“Typically, the most popular denims in the world are going to be a three-by-one right-hand twill weave, 10 to 12 ounces, red cast (vs. green cast), and — right now — vertical slubs rather than cross hatches,” Scott Morrison said, standing in front of a wall of 70 selvedge denims in his SoHo store, 3×1 Denim. He was not speaking in tongues; he was simply speaking the new language of denim.
Morrison grew up in Rancho Mirage, CA as a golfer, went to University of Washington to play golf on a scholarship, drew up a business plan in college to launch a golf company, then finally moved to New York in 1997 and started in on denim. He came to the party at the right time. “I remember going and buying a pair of Replay Jeans and looking at the inside and going, ‘Holy shit, what is Made in Japan? Japanese Denim? Japanese Wash?’ They were $125, which at the time was $25 more expensive than any other product they were making.” This was an advantageous enlightenment; from the late ’90s — Morrison places it around 1999 — onward, premium denim has been booming. What started with Earl Jean, Frankie B and Paper Denim & Cloth then moved into 7 For All Mankind, JBrand, True Religion. Then the wave really caught on, and leading up to the present premium denim companies have begun ad infinitum.
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