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List of True Premium Denim versus Premium Priced Denim

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by sygyzy, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. sygyzy

    sygyzy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I have issues with that list as well.

    I would definitely stick Acne, Dsquared, Evisu (especially now), neighbourhood, John Galliano, True Religion, Replay, and Tsubi (although I do like their crazy stitching details) on the "not worth it at Stateside prices" list. Acne is pretty affordable (actually, usually cheaper than Nudies) in Scandanavia, but $200+ here, Dsquared, John Galliano, and Evisu are just an attempt to cash in on the premium denim craze, as far as I'm concerned, True Religion started strong, at a reasonable pricepoint (~$170) and then started to suck, and Replay just never got to the level of game that Diesel did (although I wouldn't call them a complete rip off brand the way some ot the others are.) The construction on some Tsubis is criminally bad.


    Are Tsubi's the same company that makes the shoes? Or am I confused. Thank you for contributing so much to this list. It is a great reference.
     
  2. Geowu

    Geowu Well-Known Member

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    The way I understand it, what he meant is the durability and quality of the material (putting aside aesthetics and fit, which are totally subjective anyway). If that's the case, then I assume one can rate Japanese jeans being at the top of the scale. The reason is simple, they use better materials and better production methods. That's the objectivity you can talk about. Considering the material, and we all know a lot about it, you can rate jeans one relatively to the other as being better or worst in this aspect.

    When you know this, you can judge the aesthetics, the fit, the price, all the subjective things of your preference, to reach a conclusion about the value of the jeans.
     
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    Are Tsubi's the same company that makes the shoes? Or am I confused. Thank you for contributing so much to this list. It is a great reference.
    No, the shoe company you are thinking of is Tsubo, and the jeans company is Tsubi. It is sort of confusing.
     
  4. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Well-Known Member

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  5. nairb49

    nairb49 Well-Known Member

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    I think this discussion just needs a clarification of terminology. My understanding, and my opinion as well, is that the word "premium" should be reserved for the material of the denim and so only brands that use high quality material would be under that bracket.

    Not necessarily limited to selvage repros, since many brands produce denim using very high quality non-selvage denim.

    The confusion is when us denimheads mix up "premium" for "high-end", and I think that sqwerwegzy is asking for opinions as to which of the "high-end" labels can be classified as "premium". At least, it seems to me that that would be the easiest way to differentiate and also to answer his question.
     
  6. Flame

    Flame Well-Known Member

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    I would co-sign with LAG on his list, but I would like to add PRPS too. They may have a signature baggy fit and sometimes insane distressing, but the cool details and quality denim is nice.

    Although concerning price/value ratio, PRPS falls short.

    To any washed denim detractors, try not to be so myopic. I'm mostly a raw denim wearer, but there is also a place for washed jeans. Not everyone likes blue balls or waiting months for whiskers to form.

    Is Acne really not worth buying in ConUS right now? I thought they were always decent-priced.
     
  7. denimdestroyedmylife

    denimdestroyedmylife Well-Known Member

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    I see what you are saying, but some washes can get really abstract----you begin to wonder how much of your dollar goes to the certified dentist drilling holes into your jeans.
     
  8. cultpop 0217

    cultpop 0217 Well-Known Member

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    Dude, all I was doing was responding to your points.



    You brought this up, which is why I mentioned that these costs are higher for highly marketed, managed brands than for smaller, niche brands. And as for this validating your point, it really doesn't. A lot of these smaller brands know that they are marketing to a niche market, a market that is willing to pay higher prices, so the prices are even more jacked up. And this is peripheral, but the $50/piece I quoted is for something like the highest end R for 45RPM jeans. Most of the repro jeans we talk about here cost probably less than $35, or even $30, a piece, to manufacture.



    Quality actually has not been defined for this discussion, which is why we are discussing it now. You are saying that "quality" can be measured by denim quality and construction techniques. I am saying that these are not the only factors at play. For example, you did not mention the work of wash houses. If you want to make a good one rinse jean or raw jean, the cost (note, not the price) of the wash is negligible. If you want a good, processed jean (say that of Gilded Age, for example), you (the manufacturer) are going to have to pay a considerable amount. I would say that this factors into any measure of "quality" as well. Because your (and actually, my) preference might be for raw or one rinse jeans doesn't preclud this from being a significant factor. Repros are also reasonably easy to design. You take a vintage pair, and tada, you're most of the way there. Seven and Paige Premium jeans became and remain popular for a reason. They are flattering to the majority of women. It takes a fair bit of work to get these fits right. I would say that a good fit is pretty important when it comes to deciding "quality".

    You are right in that price != quality, but neither does denim quality and good construction alone comprise the total measure of quality, unless you start with the narrow view that only one rinse or raw repros are worth anything.

    If you really want to get the best bang for your buck, go to the local rodeo store, and get the jeans actual cowboys use for something like $25. The mark up is significantly less, and you know that the jeans are built to last.



    sorry. i disagree with a lot of what your saying here. there is no way true religeon pays as much per piece than say 5ep or julian red. manufacturing anything in higher numbers lowers your cost (and usually quality). making 10,000 pairs of jeans is going to be cheaper (per piece) than making 1000 pairs.
    also most "premium" designer jeans are made to a lower quality standard than most "repros". they are more concerned with fit and wash than durability and details like hidden rivets, denim weave, or where to use a chainstitch. i can say for certain (and from experience) that earnest sewns will not last nearly as long as most of the japanese "repros" on the market. some brands combine fit and style with durability (a.p.c., 5ep, rag and bone, julian red, imperial, even diesel come to mind). for example diesel's heavier denim will outlast most of the so called "premium" fashion brands out there.

    as far as womens cuts go stretch denim has definately made the perfect fit far more attainable to most of the fashion brands (seven, chip and pepper, paige, rock and republic, even gap) paige jeans might make your ass look good but the construction is very unspectacular. im not saying the quality is bad but it just doesnt justify the retail (even with a $14 wash) i think one women's brand that combines great fits with great construction is joe's.

    and i wouldnt dismiss how difficult it is to get the perfect repro cut. my sister is a fashion designer and lifelong seamstress and alot more work goes into a pair of "denimhead" jeans than a pair of body hugging jeans with 2% lycra and a fancy inauthentic looking fade.

    and as far as your manufacturing cost guesses on 45rpm and other repro brands, im sorry, but i find that hard to believe.
     
  9. cultpop 0217

    cultpop 0217 Well-Known Member

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    The way I understand it, what he meant is the durability and quality of the material (putting aside aesthetics and fit, which are totally subjective anyway). If that's the case, then I assume one can rate Japanese jeans being at the top of the scale. The reason is simple, they use better materials and better production methods. That's the objectivity you can talk about. Considering the material, and we all know a lot about it, you can rate jeans one relatively to the other as being better or worst in this aspect.

    When you know this, you can judge the aesthetics, the fit, the price, all the subjective things of your preference, to reach a conclusion about the value of the jeans.



    what he said.[​IMG]
     
  10. gza

    gza Well-Known Member

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    I like jeans from the eccentric Welsh company, Howies (the raw ones anyway - I'm not too excited about trying the "eco-ball" washed denim). I don't know if you can find an American B&M that stocks them, but they sell them on their website,

    www.howies.co.uk

    Before I ordered mine, they claimed on the website to have had only one order in their history from the US. They took that down soon after.

    I think the prices, 95 or 100 GBP depending on the model, are pretty reasonable by current standards. It definitely compares favorably with the Baggy Bjorn or Atelier LaDurance. The denim won't make you swoon like some of the Japanese purist brands, but it's hardwearing and solidly constructed.
     
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    Rivets cost up to 0.50$ apiece, including manufacturing. That's if you use the very best. So adding hidden rivets on both back pockets costs, um, $2. As for denim quality, well, a yard of denim usually ranges from about $2/yard to $8/yard. There is more expensive stuff out there, but those are reserved for the R for 45RPMs of the world (i.e. the best of the best) and those are about $20/yard. So, in general (i.e not counting the 45 RPMs of the world) the difference based on denim quality is about $10, tops (based on the amount of denim used, and that is pretty generous) beween your Target jeans and your Sugarcanes. Compare that to the expense of the laundries. Raw cost nothing, nada. One rinse costs $1. But an intricate wash can cost $14/piece or more. And remember that the more intricate the wash, the more likely it is to fuck it up, so the real cost is even higher. As for chain-stitching, the difference in the cost of thread and manufacture compared to the cost of manufacture overall is laugably low. And felled inseams are not that difficult or expensive to do. A.P.C. did it for years and charged $110/pair until very recently.

    Now, one of my main criteria for jeans is durability, because I wear my jeans hard. But let's face it, if you really want durability, Rodeo jeans weighing in at 17 ounces (I believe that that is the standard) has it in spades, and they cost $45 tops (that's in Santa Monica, on the 3rd St. Blvd, where you can be sure pretty much no cowboys shop. In real western shops, $25-$30 is closer to the going price.) Durability does not equal quality. That would be analogous to saying that moleskin is better quality than a fine poplin, because it is obviously more durable. I don't buy Rogan jeans because they are designed to fall apart, but that doesn't mean that the starting materials were not top notch.

    You are right about volume discounts, of course, but that says nothing about how much it costs to actually manufacture the product. That was sort of my point to begin with; but seeing the responses I've gotten, I was obviously being too oblique.

    As for the numbers, I got them from people (some on this board, hi guys [​IMG]) who essentially manage the production of jeans for a living, (or at least that is part of what they do,) and everyone has told me pretty much the same thing.

    sorry. i disagree with a lot of what your saying here. there is no way true religeon pays as much per piece than say 5ep or julian red. manufacturing anything in higher numbers lowers your cost (and usually quality). making 10,000 pairs of jeans is going to be cheaper (per piece) than making 1000 pairs.
    also most "premium" designer jeans are made to a lower quality standard than most "repros". they are more concerned with fit and wash than durability and details like hidden rivets, denim weave, or where to use a chainstitch. i can say for certain (and from experience) that earnest sewns will not last nearly as long as most of the japanese "repros" on the market. some brands combine fit and style with durability (a.p.c., 5ep, rag and bone, julian red, imperial, even diesel come to mind). for example diesel's heavier denim will outlast most of the so called "premium" fashion brands out there.

    as far as womens cuts go stretch denim has definately made the perfect fit far more attainable to most of the fashion brands (seven, chip and pepper, paige, rock and republic, even gap) paige jeans might make your ass look good but the construction is very unspectacular. im not saying the quality is bad but it just doesnt justify the retail (even with a $14 wash) i think one women's brand that combines great fits with great construction is joe's.

    and i wouldnt dismiss how difficult it is to get the perfect repro cut. my sister is a fashion designer and lifelong seamstress and alot more work goes into a pair of "denimhead" jeans than a pair of body hugging jeans with 2% lycra and a fancy inauthentic looking fade.

    and as far as your manufacturing cost guesses on 45rpm and other repro brands, im sorry, but i find that hard to believe.
     
  12. sygyzy

    sygyzy Well-Known Member

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    I think this discussion just needs a clarification of terminology. My understanding, and my opinion as well, is that the word "premium" should be reserved for the material of the denim and so only brands that use high quality material would be under that bracket.

    Not necessarily limited to selvage repros, since many brands produce denim using very high quality non-selvage denim.

    The confusion is when us denimheads mix up "premium" for "high-end", and I think that sqwerwegzy is asking for opinions as to which of the "high-end" labels can be classified as "premium". At least, it seems to me that that would be the easiest way to differentiate and also to answer his question.


    Actually, I don't think your method makes much sense, either. You are designating the term Premium to include high quality materials. Then you designate high-end to mean expensive. I mean high-end, premium, top of the line, boutique, etc all conjur up ideas of the same thing. I think my subject says it best. What is really "premium" denim and what is just premium priced (expensive).

    If a company is formed merely to ride the denim obsession bandwagon (ie True Religion), then I'd consider that just premium priced.

    LA Guy makes a good point in saying that even if you do use the best materials, washes, and finishing, a pair of denim won't cost more than $50 to make. I think my point is that I want to know which brands spend that full $50 to deliver me jeans and which don't. I'd much rather pay $150 for $50 than $150 for $10.
     
  13. Catherine Jones

    Catherine Jones New Member

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    Anyone have an opinion on Union Jeans?
     
  14. MickeyPunch

    MickeyPunch Well-Known Member

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    The most expensive jeans I own are PRPS, the made in Japan line (I've got 3 pairs and sold another one), and I would say they are genuinely premium denim. They have all of the main characteristics of it: zimbabwean cotton, made in Japan using old looms, selvedge, chain stitching...

    Some people might dislike their cuts (they don't make skinny jeans) and some of their more extreme washes (they have raws as well), and they are probably not at the same level as Samurai, FH and other 'true' japanese brands, and still overpriced, but premium anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

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