FURTHER Discussions: A series of short conversations introducing the community surrounding the Edwin Denim Brand.
The first instalment of ‘FURTHER Discussions‘ meets with Dean Webster.
Edwin and Kingdom of Kicks share a similar approach to life, both constantly looking to push the boundaries of their perennial products. Together they tell a story of friendship and respect for the simplicity of their respective crafts, embarking on a journey that takes them from London to Biarritz to take part in the Wheels & Waves event.
Riding personally customised bikes with a couple of old tents thrown in, no map, a healthy dose of rain, old skateboards and knackered out surf boards, Nico’s famous catapult, and eyes for mischief and adventure, the marauding members of the ‘FURTHER’ crew celebrate the best of times putting their product to the test.
London to Biarritz and back again – Summer MMXII – Edwin Denim Co & Kingdom of Kicks.
Blitz Customs x Edwin Denim Co.
Spring / Summer 2013 sees Edwin Europe collaborate with Parisian Motorcycle Collective ‘Blitz’ to create a collusion of minds and aesthetics as a continuation and manifestation of a pre-existing camaraderie.
From product support, to film projects and good times spent together in the seats of their machines, the beginnings of a collection of pieces made by Edwin, specifically for Blitz was born.
Jacket Required – Save the Date
As part of the ‘Save The Date‘ series, Jacket Required recently profiled our very own creative director Rey Gautier, visiting him at his home and at the Edwin Bunker to talk denim, inspiration and motorbikes.
Thanks to Mark and Ivan for a good day out in our neck of the woods…
Edwin Denim is constructed with utility and daily use in mind. It is a hard wearing product, made using only premium denim fabrics.
Naturally, we wanted to test the Fall / Winter 2012 Collection out on the road, documenting times shared with our friends who rode over from Paris to join us in the colder winter temperatures of the Peak District in the United Kingdom. All riding vintage BMW motorcycles, with various hand built custom modifications, which our Parisian friends are famously known for. With the help of a 1974, 1502 BMW used as a back up vehicle, the Edwin collection was put to the test.
It made sense to be testing solid product, riding solid old machines from such a reputable company. It was an opportunity to live up to our reputations for making well constructed product with a shared sense of the freedom we all enjoy…
L.L.T.K Featuring Blitz Motorcycles
A short documentary from our good friends at Blitz, shot on super 16mm relating the hopes and desires of those who go for a motorcycle road trip. Well worth seven minutes of your day.
Supported by Edwin.
Edwin x BGOD
Documenting the momentous Edwin x BGOD (Burger Gang or Die) event at the Edwin Store, 47-49 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, London on Thursday 23rd August.
When conceptualising the London Store, Edwin wanted to maintain a level of simplicity throughout its design that reflected the brand as a whole. In turn, that simplicity could then allow the focus to be product led, allowing the customer to experience a classic jeanery, with the ease of a well worn pair of denims.
With a history in denim production stretching back to 1947, it was important that the ‘heritage’ of Edwin’s brand and it’s integral history not be all consuming, but rather be used as a platform to create a clean, clear environment focused on product relevant to today, with an innate respect for the rules of the craft; quality construction using premium materials.
With this in mind, Edwin wanted to create an environment that felt comfortable and integral to the neighbourhood, a place where friends could meet and strangers could discover denim. Long time friend of the brand Mark Amos built the store by hand, from start to finish, alongside Finch Munro, another friend built the denim wall and cabinets.
The use of recycled materials is prominent within the design of the store. Not only was it an eco-friendly option, but also helped highlight the symmetry between how we wear and use our denim, breaking it in, with each passing day becoming a closer part of ourselves and our style, looking better with time, becoming more reliable, sporting it’s quality and durability like a badge of honour. The flooring, denim wall, part of the walls and features where constructed using reclaimed scaffolding boards, previously having endured a lifetime on constructions sites, each of which holds its own story.
Cabinets carefully constructed from reclaimed wood, house the till points, vintage military surplus accessories and the zinc topped folding unit, are painted to encourage chipping and wear. These will not be re-touched, as from the 8th of March 2012, the Edwin London Store, will start to create its own wear patterns from daily use along with the customers who visit it.
Vintage military pieces have been carefully sourced, including a selection of vintage watches, paying homage to Edwin’s roots as an ex U.S Military wholesale store situated in the Nippori District of Tokyo, which was the start of the Edwin brand’s story. All the signs have been beautifully hand rendered by friend and talented artist Nico Sclater, who runs the Ornamental Conifer studio.
The UK showroom is situated at the back of the store, accessible via the store and by appointment only. This will give us the opportunity to showcase the Edwin store to our wholesale partners when visiting the showroom.
EDWIN JAPAN – Unique Denim Manufacture
For 35 years, Edwin Japan have worked on improving efficiency, quality, construction and washing methods by studying and engineering machinery used in the denim manufacturing process.
It is impossible to improve what one makes without spending the time everyday to master what one does, turning ones profession into a craft. The denim technicians at Edwin are true craftsmen, as their commitment and attention to the product is unquestionably what makes the Edwin product stand out from the mass of denim available within the market today. Whilst this remains ‘production’, the working philosophy remains closer to a greatly more efficient and productive Artisanal method.
They are ‘engineers’. Each person, over the course of a long period is encouraged to be responsible for maintaining and improving their machines. This means that each machine is self-customised beyond standard industrial purposes, to create unique and specialised ways of making denim. Even within the well-known denim brands factories around the world, you will not see the level of customised machinery and attention to product that one can see at the Edwin factories in Japan. It is for this reason, many ‘core heritage’ Japanese denim brands wish to have their products made within the Edwin Japan factories. This is the unique strength of the Edwin Jeans brand, the product itself.
The majority of the technicians at the Edwin factories and laundry’s have worked within the company since the beginning. This means they have an acute understanding for their machine. Each technician is responsible for three machines on average, all performing different elements of the production process. They remain on these machines for the duration of the careers. There is almost now rotation of staff, offering complete consistency in the making.
The machines are completely unique and totally custom made, exclusively to EDWIN JAPAN, which sets EDWIN out as a denim manufacturer worldwide. There is not a single machine, which has not been customised by the technicians over the time they work on them.
The technicians themselves are trained for two years with a veteran of their particular machines, prior to them leaving for retirement. This ensures absolute consistency and understanding for high quality workmanship. As the factories have been operating 35 years, there is now a seeding of new, younger apprentices learning the ropes, thus setting of the career cycle.
There are many elements unique to EDWIN Japan manufacturing, for which unfortunately we are not able to show images. This is due to the secretive nature of the processes, elements having been invented by EDWIN, and must be respected and protected. There are a wide variety of processes invented by the denim engineers and designers themselves, which set new standards within the industry offering evolution and ingenuity.
The laundries are incredible, with bespoke and exclusively made machines. Unique ways of washing, dying, drying and above all water purification and recycling. The water is purified to the point whereby once all the indigo and other impurities have been extracted, fish are able to swim in tank of the purified water.
These elements have been in place for many years, and yet never spoken about or promoted as a marketing tool. This is because Edwin esteems this to be a ‘standard’ process. It is simply the way of EDWIN manufacture and not a simple ‘marketing’ idea.
A collection inspired by individuals living their lives in Edwin. Personal life experiences etched into the grain of the fabric in wearing the denim as functional garments, reliable and strong, constructed using premium fabrics and finishes.
The Edwin man is integrated into a tribe of independent free thinkers, his desire to roll amongst the likeminded underpinned by a feeling of kinship and belonging through a common passion for road trips, adventuring into the unknown.
To ascertain the season’s highway aesthetic is to dissect the look and feel of the Edwin motorbike brotherhood ‘Sons of the Summer’ thereby illustrating the highlights of what is the most comprehensive spring summer collusion of fabric, function and form from Edwin for many years.
The collection from the belt loops up is vintage inspired, a conscious juxtaposition of influences from decades gone by and heroes and villains from the world of film and music – Edwin eats, sleeps and breathes culture throughout the design process.
Motorcycle references pepper the collection, partly due to the culture for customisation on the streets of Edwin’s home city – Tokyo and simply down to the feelings one experiences riding a motorcycle with friends. A sense of freedom, and of sharing with others the same need for flight and independence. Customisation of ones own motorcycle parallels breaking in ones own denims, unique in spirit.
The true spirit of Edwin Jeans is created by the person living in them, making everyday count with yesterdays memories etched into the rich indigo fabric, in the knowledge that tomorrow’s good times are still to be created.