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- The Flat Head banner at Project.
- Jeans in the Self Edge booth.
- Self Edge jewelry made in New Mexico of sterling silver, rawhide and copper.
- Leather bracelets and belts.
- Why are the jeans so expensive? Here's why...at the Flat Head booth.
- Flat Head wovens and tees.
- The Flat Head team.
- The Self Edge team. At left, co-owner Andrew Chen. At right, founder Kiya Babzani.
Denim shop Self Edge has built their brand based on quality, offering a collection of some of the most finely-made jeans and basics in the world. Owner Kiya Babzani is a Japanese denim evangelist, and travels to the country often to scout new labels and discover new techniques.
Right now Babzani is very excited about Flat Head, a brand from Japan that has been around for 20 years and is sold exclusively at Self Edge in the states. Self Edge decided to share a booth at the Project tradeshow with the Flat Head team to help them gain a foothold in the American market; Racked popped over to get his take on why he's so enamored with Japan's production.
"Nobody has the eye and attention to detail that the Japanese brands do," says Babzani. "When most designers are concerned with fit or seasonality, these guys are concerned with the tiniest details." Flat Head denim comes unsanforized, meaning it hasn't been washed or pre-shrunk before it hits the selling floor. Interested buyers must take home a size above their usual, then soak the jeans in a bathtub filled with warm water for 15 to 30 minutes and hang dry before wearing.
Self Edge is also a big proponent of Strike Gold, another Japanese denim brand whose offerings are designed with pre-computer-age craftmanship in mind. The jeans are sewn with 100% cotton thread instead of the polyester typically used, which means that the stitching fades and wears along with the fabric. Strike Gold goes as far as to make their rivets out of copper and iron, part of which eventually rusts off the jeans, all in the name of authenticity.
The cost of this insane attention to detail? About $300 to $400 per pair, which doesn't faze devotees who eagerly exchange fit and wash info on forums like Rawr Denim and Hypebeast. Shop Flat Head, Strike Gold and more hard-to-find brands at Self Edge's stores located on La Brea in LA, the Mission District in San Fran and the Lower East Side in New York.
· Self Edge [Official Site]
· Fix Your Jeans at Self Edge on La Brea [Racked]
· Tyler Wells' Guide to LA Includes Denim, Fish, and Coffee [Racked]