The New York City-based boutique, which opened its doors in 2006 and started an e-commerce shop roughly a decade ago, is known for its robust assortment of selvedge denim that’s 100 percent woven and made in Japan.
Blue In Green is not trying to be a trend oriented denim outpost, rather it wants to deliver on consumers’ expectations for high quality denim products. Shoppers can find a variety of Japanese selvedge jeans at the store, including Pherrow’s Lot 441SW Tapered Leg Jeans and Pure Blue Japan Natural Indigo 17 ounce jeans, which all range in price from $175 to $673 per pair.
“We are passionate about every product we carry, carefully curating a mix of obscure and better-known products from across the world. We believe in bringing a unique mix of the finest quality products that are made with integrity and a fine attention to detail,” Alfie Boyle, Blue In Green general manager, said. “Our goal is to assemble an offering of products that we believe will, through simple, considered design, enhance our customer’s lives.”
Blue In Green carries a myriad of Japanese labels that cater to consumers’ individual style needs. The shop’s assortment includes garments from Momataro, which crafts its jeans by hand in Okayama, Japan and Osaka-based Warehouse Co., which was founded by twin brothers Kenichi and Kenji Shiotani. While the store has been selling the same cuts for years at a consistent rate, it also carries other brands, including Oni, which makes a new jean style each season.
“Many of the denim brands we carry we have worked with for 10 years or more. We are more focused on working with brands to offer unique products, and often collaborate on exclusives collaborations,” Boyle added. “Our customers have come to know and trust that the denim we carry is of the very highest quality, and for that reason, we tend to stick to what we know and trust.”
The shop’s diverse assortment of selvedge denim is not the only reason why consumers keep coming back. Blue In Green is also recognized for its extensive services, including in store hemming alterations, a knowledgeable staff and coffee for consumers while they shop.
“The high-end Japanese selvedge denim we carry attracts a customer who is very detail orientated, and we are the same way. From the beginning, we have offered hemming alterations in store on an increasingly rare Union Special chainstitcher, a machine that has been making American jeans for more than 50 years,” Boyle said. “Our staff are very skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to all things denim, and we regularly receive high praise from customers who have been impressed with the service they have experienced.”
Rivet caught up with Boyle to discuss Blue In Green’s roots, why consumers are stocking up their closets with Japanese selvedge jeans and what it takes to helm one of SoHo’s most coveted denim outposts.
Rivet: Describe Blue in Green’s point of differentiation.
Alfie Boyle: At Blue In Green we don’t have a specific look we are trying to achieve, but more a criteria of integrity and quality in the products we carry. We are primarily known as a denim store, but we carry everything from modern Japanese technical outdoor wear, to Japanese ceramics, to vinyl records. The denim we carry is all selvedge, 80 percent is raw or once washed, and as of right now are denim inventory is 100 percent woven and made in Japan.
Rivet: Which jeans are performing the best at retail right now?
AB: Eighty percent of all the jeans we sell are dark indigo raw or once washed. Our customers understand that the best faded jeans take years of wear and lots of washes to get a personal and unique look. However, as summer approaches we do get more requests for light jeans, and denim we carry from Kapital has been very popular in a light blue wash. Think Bruce Springsteen and you are in the right ballpark.
Rivet: What is your best-selling fit?
AB: We have definitely noticed a lot of interest in the relaxed tapered cuts in recent seasons. Momataro and Oni have made some great jeans in this shape. It gives the slim silhouette and narrow ankle opening that a lot of guys are still looking for, but with the extra comfort of a relaxed top block.
Rivet: Describe Blue In Green’s online business.
AB: We have been selling online for almost 10 years. As the first U.S. store to import many Japanese selvedge denim brands we have always had a strong and loyal online following. We are lucky to have many loyal customers who are based all across the world. However, we still find our SoHo store is the center of our community, and many of our customers still come by the store to try on before they buy.
Rivet: What are some trends you are anticipating to be popular this spring and summer?
AB: Light colors and more even, low contrast washes are proving popular for Spring/Summer 2018. We have also found interest in unfinished hem detailing to be popular in lighter washes for spring and summer.
Rivet: Which styles are starting to slow down or fall out of fashion?
AB: We’ve never been a fashion denim store, instead selling classic five pocket jeans, so we don’t tend to see styles come and go. People always want good quality denim that is versatile enough to be worn with other trends. That’s what Blue In Green trades in.