By Robin | October 31, 2020

The Dangerously Sharp BENZAK x Samurai Jeans BDDxSAM-01 19 oz. Sword Selvedge 

Brand:  Benzak Denim Developers x Samurai Jeans
Product name: BDDxSAM-01
 Regular fit / tapered leg
Materials: 19 oz. un-sanforized denim (one wash)
Made in: Osaka, Japan
Price: €329 (incl. VAT) / €271,90 (excl. VAT)

The BDDxSAM-01. ‘Designed in Amsterdam, the Netherlands by BENZAK. Made in Osaka, Japan by Samurai Jeans’


Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Facts

Sometimes an opportunity crosses your path that is unique, but at the same time feels like it’s meant-to-be. The story of our collaboration with Samurai Jeans is such an opportunity…” are the first words that Benzak Denim Developers (BDD) used to announce their new collaboration with Samurai Jeans, and we knew instantly that it wasn’t going to be just another pair of jeans.

Lennaert Nijgh, founder of BENZAK, explains that he has been wearing a pair of Samurai Jeans and was quickly blown away by the quality. It was that pair of Samurai Jeans, amongst other things, that sparked Lennaert’s love for denim, eventually leading him to create Benzak Denim Developers.

Benzak Denim Developers doesn’t need an introduction on our website anymore. We have been working with the Amsterdam-based denim brand for years; publishing editorials, interviews and reviews. We love the brand for its strong fits and fantastic designs, and we’ll continue to publish their great releases in future. The brand built its foundation on an unquenchable passion for denim and a small series of made in Japan jeans, eventually leading to a full menswear collection and made in Europe denim line.

Samurai Jeans on the other hand is new on our website, although it is recognized as one of the biggest players in Japanese denim. The brand was founded in Osaka in 1998 by Toru Nogami and was built on traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Taking inspiration from vintage clothing, and legendary Samurai warrior battles, Samurai Jeans developed a strong identity, with a very Japanese sense of feel. The brand offers a wide range of denim fabrics, varying in color, weave and weight, but became especially known for their heavier fabrics, going all the way up to 25oz.

‘Created in Holland. Crafted in Japan’ is the slogan BENZAK have used from the very first beginning of their journey, and it almost feels like they already knew that this collaboration was on the horizon. This unique partnership underlines BENZAK’s slogan and proves that authenticity is paramount for the Amsterdam based denim powerhouse.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, there will also be a fading contest using the collaboration jeans, which includes some great prizes. We won’t go into the details of the contest today, but be sure to keep an eye on the socials of Benzak Denim Developers and Samurai Jeans.


BDDxSAM-01Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Fit

For this special occasion, BENZAK and Samurai have developed a brand-new fit called the BDDxSAM-01. The jeans is cut as a regular fit with a medium rise and tapered leg. Using one of BENZAK’s contemporary silhouettes, with some small adjustments, as the original patterns were made for sanforized fabrics, while the collaboration jeans are made from an un-sanforized fabric. After these alterations, the BDDxSAM-01 turned out to be a hybrid between BENZAK’s popular B-01 SLIM and B-03 TAPERED fits, including a shaped top block (something which BENZAK has became known for).

For those keen-eyed amongst you, you might notice that the jeans look slightly too big and long on Robin – Robin usually takes a 30″ in BENZAK jeans but only a sample pair in a 31″ were available, as the jeans are open for pre-order at the moment. 


BDDxSAM-01Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Manufacturing

While BENZAK were in charge of the design and development of the fit, Samurai took over the manufacturing of the BDDxSAM-01. With over 20 years experience of making denim, the brand has a world renowned reputation for denim production, working with the best materials and manufacturers.

While the headquarters of Samurai is located in Osaka, the jeans will be made in Kojima, in Okayama prefecture. The Kojima-region is home to many famous Japanese denim brands and is widely respected for its unparalleled denim production – Kojima is seen as the epicenter of Japanese denim. Samurai products, including the BDDxSAM-01 collaboration jeans, are made in a small but very experienced factory that has overseen the brand’s production for 10+ years.

In addition, the proprietary fabric is exclusively woven for Samurai by a denim mill in Ibara City, Okayama. Ibara City, located not even an hour’s drive from Kojima, is also seen as a denim hub and accounts for a number of factories and mills, producing some of the best denim in Japan.


BDDxSAM-01Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Fabric

The BDDxSAM-01 is made of a 100% cotton fabric and has a weight of 19 oz. The so called ‘Sword Selvedge’ fabric isn’t developed for the collaboration but has come from the shuttle looms of Samurai Jeans for years. The name ‘Sword Selvedge’ is a free translation of the term ‘Katanamimi’, as used by Samurai Jeans for this fabric, which refers to the silver lurex selvedge that represents the Katana samurai sword. The proprietary ‘Katanamimi’ fabric is popular amongst Samurai Jeans fans and has been used for the brands’ most popular models.

The 19 oz. sword selvedge fabric is woven from American Texas Cotton on a vintage shuttle loom at a high tension. Due to the uneven fabric construction, a slubby indigo-dyed #5 warp yarns, and heavy thick white #4 weft yarns, make this fabric beautifully irregular with a characterful texture. As if we need to say this, but it promises incredible fading capabilities. And with a short break in time, expect the super high contrast fades that Samurai denim has become known for. The jeans will be un-sanforized, but to eliminate most of the shrinkage, the jeans will be pre-soaked (one-wash) in the factory.

Even though Samurai is known for heavyweight fabrics, the brand refers to this fabric as ‘Kiwami denim’ which translates to ‘extreme denim’. But don’t let the words ‘extreme denim’ scare you, due to the fit, construction and one-wash, the BDDxSAM-01 19 oz. sword selvedge is comfortable from the very first wear.


BDDxSAM-01Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Details

As the BDDxSAM-01 is a co-branded product and marks a celebration of two brands bringing their best together in just one pair of jeans, there have been some new details created exclusively for this collaboration. We’ve highlighted a handful below, suffice to say that we feel the BDDxSAM-01 is one of the best collaborative jeans to be released in recent months!


The Hidden Red (Samurai) Tab

Let’s give a big round of applause for the hidden red Samurai tab. Obviously a tip of the cap to you-know-who and a tactical way to place a tab device, proving to be a really cool detail. ‘If you know, you know’. Take a close look inside the left back pocket – hidden means HIDDEN in this case – and you’ll find the hidden red tab. The red tab is one of Samurai’s signature details, but it is not (legally) possible to place the tab on the outside of the jeans when selling outside of Japan. Ingenious, we think so!


Pocket Bags

Pocket bag fabric isn’t usually a place where you expect to find great details but that doesn’t stop this denim duo. In this case the fabric features a jacquard woven text that translates to ‘Everything including myself is constantly changing’; a text which is a part of Samurai’s philosophy.


Back Pockets

Both back pockets are branded following both of the brands’ signature details, with the right back pocket carrying BENZAK’s bull embroidery and the left back pocket featuring Samurai’s classic arcuate. With both arcs stitched using a tonal thread, the back pockets look clean and contemporary with these subtle details. But of course, the more the denim fades, the more the arcs will be visible. Motivation, right?


Here’s a breakdown of the details in full:
  • Hidden 6th pocket
  • Peek-a-boo selvedge at coin pocket
  • Right back pocket with BENZAK bull embroidery
  • Left back pocket with Samurai Jeans arcuate
  • Hidden red Samurai tab
  • Hidden rivets
  • Button fly
  • Sheepskin leather patch with collaboration artwork
  • Cotton threads
  • Steel buttons
  • Copper rivets
  • Cotton pocket bags with jacquard woven text
  • Multi branding to reflect the collaboration


BDDxSAM-01Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


Our Thoughts

When BENZAK announced the collaboration with Samurai Jeans on Instagram, we were super excited that these two denim powerhouses were working together on a limited collaboration. The moment we received the sample, the excitement was multiplied by ten! Of course, we could have known that these two brands would come up with an incredible pair of jeans, but they really knocked this outta the park.

The first thing we noticed the moment we took the jeans from the box was the softness and comfort of the fabric. Although the fabric comes at a weight of 19 oz., the ‘Sword Selvedge’ denim is surprisingly soft, breathable, and comfortable. This is also assisted by the fit providing ample room in both the top-block as well as in the legs. The irregular and slubby fabric has an intense deep blue shade, and the silver lurex selvedge is as unique as it is beautiful.

With both brands being strong in their own storytelling, the two have made their first collaboration into a celebration of great details and depth. The BDDxSAM-01 includes signature details of both brands like BENZAK’s hidden 6th pocket and bull embroidery, as well the hardware and arcuate of Samurai Jeans. While this may seem like overkill to some, the details are considered and executed in a way which remains clean and contemporary. On top of that, the unique details that have been custom developed for this collaboration like the hidden red tab and back patch artwork provide a further point of difference.

All in all we would like to conclude that the first collaboration between Benzak Denim Developers and Samurai Jeans is a well-balanced and perfectly executed contemporary denim masterpiece. The BDDxSAM-01 is currently available for pre-order for a limited time via BENZAK’s webstore for €329. All pre-orders are guaranteed, but there will only be one batch produced, ever. The pre-order closes on November 20th at 18:00 CET and the delivery of the jeans is due to be February 2021.

Head over to for more info or to purchase the limited edition Benzak Denim Developers x Samurai Jeans BDDxSAM-01.


BDDxSAM-01Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.