Anything can be bought at any time in the Big Apple, but only true denim heads like John Michael Arcella, a.k.a. @TheDailyChore on Instagram, know where to find the best denim. The multi-hyphenate creative flexes his latest fascinations—a list that spans denim, vintage shoes and hats, prints and accessories—on social media and his blog, The Daily Chore.
Arcella’s interest in denim was sparked as a child and influenced by his father. While his father wore a suit nearly every day, Arcella recalls how denim was his garment of choice during his downtime. In junior high school, Arcella and his friends would travel to flea markets looking for deals on bootleg denim.
“Fast forward to high school and I really started collecting denim, I had a great collection of Girbaud jeans,” he said. “I would even buy two pairs, one to wear and one to save. I saved two pairs of fresh Girbaud jeans from 1998.”
Nowadays, Arcella adds to his collection with gems he finds at Levi’s Vintage Clothing, RRL, Nudie Jeans and a host of independent retailers across the boroughs. Here’s a look at some of his favorite denim spots.
Blue In Green
8 Green St. New York, NY
A pillar at the beginning of Greene Street in SoHo for the past decade, Blue In Green feeds into Arcella’s love of authentic denim and discoveries like subtle Japanese tailoring details. “I go to Blue In Green for inspiration, because they have styles that I do not see in other shops,” Arcella said. “Just like Japanese culture, the store is minimal and straight to the point.”
The retailer was the first in the U.S. to carry the beloved Japanese brand Kapital, and has maintained its blue gold status with labels like Atelier & Repairs, Oni Denim and Pure Blue Japan. “They carry brands that take style and denim to the next level,” Arcella said.
188 Bowery New York, NY
The Bowery may be better known for its rough past and iconic music venues like CBGB, but today the infamous thoroughfare is home to sustainable denim brand, Nudie Jeans. The corner boutique offers the Swedish brand’s complete collection of men’s and women’s denim made with 100 percent organic cotton, plus services like free repairs.
“It’s important for consumers to understand that sustainability is more than a corporate buzzword,” Arcella said. “And Nudie Jeans does a great job of getting the word across.”
Front Street General
143 Front St. Brooklyn, NY
Located in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, Front Street General is a treasure chest of new and vintage finds. “I work a couple blocks away from Front Street General and I walk in at least once a week,” Arcella said.
Intrigued by the deep range of vintage Levi’s and Wrangler jeans, and accoutrements like bandanas and pins, Arcella says there’s always a reason to pop into the cozy boutique. The store also stocks hard-to-find sundries such as “Made in U.S.A” soaps, Japanese notebooks and brass key rings that complete the denim dude lifestyle.
This article appears in the latest Rivet magazine. Check out the entire issue here.