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.