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Has Raw Denim Run its Course?

Poll Results: Has raw denim receded as a force in streetwear, #menswear, and the like?

  • 20% (12)
  • 79% (47)
59 Total Votes  
post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Heaven forbid a discussion thread pop up in recent SF-times that doesn't divulge into a "WERE 2 KOP??/?" fest.

Seriously though - has time been called on raws? In comparison to when I first stumbled on the boards, let alone when I finally joined, seems like there has been a serious drop off in activity (especially amongst older users) regarding raw denim. The LVC threads, PBJ, Momotaro and the like don't seem to be nearly as populated as in former years. These treasure trove threads with fit pics, denim experience, sizing information etc. just seem to have dried up in comparison to former use.

The B/S too is now almost exclusively RRL or LVC, heavily washed and likely outlet-bought, or the occasional missizing on N&F or APC with people trying to shove their balls in something obviously too small. Really amazing B/S denim is hard to come by - the Samurais, Eternals, Skulls, Somets all seem to have just dried up. No one seems to be experimenting with these brands anymore - branching outside of what's slowly popping up at Barney's, Nordstroms and the like.

Has raw denim been overplayed since 2007? With the death of workwear, is the market drying up, or has it reached a saturation point where now the general public is keyed in and therefore only the lowest price stuff survives? I know that I personally find myself reaching more and more frequently for various chinos or other pants as opposed to my denim rotation, despite loving each pair I have available.

Thoughts? If in agreement, at what point did raw jawnz jump the shark?
post #2 of 21
N&F and APC emphasize slimmer and tapered models, whereas PBJ and Samurai seem to have more straight leg or relaxed models. I bet if Samurai/PBJ/Oni/etc. offered more models like the SkinnyGuy or WeirdGuy, they might see an increase in popularity. Out of the fancy Japanese brands, Momotaro offers the Tight Straight and Skinny Straight, which may explain why it is more popular than other brands of similar ilk.
post #3 of 21
Momotaro's tapered cut is a step in the right direction. Wearing business casual 5 days a week really limits my chances to truly break in raws these days though. The construction / details / materials are still top notch.
post #4 of 21
post #5 of 21

Maybe on styleforum? This site follows different trends than the norm.


Raw Denim has always been more about the hobby than the aesthetic. (And that's not to say that the aesthetic isn't a nice bonus!)

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
I can see some of the argument on the "skinnier" models as of late.^^ Points there. But heavy taper has been working on the market since '08-'09 at least, no?
post #7 of 21
I don't think raw denim has run it's course. The focus in SWD is now the outfit as a whole, rather than denim being the star and everything else playing second fiddle. That doesn't mean that raw denim is over though. If anything it's reaching mass saturation with the general public about now.
post #8 of 21
I'm pretty sure raw denim is at its peak. With stores like Gap and J.Crew marketing them as a staple wardrobe item, its hard to say that they're on their way out. For me personally, I think I'll be wearing raw denim for a heck of a long time. I can't imagine myself buying thin, floppy, pre-washed stuff after having experience 15oz Japanese denim. I am, however, branching out into American denim. I'm thinking about buying some Tellasons. Their cut seems quite interesting and I'm intrigued to see how Cone denim performs.
post #9 of 21
It is actually resurgent after several seasons of colored and washed denim being dominant in the market. In the long run, it will probably retain a good niche market. However, things like super heavy denim have really always been for hobbyists, and will most likely remain that way. Fashion is not "cyclical", but different trends do wax and wane. The one thing that we do see more of, and this is nearly entirely a result of modern technology, is an unprecedented degree of nearly instantaneous and intense amplification of trends that can start at and emanate from a relatively small source, say, a single member on Styleforum, or a popular blog, or a set of popular blogs. Influence propagation is a very interesting and applicable branch of mathematical research.
post #10 of 21

I think it was really for enthusiasts/hobbyists. People jumped on and off the wagon when they realized wearing rigid denim w/o washing everyday to create a fade wasn't for them.

post #11 of 21
I'm getting back into the raw denim. I think that chinos and other types of pants have become much more popular lately. However, whilst i believe I will always wear raw denim, i have actually thought about getting a washed pair, where 3-4 years ago I would not even contemplate the idea.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Raw denim is dead.
post #13 of 21
Raw denim isn't dead. If anything, the emergence of denim brands like RT, 3sixteen, N&F, etc., has created more awareness of quality. Look at what has happened with Levi's. They're still sold everywhere but the company is a former shell of what it once was. The last pair of Levi's I bought (513's) were cheap, and by cheap I mean they looked and felt cheap and were made from the tears of 10 year old Indian children. Unfortunately, companies like Levi's have been profit driven for years and are only concerned money, not quality. Raw denim may be a niche market but I believe the main appeal is hand-made, high quality and fair labor.
post #14 of 21
Breaking in denim has been happening since denim was created and it's still going strong. I would consider this a very strong run. Just because it's not mainstream doesn't mean it's dead.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mauro View Post

Breaking in denim has been happening since denim was created and it's still going strong. I would consider this a very strong run. Just because it's not mainstream doesn't mean it's dead.

I've been looking at the rate of comments on things like the LVC thread, Momotaro, PBJ, etc. threads here on the forum. Almost no movement on any of them in 6 months or so. This compared to when I joined in the rawjawnz heydey of 2009/2010 when everyone and their mother was sitting in bathtubs, soaking denim, and then having to flip too-small pairs on the b/s.
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