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Raleigh Denim Goes for Broke With Its Latest Contest

Raleigh Denim Workshop is asking for inspiration.

The Raleigh, N.C.–based company has launched its latest Break-In Contest to find an actual pair of worn-in raw denim jeans which will serve as the blueprint for the company’s next wash.

“I’ve always been inspired to make washes that look and feel like we’ve taken time forward for the wearer by using real broken-in raw denim jeans as our wash standards. I love telling the stories of people who wear our jeans and this is a really fun way to celebrate the break-in process and the people who start with raw denim to achieve the most beautiful ‘wash,’” said Victor Lytvinenko who co-founded the Made in the USA brand with his wife Sarah Yarborough in 2007.

In the past he has based washes on his own broken-in jeans.

To enter, applicants must email ( or post on Instagram a front and back view photo of their jeans with the hashtag #RaleighDenimBreakInArtist. They are then encouraged to share how many years they have worn them, when they first laundered them, the number of smartphones they have owned since purchasing them and any interesting stories they associate with the garment.

Story from Raleigh Denim Workshop’s Hall of Fame

The winning jean will later be re-created by Raleigh, put into production and named after the owner who will receive a new pair of jeans. Should the person allow Raleigh to keep the jean for its Hall of Fame archive of broken-in denim, a second new pair of jeans will be awarded as well.

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“We’re not merely looking for the most beat-up jean—instead, we’re looking for the intangibles of a particular wear. In practical terms this likely means your favorite pair of Raleighs,” Lytvinenko said. “The criteria for a winner is really about a jean with wear that shows the love and time it takes to achieve a fade with meaning. We will know when we see it!” he added.

Raleigh will be accepting entries until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Lytvinenko said the brand has received hundreds of pictures for the contest in years past and nearly 1,000 the last time it held it in Spring 2019.