Whodini, I think that's exactly what he's asking. If you removed all those markup factors from Japanese denim, wouldn't it significantly decrease the price we pay for them? Hence, the typical $275 jean from Japan reduces in price such that the $280-300 jean from Jean Shop seems overpriced It was. I don't think it's that simple to compare one brand to countless others when so many factors are involved like actual cost of materials, worker wages, margins, etc. Also, the glaring difference on paper between something like KMW and JS is that KMW is MIJ with Japanese denim whereas JS is MIUSA with Japanese denim (ergo, import taxes should be equal.) I don't know what the going wage is in Okayama versus NYC but my wild guess would be that NYC could have a higher cost of living. It's just not black and white. Brand X might use denim that is more expensive than Jean Shop's while a pair of Jean Shops might take longer to make than Brand X. Brand Y might be trying to work with tighter margins while Jean Shop uses a detail like riri that ends up adding $15+ to the retail price. So where does that leave JS? Is it a $150 pair hyped up to another $100? Hardly. If you compare it to something along the sub-$200 range it clearly doesn't belong. Would you feel better buying JS if it were retailing at $225? Keep in mind that Acne retails at $225. You can kind of see where I'm going with this. I can. An interesting topic to ponder though. 1) what are we paying for in a pair of jeans, and 2) how much of what we pay for is invisible, i.e.; markup/labor/cost of business/inflated branding expenses/hype/customer or market perception vs. actually reflected in the product. I'm happy to pay for the invisible aspect of old-world expertise and craftsmanship. But I hate paying extra for market hype/branding bullsh+t. I'm immediately turned off by certain marketing schemes. Less because of the celebrity wearing said garment, more because the company paid them a huge amount of $$ for product placement, which I think could be beter spent. I often feel that JS are sub-par compared to competition in the same price range, but not completely sub-par. I think I'd have no problem paying PBJ or Skull prices (225-245) for them, but close to 300 seems bordeline unreasonable. Especially compared to Jap-made brands in the same range. But I'm not sure they're sub-160 jeans either. But I see nothing about JS on the surface that distinguishes them from APC. In the end, are we getting what we pay for at this level with SF 'acknowledged' denim brands? And is the perception of value between 200 and 300 realistic or skewed?