The Albuquerque concept came about unexpectedly while I was hanging out in Elephant Factory Coffee in Kyoto. Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night album was playing in the background; the song “Albuquerque” was the inspiration. I wanted to create a pair of jeans from this setting. Something outside of the scene, totally personal. A touch of that road-traveling American spirit. Rugged and shibui. Something that would start a conversation or a debate. You can see the gallery of these being made here, and my write-up on Rawr Denim here.
Hiro and Ryo of Ooe Yofukuten were eager and excited by this idea. Their admiration for vintage-made is evident in their machines and era-accurate details on their products. They love a challenge and I think what they produced is perfection.
You can order these here.
I tried to tie in the Elephant Factory Coffee into my jeans somehow. The solution was recycling a few vintage Elephant Brand bandanas. The pockets will be even better once they get holes and are repaired with the remaining scraps.
I wanted to incorporate as much vintage into these as I could. The top donut button is from the 1930’s and vintage inspired steel mini-donuts for the fly. Originally I wanted to use a set of the 1930’s buttons however it just didn’t work out. The stitching is all 100% cotton thread, and staying true to the theme I asked for exposed rivets on the back pockets. Everything was sewn on old Union Special, and Singer machines.
I really adore denim that has some unusual aspect about it. I chose this Okayama-milled 14oz (red-eared selvedge) nep (also here) broken-twill denim. It is pretty rare, and takes a lot of skill on a loom to get this effect just right. I was really keen to use a nep denim as the rarity and texture appeal to me. A “lucky” center belt-loop from hickory-stripe denim was added to ward off ill fortune.
As a final touch I drew up a custom patch. I do a lot of paisley and folk art designs and the evidence is clear in the results. Just like the jeans I wanted this naturally imperfect paisley drawing.