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Denim News: Levi’s Sues Evisu Over Tribute Jean

Tisk-tisk…I think we all saw this coming.

In a somewhat unsurprising move, Levi Strauss & Co. has cried foul over Evisu??™s plans to replicate some of the American denim brand??™s most famous pairs of jeans.

The San Francisco-based company filed a trademark infringement suit against its younger competitor on March 26. The action came a little more than two weeks after Evisu chief executive officer Scott Morrison revealed details of the upcoming ???Private Stock??? line to WWD on March 11. At the time, the Japanese brand said the limited edition run, set to ship for fall, would pay homage to Levi??™s 1944 501 jeans, its 1890 ???Nevada??? pair and its 1917 ???Campbell??? jeans. (WWD)

Evisu may have built their brand to have a cult following over the years, and rightfully so, but the bottom line is, don’t mess with the original denim  innovators.

–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Apr 01 2010 in Uncategorized

Denim News: Levi’s Denim Doppelgänger

Would you pay $758 for a pair of replicated vintage Levi’s jeans reincarnated by another brand?  The Japanese label Evisu sure thinks so.  A limited edition range under the Evisu Private Stock label, pays homage to three original vintage styles by Levi’s.  The three styles to be sold mirror the images of Levi’s 1944 501 jeans (500 pairs at $358 each), the 1890 “Nevada” jeans (250 pairs at $558 each), and the 1917 “Campbell” jeans (100 pairs at $758).

Each pair of jeans is packaged in an elaborate wooden box and will be available at select specialty stores in August, including Barneys New York, American Rag, Fred Segal, Atrium and

???The Private Stock collection is a showcase for Evisu to retell the story of some of denim history??™s most iconic jeans,??? said Scott Morrison, chief executive officer of Evisu. ???We??™re not remaking a Levi??™s jean, nor are we claiming that this is a Levi??™s jean. We??™re merely taking inspiration from our past and paying homage to one of the oldest, or historically relevant, jeans in existence, which in this case happens to have been an amazing pair of Levi??™s. Denim has a wonderful story to tell and as denim designers you can??™t help but find ideas for the future by looking in the past.??? (WWD)

Well, let’s see what the outcome is after Levi’s investigates the details of these “inspired” jeans.  It will either be a nod of flattery or the denim demons will have to put an end to this.

–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Mar 11 2010 in Uncategorized

End of Season Denim Sale at Oki-Ni – 40% Off!

Check out oki-ni’s denim sale and use discount code ‘SEASONEND’ at the checkout (enter under ‘additional services’) to get 40% off everything in this category!


Go Shopping!

–Nikki Cho Russo


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Posted Nov 13 2009 in Uncategorized

Re-Launch of Evisu


The first time I held a pair of Evisu jeans was back in 1997 or was it 1998?  I was shopping at Barney’s with a friend in town from Hong Kong and he really wanted to buy a pair.  To give you an idea of who the consumer at the time was would best be described as a die-hard fashionista or taste-maker who had a passion for well crafted furniture, clothing and accessories, and of course, the finances to pay the insane $200+  price tag for a pair of Evisu jeans. He was all that and beyond.  

At the time, decadence was all around me and these jeans, made of the best quality selvage denim, represented the new era that premium denim was about to ignite.  Evisu was about to explode here in the US, already a huge hit in Japan and Europe, and with that big red logo, reminiscent of a squiggled McDonald sign, you stood out like a bottle of Crystal in a sea of Korbels.

Following is a press release emailed to Denim Therapy from Evisu’s media rep:

Evisu is now re-launching its brand with a new collection for men and women (from $150 to $700 a pair). The collection pays homage to the fascinating and forgotten roots of the brand.

The re-launch of Evisu will focus on the quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity that made them the IT jeans in late-90s, when there was a long waiting list for the 12 pairs that Barneys received each month. Evisu was also the first denim brand to sell in mass for over $100 a pair.

The New Collections

– Evisu??™s new collection will be available exclusively at Barneys in November 09 – And starting in January at Fred Segal.

– The re-launch initially includes 3 collections for men and women with no 2 pairs of jeans alike:

o Evisu Genes ($150 to $198)

o Evisu ($198 to $265)

o Private Stock: ($600-$700) Replica quality, one-of-a-kind pieces, hand painted logo and numbered. For this line craftsmen use various techniques to create unique detailing (e.g. burns using cigarette lighters, hand painted buttons etc.)

– Cleaner construction contrasts with the look of distressed hand painted logos that were a core vision of Evisu??™s creator Hidehiko Yamane.

– The logo of the brand has also gone through a progression resulting in a more subtle form.

???Replica Movement hand-painted logos and start of premium denim

– In 1980s, vintage denim was sought by collectors around the world. Especially in Japan, vintage denim enthusiasts, or ???otakus???, obsessively searched for methods to produce an exact replica of vintage jeans down to the minute details.

– In 1988, Evisu??™s founder Hidehiko Yamane, a trained tailor, managed to find and buy a 1950s American shuttle loom capable of weaving 40 meters per day and produced exact replicas of vintage jeans. His production of only 12 garments per week, started the ???Replica Movement???.

Evisu as a brand is tied to origins of denim in many fascinating ways beyond the meticulous attention to quality and detail.

– In Japanese Levis is pronounced ???Levisu???. Evisu was originally known as Evis jeans, after the Japanese god of prosperity, and later became ???Evisu???. 

– The hand painted Evisu logo has its roots in vintage jeans as well. In 1944 (during World War II), the US Government banned the use of non-essential materials that could be better utilized in war efforts, and as a result this was the only year that Levi??™s screen printed the arcuate logo on the back pocket of its jeans. Over years these printed arcuates became distressed, chipped and faded, and this Levi??™s 501 from 1944 became the most valuable and collectible jean.

– That influenced Hidehiko Yamane to hand-paint the logo on the back pocket of its jeans ??“ which like the most valuable vintage jeans would get chipped and distressed over time. The logo inspired by the American Eagle and the Levis arcuate is synonymous with the Evisu brand today.

Best Quality Denim & Unique Process

Besides using the best Selvedge denim in the world, Evisu jeans go through a ???dry??? and ???wet??? process??? that gives each pair its unique look and can take upto one week for a pair to be finally ready.

· The dry process is completed by hand: The uniqueness of each garment is created during the dry process as a craftsman hand-sands one piece at a time on an apparatus called a ???Sanding Tandem??? and uses hand applied scrapping tools to create vintage effects, forgoing molds or more conventional methods.

· Wet process is completed in washing machines. Resin, color treatments and other liquids are applied. The jeans are then put into a bath with an enzyme or stone wash giving each pair its unique look and feel.

Each Pair Tells a Unique Story

Evisu is bringing back the tradition of jeans that tell a story as living testimonial to the wearer??™s many life experiences with inspiration coming from different places:

· Tateoti book (???the bible of Evisu brand and its histroy) with archive images of Evisu jeans from raw to the worn state tracking the evolving nature of each unique pair.

· Inspiration for one piece came from an old pair of Evisu jeans that Scott Morrison found in a flea market. Previously owned by a painter, they had paint stains, key and knife imprints and marks from heavy labor.

So, look out for the new collection at Barney’s, November 9th and at Fred Segal in January and let us know what you think.  From the sneak peek of the new collection, looks like they are toning it down with the logo and getting back to focusing on what a majority of denim lovers are looking for; a back to basics vintage vibe made of quality selvage denim, free of all the loud bling.  We’re over the club kid overdone pockets, at least I sure as hell am!




–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Sep 03 2009 in Uncategorized

WWD News: Capsule New York Show Hits Record Size, More-Focused Project Reflects Subdued Mood


Capsule New York Show Hits Record Size


Posted THURSDAY JULY 23, 2009

From WWD ISSUE 07/23/2009



Naked & Famous (Photo by Robert Mitra)

Naked & Famous (Photo by Robert Mitra)

The Capsule New York show swelled to a record 75 vendors, seemingly shoehorned into every last nook of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a former Lower East Side synagogue. Among them were numerous fledgling labels and first-timers to New York market week. And these progressive fashion labels were focused not on rapid expansion but on attracting a dedicated following. 

Perhaps only die-hard denim aficionados see the allure of 24-oz. denim, for example. But such connoisseurs were abuzz about Naked & Famous, the Montreal denim label, which claimed the heaviest pair of jeans in history. 

The Fred Perry by Raf Simons line keeps gaining followers and the bright color, avant-garde cutting and sheer overlays brought his fashion-forward vision to classic polo shirts. 

General trends at Capsule were very much in line with those on the European runways. Relaxed tailoring, light texture, washed fabrics, tight organic patterns and transparency were dominant themes. Workwear and outdoorsy Americana remain influential, as seen in the collections of Garbstore, Yuketen and Post Overalls, to name a few. A bestseller for Post Overalls, a Japanese label marketing to the U.S. for the first time, was a denim utility smock. 


Click here to read the full article




More-Focused Project Reflects Subdued Mood


Posted THURSDAY JULY 23, 2009

From WWD ISSUE 07/23/2009


JW Brine (Photo by Robert Mitra)



















Civil Smith

Civil Smith (Photo by Robert Mitra)


With retailers hunkered down and girding themselves for an uncertain economy, Manhattan??™s Lexington Avenue Armory, home of the 69th National Guard regiment, served as an apropos new venue for the Project show. The space was markedly smaller in scope than the show??™s previous incarnation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and hosted about 150 brands, according to show organizers.

???We were a lot more focused this year, and I think the smaller space was appropriate for this new economic environment we are in,??? said Sam Ben-Avraham, founder and president of Project, which is a division of Advanstar Fashion Group. 

Ben-Avraham viewed the general mood of vendors and retailers as positive but tempered by the financial troubles of CIT, which finances a large swath of the independent brands and boutiques serviced by the exhibition.

???Business isn??™t back to normal, but I think people have gotten past the bad energy of last season and are focused on what needs to get done,??? noted Ben-Avraham. ???I think things were actually looking pretty positive a few weeks ago, but the recent news about CIT has people worried. If CIT goes down, a lot of people are going to have trouble with financing.???

J Brand

J Brand (Photo by Robert Brine)


In that vein, a no-frills mood permeated the drill hall that housed the show, with decor-free booths and the elimination of The Area, a white-carpeted special section previously dedicated to directional brands. ???They told us not to bring any props, they want all the booths to be uniform and focused on product,??? said Scott Morrison, chief executive officer of Evisu.

Morrison was displaying his revamped Evisu lineup of vintage denim with downplayed branding markers. Evisu is relaunching at Barneys New York this holiday, and Morrison expects eventually to be in about 125 specialty store doors in the U.S. as he works to energize the brand here.

A cleaner denim aesthetic was on view at J Brand, where unadorned, minimally treated styles provided a counterpoint to the vintage washes that prevailed at competing brands. ???We are about clean, classic and timeless,??? said Illanit Semberov, men??™s sales director at the Los Angeles-based label. As with many companies, lower prices were an emphasis at J Brand, where jeans were priced to retail from $169 to $198. 

Click here to read the full article


–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Jul 23 2009 in Uncategorized

Evisu Sale + News














Evisu, the high-end Japanese denim label, is having an incredible on-line sale on selected jeans and apparel for the whole family.   Go shopping!









…and read all about current news on Evisu below posted by WWD.




Evisu Taps Morrison as CEO


From WWD ISSUE 05/26/2009    


Two months after exiting Earnest Sewn, Scott Morrison is back in the denim game as the newly appointed global chief executive officer of Evisu. In his new role, Morrison will oversee the denim and sportswear maker in all markets except Japan, where the brand was founded and is organized under a separate company. ???This is a completely unique and different challenge for me, in that I??™m taking on an established brand rather than launching something new,??? said Morrison, who was a co-founder of Paper Denim & Cloth in 1999 and Earnest Sewn in 2004.

At Evisu, Morrison faces the task of energizing a company that was one of the earliest innovators in the premium denim field when it launched in 1991, but which has muddled its brand message over the years and failed to grow a business of any significant size in the U.S. ???I think the opportunity is to dial back to our iconic heritage, when it was really about the denim,??? said Morrison. ???The product has become too heavily branded and it??™s sort of taken on a life of its own as a streetwear-identified label. I??™d like to see it become a little more contemporary, worldly, and perhaps, European.??? Evisu posted sales of about $30 million at wholesale outside of Japan, with less than $4 million of that in the U.S. There are 19 freestanding stores outside of Japan, with none in the U.S. Evisu signed a lease to open a SoHo flagship in 2006, but those plans never materialized.


Read the full story…


–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted May 26 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Deals: Evisu On Sale Now at HauteLook

Evisu Seagull Legging Jean, on sale for $73 at HauteLook.

Evisu Seagull Legging Jean, on sale for $73 at HauteLook.


Oh, this Evisu sale is not only for the ladies, but HauteLook has jeans for boys and girls, including cute little denim skirts, tank tops, hoodies, shorts (boys) and letterman’s jackets.  Also check out the women’s corduroy pants in candy colors.  Mommy and kiddies can walk down the streets looking oh-so-stylish and matchy.  Isn’t that every mom’s fantasy?

Evisu Kizzu Daruma Daicock Jeans, $84.

Evisu Kizzu Daruma Daicock Jeans, $84.

Evisu Kizzu Kimono Frilled Denim Skirt, $50.

Evisu Kizzu Kimono Frilled Denim Skirt, $50.

Evisu Kizzu Kimono Dress, $61.

Evisu Kizzu Kimono Dress, $61.












Kathy Ng Hassan


Posted Mar 11 2009 in Uncategorized
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