The ’80s and ’90s denim revival is not only bringing back elements of the era’s fashion, but it’s also breathing new life into the brands that dominated the period’s global fashion scene. C17 Jeans, which was the second-largest distributor of jeans in Europe behind Levi’s in the ’80s, is the latest to make a comeback after a 25-year hiatus and it’s doing so with premium Japanese denim.
Coveted by denim heads, the fabrics are featured in a unisex collection that centers on a traditional Japanese worker jacket. The jacket trades a traditional collar for a mandarin collar and a slim fit for a slightly looser style. Jeans are based on an archival C17 style from the ’90s with a modified modern fit and a medium rise.
Styles feature Japanese denim fabrics from Kahara and Kuroki mills, the latter of which is known for its special rope-dying technique that produces an effect similar to acid wash, a key feature of ’80s denim. By twisting the denim thread during the rope-dyeing process, the mill is able to achieve an uneven surface so that when indigo is applied, it creates a light and dark shading after its first rinse. From then on, every wash produces a more exaggerated effect.
At 16.5 ounces, the Kahara denim is a heavier, hand dip-dyed fabric that is put through a wash process for a softer handfeel.
C17 reports that the collection was a year in the making, with all details considered. Buttons are made of solid brass, which is intended to fade over time, and jeans feature a limited-edition woven patch that can be unstitched and placed on the back pocket instead.
The collection is now available on the C17 site and at Stuarts London for approximately $290-$476.