Sunday 18 December 2016

DC4 Exclusive: interview with ONI founder mr. Oishi

To celebrate the arrival of another shipment of ONI jeans, we had the chance to dig a little deeper into this usually secretive brand. Founder mr. Oishi was kind enough to share his vision on the Japanese denim market and talk about the production of his well-loved jeans.

DC4: What's your take on the Japanese denim market?

ONI: Basically all the Japanese selvedge jeans makers respect the basic American vintage Levi's 501. It's faithful in a good way, but on the other hand it's the only thing they do. They are obsessed with vintage Levi's and selvedge denim. They value details like the count of yarns and the stitching. In the end, they focus on a very narrow category.

This is why they try to change the color of the selvedge, change the depth of the indigo or use thicker or thinner yarn counts to create a difference, but in the end it's the same denim. Actually... the only difference between the brands is the thickness of the denim.

I'm not interested at all in how Levi's or Lee denim used to be. These are not the things that you can reproduce. It would be better to think about what is suitable right now and develop new denim rather than trying to reproduce the things that are impossible.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Introducing ŌNO Garments

We'd like to introduce a new brand at DC4: ŌNO Garments. This Japanese company produces some of the best 'loop wheeled' shirts in the world, and we're very proud to carry it at our store in Berlin.

The people behind the family-run ŌNO Garments have over 60 years of experience in developing yarns and advising major spinning and dyeing companies in Japan. All this knowledge comes down to the shirts we currently have in stock. You'll notice we only have shirts from the 'Black Line' at the moment: these are dyed in a unique way, so they will maintain their color for a long time.

All the garments are cut by hand and sewn on a selection of vintage machines in Tokyo. ŌNO adjusted the fits for overseas markets, so don't worry about the length. The process to spin the yarns is something special: this is done on vintage 'loop wheeled' machines in the Wakayama prefecture. Loop wheeled shirts ('tsuriami-ki' in Japanese) are knit by circular knitting machines that create 'tubes' of fabric, so it doesn't have any side-seams. This is a slow process, and only done by a few companies around the world. To give you an idea why: every loop wheel machine has 1.000 needles that have to be set manually (!) by specialized craftsmen. The result is worth every needle though: a very comfortable fabric with lots of character that will last a long time.

Please stop by our shop at the Strelitzer Strasse in Berlin to see and feel the quality of the shirts for yourself, or take a look in the online shop. We have both crew- and v-neck shirts, with either a short or a long sleeve. The ŌNO family crest is embroidered on the bottom of the shirt to honor the family.

Sunday 16 October 2016

ONI x Tanuki: a secret collaboration

With the introduction of Oni jeans at DC4 Berlin, we have something special in store... a collaboration between two of the most secretive Japanese denim brands out there: Tanuki and Oni.

Whilst we know at least the name of the founder of Oni (see our previous post about Oni), the people behind Tanuki only want their customers to know that they have many decades of experience in the denim market. Who they are and where they are from is irrelevant. Tanuki focusses on a more minimalist approach of jeans, and doesn't add too much vintage detailing. It wants the quality of the denim and construction do the talking.

That leaves us to discuss the jeans itself. At DC4, we offer the 'Ultra Slim' model, a modern slim fit with a tapered leg. It's made of a hefty 20oz cloth, so it's perfect for the colder months. You’ll notice the irregularities of Oni’s denim, with a nice rough feel. The dye used is a natural indigo from India, that is not used anywhere else in the Japanese denim market. Now we hear you think: natural indigo doesn't create contrasting fades, and that's boring! This pair however is different. The denim is rope dyed, so the fades you want to achieve are still possible and will be very special. Natural indigo is usually very labour-intensive, resulting in very expensive jeans. You'll notice that the Tanuki x Oni jeans are actually more affordable. We can't wait for the first worn-in pair to show up at the shop.

The denim on this pair is Oni's famour 'Secret Denim', but dyed with Tanuki's natural indigo. Fans of Oni will also notice this pair features a white weft instead of the regular beige. Details on the jeans are a combination of Tanuki's and Oni's. Some specifications:

  • 20oz denim rope dyed with natural indigo 
  • Made in Japan 
  • 100% cotton from the USA 
  • Gingham fabric pocket bags 
  • Selvedge coin pocket detail 
  • Tanuki logo is embroidered on the right back pocket 
  • Leather patch (vegetable tanned) with the Oni and Tanuki logo

On top of that, every pair will be shipped with an exclusive Tanuki backpack. Please check out the online shop for measurements and ordering, or drop by our store to try them on.

Thursday 29 September 2016

A secretive brand: ONI Denim

Many Japanese denim brands, like Samurai Jeans or The Flat Head, are fairly easy to find information about. One can read about the founders and inspiration of the brands, and a lot is also available in English. ONI Denim is a whole different story though.

The brand is covered in secrecy. While it's known that the owner goes by the name of Oishi-san, little more is out there. All we can tell is it's a one-man operation. Don't expect any interviews with the man – he prefers to let the jeans do the talking. To us, this makes the high-quality jeans even more appealing. The jeans are characterized by a loose, slubby weave, a feature many denim heads vouch for. The fabric of ONI is produced by just one (!) expert. Because the denim is made of long staple yarns, the cotton is very durable and comfortable. Even heavier denim of say, 17 oz, is easy on the legs.

ONI (which translates to 'demon' by the way) does not have a standard collection. Batches of jeans are produced every now and then, and Oishi-san just produces what he feels like. This is why we offer pre-orders: you can make sure to get a hold of your favorite pair when production starts. Please note that the jeans we get in will not be restocked.

Needless to say, we're very proud to be able to offer ONI Denim at DC4 Berlin. We strive to offer to best denim that's out there in Japan, and ONI is, without a doubt, among the very best.