By Robin | June 07, 2020

The Phi. Denim PHI01_C19 Jean

Brand: Phi. Denim
Product name: PHI01_C19
Fit: Relaxed taper
Materials: 14 oz. unsanforized denim
Made in: Okayama, Japan
Price: €270,00

The French-Japanese denim brand Phi. Denim recently released another fantastic pair of jeans: the PHI01_C19. The jeans were made by hand in very limited numbers and are blending artisanal techniques and modern technologies. The jeans utilize an ancient katazome kiku kimono fabric and are entirely made in Japan. 


Phi. DenimPhoto courtesy of Hans Jellema.


The Facts 

Phi. Denim is a French-Japanese denim brand which was established from a passion for the purity of materials and a deep respect for Japanese traditions. The brand relies on the heritage of Japanese denim and incorporates many renowned made-in-Japan fabrics in their offering. The brand is constantly trying to reinterpret certain design elements from the past and repurpose them for today, searching for that perfect blend of artisanal techniques and modern technologies.

The Phi. Denim team is a collective of 5 people from France and Japan, all sharing the same enthusiasm and passion for denim. They are working across the world, transforming their codes and customs into new designs. The members of Phi. Denim are driven by the desire to create authentic and singular products – products that will stand the test of time, carrying their strong brand identity.

The manufacturing of Phi Denim jeans takes place in the capital of Japanese denim, Kojima, Okayama. The timeless and durable jeans are made by the hands of seasoned artisans in a small but illustrious factory.

The most striking signature of the brand are the kimono right back pockets, which can be found on all jeans. The ancient kimono fabrics have been sourced from antique markets in Tokyo, and are unique, rare and limited. But it’s not only the kimono fabric that is a signature of the brand, it is also the way it has been attached with laser cut tape. This technique plays on the history of the Phi denim team, working at Solomon Sportswear. This unique blend of ancestral techniques (kimono weaving), craftsmanship (denim manufacturing) and modern techniques (laser cut and glue) defines the USP for Phi Denim and allows the brand to offer a truly unique product in a crowded marketplace.

Because of the limited availability of antique kimono fabrics, all jeans are made in super small batches, making it extra special when you are able to secure a pair!


Phi. DenimPhoto courtesy of Hans Jellema.


The Fit 

The PHI01_C19 fit is one of two fits which Phi. Denim offer. It is a Relaxed Tapered fit and the slimmest available from the brand. The PHI01_C19 provides room in the top block, perfect for the guy who likes extra room and comfort in the seat. The fit tapers from the knee down all the way to the hem, providing a contemporary silhouette.


The Manufacturing 

The Phi. Denim team found a small and expert factory in Okayama, Japan. The factory is not only known for delivering high-quality pairs of jeans, but they only produce small batches of jeans, allowing Phi. Denim to launch very limited editions, which perfectly fits the concept of the brand.

The PHI01_C19 is limited to just 19 pieces and is made by the hands of Japanese artisans whom follow traditional Japanese manufacturing techniques. After the jeans were produced, they were individually signed by those who made them, giving the jeans the ultimate personal touch!

Next to creating a strong contemporary fit, the Phi. Denim team has focused on creating a pair of jeans which will stand the test of time. The jeans were sewn with a rugged cotton yarn and feature a strong bar tack on weak spots, providing extra strength where needed. The pockets have been reinforced with hidden copper rivets, extending the lifespan of the jeans and adding durability. At the crotch, they used an ‘English seam’ for greater resistance against movements, preventing a classic crotch blow-out. All in all, these extra reinforcements to extend the lifespan of the jeans and compliment an already hard wearing denim, meet the team’s standard of authenticity.


Phi. DenimPhoto courtesy of Hans Jellema.


The Materials

The jeans are made of a 100% cotton un-sanforized 14oz. selvedge denim fabric and featuring a classic redline selvedge. Because the fabric is unsanforized, the denim will shrink after its first wash, making it important to purchase the jeans one or two sizes bigger.

The fabric is woven on an antique shuttle loom in Kojima, the promised land when it comes to selvedge denim. The fabric features a subtle slub and is selected by Phi. Denim for its density, durability, and fading potential. Phi. Denim encourages customers to wash the jeans in the ocean, because it will help to preserve the indigo tint of the denim. And, to support its customers, Phi. Denim is even offering a service which invites customers to send their jeans after 6 months of wear for an ocean soak.

Another striking material used for the jeans is the kimono fabric which can be found on the right back pocket of the jeans. Sourced from an antique market in Yūrakuchō – a district in Tokyo – it features a pattern made of Chrysanthemum which is one of the most important flowers in Japanese history. Next to having medicinal purposes, the Chrysanthemum flower is a sign of power and is used in the emperor’s emblem. The flower can also be found inside Shinto temples and sanctuaries. The kimono fabric has been doubled for extra durability and then been reinforced by a band of bonded laser cut denim fabric.


Phi. DenimPhoto courtesy of Hans Jellema.


The Details

The PHI01_C19 features many subtle details which pay homage to the history of denim, including;

  • 14 oz. un-sanforized (shrink to fit) selvedge denim
  • Relaxed tapered fit
  • Redline selvedge
  • Doubled Kimono pocket
  • Reinforced with copper rivets
  • Hidden back pocket rivets
  • Bar tacking at stress points
  • Silk screen signature
  • Individually numbered
  • Limited series to 19 copies.


Phi. DenimPhoto courtesy of Hans Jellema.


Our Thoughts

The PHI01_C19 is Phi. Denim’s latest masterpiece! The level of quality in the denim, construction and end product matches that of leading Japanese brands and perfectly demonstrates the team’s vision. The jeans are made by the hands of seasoned artisans in a small factory, perfectly matching the vision behind the brand, and an important statement in the time we are living in. With a limited batch of just 19 pairs (all individually signed), the chance of walking into someone wearing the same jeans is smaller than winning the lottery!

Sure, the appreciation for the Kimono back pocket design depends on personal taste, we at Robin Denim are usually into clean denim designs and there are just a few brands able to design eye-catching details that will charm us. With that said, Phi. Denim is definitely one of those brands – we love the antique Kimono back pockets! The knowledge and history behind this concept is so meaningful and perfectly executed.

The PHI01_C19 is available via the Phi. Denim website for €270. Head over to Phi. Denim for more information about the brand and to have a look at their current offering!


Phi. DenimPhoto courtesy of Hans Jellema.