. They got jeans, and I got to check them out live for the first time. Amazing show.”

4. Farnsworth House / Lego Architecture Series.Modern architecture and design has been a core foundation of the brand’s roots since the beginning. I have two boys, ages 5 and 7. Lego mania has taken over the Baldwin home. It’s super rad having relevant, cool things to do with your kids.”

5. GQ Best New Menswear Designer 2013. “This year started off with an amazing honor. I’m very blessed to be considered amongst the industry’s top talent. The future is bright.”

 

SHOP: BALDWIN | ALL MEN’S JEANS

 
 
 

[Matt Baldwin portrait by Jason Frank Rothenberg for GQ. Inspiration images courtesy of Baldwin.]

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A few months ago, we had a wild idea: Round up nine interesting guys here in our hometown of Seattle, have them pull on a cool pair of jeans, ask them a couple questions, and show you what they had to say. In the first of many more to come, the clip above features Galen Disston, lead singer of local band Pickwick, wearing DIESEL jeans.

Pickwick has been making noise (both literally and figuratively) here in Seattle for a while now—especially on our killer public radio station KEXP—but with a full-length debut released earlier this month, we have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more of this ’60s-inspired garage R&B band very soon. Their soulful rendition of Richard Swift’s ‘Lady Luck’ (featuring Sharon Van Etten), below, has been stuck in our heads all week—and is available for free download at Pickwick’s official website:

Having completed their new album, the lads of Pickwick are currently on tour. You might have missed the first leg (which included an appearance at SXSW), but there are plenty of rocking indie-rock engagements that remain to be seen. Watch the short audio/video list of tour dates below to see if Pickwick is heading for a town near you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWt-CiMTjtE

On a related note, we especially dig the band’s Instagram feed, which documents the daily recording, touring, and general goings-on of six souls who are very into music (and sometimes Star Wars)—all in poetic black and white. Here’s a sample, but follow them on Instagram (@PickwickMusic) for more:

   
   
  

Finally, here are a few recent favorites by our featured denim brand, DIESEL®—which is as renowned for its impeccable fits as it is for innovative fabrics and artisanal aging techniques:


(From left):
‘Darron’ – A classic slim-leg with subtle, natural fading.
Reminds us (in a good way) of our hipster-dads’ garage jeans in the ’80s.

‘Thanaz’ – a slim-straight fit with degradé sky-blue stripes—
a unique alternative to spring-staple white jeans.

‘Narrot’ – For true denim connoisseurs, this slouchy, cropped cut
comes complete with drop crotch and palm print. Mahalo.

 

SHOP: DIESEL JEANS | ALL MEN’S JEANS
…And hear more Pickwick at PickwickMusic.com and on iTunes.

 
 
 

[First video by Nordstrom; second and third videos courtesy of Pickwick and Dine Alone Records. Black & white photos courtesy of @PickwickMusic on Instagram.]

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