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As of now I usually attempt to keep my price scale regarding denim on the low, sticking mainly to LRG(prices hover in the low to mid $70's per pair).. my question would be, is the look/quality/fit(emphasis on the look) of notable brands like Rogan, Paper&Denim, etc. really that much better to warrant the higher retail prices?

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Yes and no, it's all relative to a person's perspective, opinion, and knowledge of it.

But for starters, it's an unfair comparison to put a pair of LRG denim that is made in China from bulk chinese denim next to Rogan and Paper that are made in the USA of domestic or imported (usually either Italian or Japanese) denim. LRG's positioning would be at the top end of the Urban market which consists of other mediocre denim from China, Vietnam, or some other third world country. Ecko, Zoo York, Roca Wear, etc would be a closer comparison since they share similar price points and are also made from similar materials, processes.

However, whether a jean justifies a $180+ price tag because it's argueably more considered or made from a japanese selvege in small batches domestically, or whatever... is a matter of personal opinion for the most part.

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Not too sure whether a pair of jeans warrent a $180 price tag but, I think a couple of factors come into play when you buy denim:

1. money

2. how often u buy

3. style

i recently bought some denim for $170.. i was like 170 damn! but, i looked ALL over nyc for some and nothin came close to the style and fit of the DDC denim i bought. ALso the Denim is 'limited', comes from italy, and is fused with lycra.. finally I basically live in these things, and they almost never come off. so it wasn't that big of a deal to throw down for them.

while i remember paying less then 100 for denim i think those days are over for me. not cause i want them to be but because i can't find anything for less than that.

Edited by savage on Aug 31, 2004 at 07:56 PM

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Haven't looked to closely at Chip & Pepper. (The name kind of annoys in the same way Von Dutch always did). Regardless, I'd probably stay away from the buttery soft denim unless you're particularly careful with them or don't wear them often. I've seen Rogan's basically fall apart after a year of regular use. Not so much the seams and stitching as the denim fabric itself. Evisu to me seems to be a waste, especially after mainstream Hip Hop noticed it. For japanese selvedge, check out 45rpm (they have a store in soho next to Marc Jacobs). I've never seen a pair of jeans ooze compassion for the craft the way rpm's do.

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is there anywhere you can buy 45rpm online, other than their official website?

Edited by mkyy on Sep 7, 2004 at 10:13 AM

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Was in the SoHo 45rpm store recently. Cool space. Lovely staff. Their denim is without a doubt the nicest I've seen, but at $380 for ready to wear / $750-$1,000 made to measure you'd want to be pretty fucking serious about your jeans. All their denim seems to be thread dyed and woven on antique looms, but apparently only natural indigo dye is used on the denim for the made to measure range. On the two-year wash this produced the most perfect pair of jeans I think I've ever seen.

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thanks for your reply, but i was asking where i can get one online.

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dont think they sell online anywhere else. it's a pretty niche brand, and as said by others - very pricey. i don't even think after market sellers will touch it.

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I have Rogans, Paper Denims, and even 7. Despite the higher cost for the Rogans, I would have to say that my Paper D'z (got 3 pair) are still my favorite for men in terms of wash, style, comfort, and fit (for men).

I can't say enough about my Paper D'z -- goes with T's, with button-ups, blazers, sneaks, boots, flipflops, you name it. My only problem with it is that it is getting close to oversaturation.

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I don't know anyone who has a pair of Rogan's and is 100% satisfied with them. I picked up a pair last year and I doubt I'll be buying them again. The detailing is (mostly) fairly original and well thought out (major exception being the pointless twisted seam that should've died with Levi's 'engineered' jeans) and they do look good on...but I don't find them particularly comfortable and for ~$240 the quality of the denim should be better.

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In terms of construction, raw materials and dyestuffs there's no difference between a pair of GAP selvage jeans and any of the $150-250 jeans out there.

Extra price is what you pay for the 'value' of the label, style and sophistication of the washing.

Edited by ringring on Sep 14, 2004 at 06:05 AM

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i disagree. not all denim is alike, even if you choose to focus on japanese selvage specifically.

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i disagree.

though that price range limits your options a bit on the japanese selvage, not all denim is created equally and gap's japanese denim isn't actually manufactured in japan, only the fabric on some of their showcase pieces does. They simply don't have the same technique and considerations as much of the denim that i've seen that's actually made in japan, and to some extent even the United States.

once you drop the price range, your talking a world of difference since gap simply isn't producing a high-end handmade japanese denim washed with organic dyes like many of the other top-tier denim houses.

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I respectfully disagree.

High-end GAP denim is excellent quality and at an excellent price. They achieve this by having huge quantities compared to small designer companies. And perhaps having lower margins on their high-end stuff to keep it in line with the rest of the collections.

Lower end GAP denim is OK too. Much better than denim used by many fashion companies.

Just because a denim is not made in Japan (or Italy) does not make it inferior. Many companies such as Kurabu have now set up denim mills in china. The quality is the same as making it in Japan or Italy. They use the same raw cotton (usually top grade American quality), same dyestuffs (often supplied direct by European chemical companies like Henkel) and the same weaving machinery. Usually sourced from Japan, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Many chinese mills will now only weave Ring-Ring, multiple cold, rope dyed denims. Top quality. The only difference is the price of land and manpower.

So you have the same raw materials, same machinery, same know-how in China as Japan. So where exactly is the difference?

As far as I can see, it's just styling and washing and 'brand value'.

The next difference is in washing. China, due to the amount of production and information flooding in, is rapidly catching up with 'prestige' european laundries like Martelli. The difference is already minimal, with only real denim afficionados seeing any difference.

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I respectfully disagree.

High-end GAP denim is excellent quality and at an excellent price. They achieve this by having huge quantities compared to small designer companies. And perhaps having lower margins on their high-end stuff to keep it in line with the rest of the collections. - Some of the time, GAP will use the exact same denim as "Premium Denim Brands" that charge 3-4 times the price. (For example Kurabo supply GAP as well as Premium denim brands)

Lower end GAP denim is OK too. Much better than denim used by many fashion companies.

Just because a denim is not made in Japan (or Italy) does not make it inferior. Many companies such as Kurabo have now set up denim mills in china. The quality is the same as making it in Japan or Italy. They use the same raw cotton (usually top grade American quality), same dyestuffs (often supplied direct by European chemical companies like Henkel) and the same weaving machinery. Usually sourced from Japan, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Many chinese mills will now only weave Ring-Ring, multiple cold, rope dyed denims. Top quality. The only difference is the price of land and manpower.

So you have the same raw materials, same machinery, same know-how in China as Japan. So where exactly is the difference?

As far as I can see, it's just styling and washing and 'brand value'.

The next difference is in washing. China, due to the amount of production and information flooding in, is rapidly catching up with 'prestige' european laundries like Martelli. The difference is already minimal, with only real denim afficionados seeing any difference.

Turkish denim and washing is also now very high-end and priced very well against Japanese, Italian and US homegrown denims and laundries.

Edited by ringring on Dec 18, 2004 at 08:28 AM

Edited by ringring on Jun 12, 2006 at 11:56 PM

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since you referenced japanese selvege specifically, and called out "construction, raw materials and dyestuffs", i'll continue to address my point within that context...

Gap's denim isn't too bad, particularly for a mass market brand, but it simply cannot hold a stick to denim being produced in limited supply for brands specializing in japanese selvedge. True premium denim in many instances is made from zimbabwe cotton, which is usually considered the best in the world. This cotton is refined into a thread that often has been hand dyed using organic vegetable pigments (true indigo). This is a relatively long and painstaking process usually done by hand, particularly when done following traditional methods such as using clay vats kept out doors. The number of times the cotton is dipped and what pigments used define the base color of the denim, and most the time involves multiple trips into the vat, often with substantial drying times between dips. This cotton is eventually used to create the selvedge denim, by being woven on machines often dating back to the 1940's or earlier to achieve the traditional selvege denim. Depending on how much coarsness (character) they're trying to achive in the fabric, they'll slow the machine down further, but due to the limits of the equipment and the desire for a relatively specific uniqueness achieved from a hands on process, the look (character) is sometimes specific even to the individual batch being made. These machines generally aren't (and usually can't) be run fast enough to make enough fabric for more than a niche brand. Further, the machines are getting increasingly rare since their re-built/overhauled vintage machines. By automating the process, you're cutting out alot of what defines the denim and what arguably gives it it's unique character. Further, changing the process severely affects the way the denim wears over time, particulalrly using synthetic dyes over natural ones. Part of what's so great about buying denim from a brand like 45rpm is how the color of the denim gets more texture and character over time, as pigments from the various ingredients bleed, run, and fade emphasizing imperfections from the crude methods used to weave the fabric, or the fact that no two are alike. Perhaps 45rpm isn't a fair example considering their price points are far higher than the gap, but it also applys to a brand like PRPS which is rumored to be made by the same manufacturer, or at least following the same traditional techniques and is within the price range you quoted. Granted some people look at the imperfections as mistakes, but others see them as a unique character in the denim, and will go through great legnths to pay large sums of money to get it. As nice as you might consider selvedge being made by the Gap, it just doesn't compare since it's a mass market brand requiring automated manufacturing to produce, most of which isn't in Japan or following the traditional methods of a Japanese selvedge.

American denim, and Italian denim have their own qualities and character. Whether they're better or not is a matter of taste so long as we're still talking about premium denim. Personally I really love American denim as well, but saying it's the same would be like saying a good Italian wine is no different than a good French wine. Regardless, for someone that truly appreciates the inherent imperfections of the traditional process of Japanese selvedge denim and understands the process required to achieve it, it sounds naive to lump Gap denim with the rest of Japanese selvege just because they found a way to bump thier quality a few notches over their house denim and follow just enough of the manufacturing process to be able to claim it's actually Japanese selvedge.

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Hi Misteraven

Thanks for the extensive post. I appreciate the time you have taken to type all that out.

I think we are taking 2 different perspectives on denim. I appreciate and understand your views on a brand like 45rpm, which is almost like a handmade product and priced accordingly. You are basically quoting the top strata and at that point are perfectly correct.

My point of view was that GAP produces a very good selvage jean for the money - at a quality above most brands that are pitched above GAP and very competitive to quality denims from Italian mills like Legler and Japanese mills like Kurabu. The reason is that the manufacturing process is close if not identical.

To put it in another context. 45rpm is like a handmade car like a Morgan or Aston. GAP selvage (especially the recent crop) is like a Audi but priced like a Ford. ie. it punches above it's weight.

I think GAP selvage (and it's better non-selvage denims) compares very well to high dollar brands like Evisu, True Religion, Blue Cult, Yanuk, Seven, Replay, Diesel, Rogan, Paper, Von Dutch etc and also 'designer' denims from RL, DK, Calvin, Paul Smith etc. It also kicks in to touch jeans from 'trendy high street' brands like FCUK, Ted Baker, Firetrap etc. All placed at higher price points.

I have seen quite a few 'designer jeans' in the $250 region whose denim has been 'not all that'. (I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new here).

Anyway, does my rambling make sense?

Thanks again for the discussion.

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Hi Misteraven

Thanks for the extensive post. I appreciate the time you have taken to type all that out.

I think we are taking 2 different perspectives on denim. I appreciate and understand your views on a brand like 45rpm, which is almost like a handmade product and priced accordingly. You are basically quoting the top strata and at that point are perfectly correct. However, I still feel the difference in quality when taking into account the prices, is relatively small.

My point of view was that GAP produces a very good selvage jean for the money - at a quality above most brands that are pitched above GAP and very competitive to quality denims from Italian mills like Legler and Japanese mills like Kurabo ( incidentally, GAP are one of Kurabo's major clients - so there's a big chance you're getting exactly the same quality selvage as other "premium" brands).

The reason is that the manufacturing process is close if not identical. It's the economies of scale that brings the GAP prices down rather than huge sacrifices in quality. In fact GAP has the power to demand a far greater quality for the price from it's denim suppliers than that can be achieved by smaller brands.

I struggle to think of many points why GAP selvage is, for example, any better than far higher priced selvage jeans from APC, 5EP and Nudie (who's selvage jeans are all quite plain) - apart from the 'cool' factor of these far more expensive brands. Similar shape (501-ish), similar stitching, similar washes (especially in raw or rinsed form) - just a different label. Labels aside, I reckon if you took a raw selvage denim from APC and GAP and wore them the same way for the same time, the resulting pair of jeans would be similar.

To put my point in another context. 45rpm is like a handmade car like a Morgan or Aston. GAP selvage (especially the recent crop) is like a Audi but priced like a Ford. ie. it punches above it's weight.

I think GAP selvage (and it's better non-selvage denims) compares very well to high dollar, "Premium" brands.

I have seen quite a few 'designer jeans' in the $250 region whose denim has been 'not all that'. (I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new here).

Anyway, does my rambling make sense?

Thanks for the chat.

Edited by ringring on Dec 24, 2004 at 08:18 AM

Edited by ringring on Jun 12, 2006 at 11:57 PM

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the mass market companies like gap, are able to get lower cost because they have a million stores to fill. as far as wash and quality denim, they have the capability to produce stuff like the smaller denim houses, but often cut corners to achieve a more basic look, which is desirable to their mainstream customer, who does not care about the subtle variations in weave texture and wash combination.

i know, i used to work in the design offices in ny.

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Where's APC denim from, and where is it manufactured?

And the Gap is lame. China is sketch. And America is going downhill.

"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666" (Rev. 13:16-18).

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hey ringring, do you have any pics of gap selvedge denim? i don't think i've seen any before... this from the 1969 line?

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As for someone being totally happy with Rogan... I am! Basically addicted, to his jeans only though... Rogan & APC takin' out all suckers!

-Dub

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I sold a pair of the gap selvage denim jeans a couple of months ago. they are pretty nice for what they are, but they come soft and I like them stiff.

I'm not illiterate, I just can't type!

1112216788617_lee1.JPG

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Quote:

Where's APC denim from, and where is it manufactured?

And the Gap is lame. China is sketch. And America is going downhill.

--- Original message by RedFoxxworth on Mar 18, 2005 06:20 PM

i think APC is french denim... short for something in french hahahaha

http://www.apc.fr/us/en/a_propos.php

that's the website, i emailed them a couple days ago and they actually replied to the message. so im liking them so far.. hahaha

?

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My A.P.C. Jeans were made in Tunisia. The GAP ones are actually made in Italy.

I'm not illiterate, I just can't type!

1112216788617_lee1.JPG

Edited by Serge d Nimes on Mar 19, 2005 at 09:16 AM

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The last pair of APC Anglais I picked up were made in Macau, as were the GAP dry selvages from last season.

Peso : - sorry I don't have a pick of the GAP selvages, I gave away my last pair last year. They were originally one-wash from the 1966 range. Very nice jeans.

miguel : If you are looking for bargain selvage jeans, I reckon the current best-value-for-money dry selvage jeans are made by Uniqlo. They are very well made, kinda like a late 60s 501 and cost around US$57 full retail price ! Amazing.

Otherwise GAP, Edwin, APC and Lee do selvage jeans well under US$200.

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