By Robin | August 27, 2021

A Closer Look at Japan Blue Jeans’ 10th Anniversary Capsule Collection 

Brand: Japan Blue Jeans
Collection: 10th Anniversary Capsule Collection 
Made in: Kojima, Japan
Price: Jeans €250 / Jacket €330

‘More than just a double denim duo, the two items are a fantastic ode to the brand who has accomplished so much in such a short space of time. The jeans and jacket lead us through the milestones the brand has achieved in 10 years of denim…’


Japan Blue Jeans Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Facts 

The Kojima-based powerhouse Japan Blue Jeans started doing business in 2011 and is now celebrating its tenth anniversary. The brand, which started as the fabric portfolio of the namesake parent company Japan Blue Co., and the brother of Momotaro Jeans, made a name for itself by continuously pushing the boundaries of denim production, and with great success. Over the last decade, the brand has never lost its will to create unique products and its ambition to be a denim trailblazer.

To celebrate their 10th birthday, Japan Blue Jeans are treating us to a limited  edition capsule collection, which reflects the brands’ impressive journey during the last decade. The strong execution of design and high quality craftsmanship is a perfect representation of the Japan Blue Jeans core values, approach and denim offering, which is always fresh and versatile. The collection is a visualization of their first decade in denim and an invitation to join the brand in celebrating this milestone birthday.

Although we normally review garments individually, we decided to review the 10th Anniversary Capsule Collection as a whole to mark this special occasion.


Japan BluePhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Fits

For the Anniversary Collection, the brand has chosen their 4 most popular fits from the CIRCLE offering. CIRCLE is the brands’ contemporary take on classic five pocket jeans, with wearability being central to the design. The jeans feature a curved waistband, original jacquard pocket bags and a zipper rather than a button fly.

For the capsule collection, Japan Blue Jeans selected the Classic Straight, Straight, Tapered, and Skinny fit. Together, these four fits form a versatile and well-balanced denim offering, serving all kinds of denim heads.

To complement the jeans, the 10th Anniversary Collection also includes a Type II denim jacket. The Type II silhouette, which has been a hugely successful design for the brand since its inception, features a textbook pleated front but has a contemporary update in the form of hand-warmer pockets at the hip. It’s an undoubtedly classic and iconic design, updated with all the usual Japan Blue accents and details.


Japan BluePhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Manufacturing 

The manufacturing of both the fabrics and the garments is done in-house at Japan Blue in-and-around Kojima, in Okayama prefecture, Japan. The Kojima area is considered to be the epicenter of denim, housing most major Japanese denim companies.

Japan Blue Company was established in Kojima in 1992 as a fabric mill and soon after became one of the leaders of Japanese denim as we know it today. Over the years the company grew from a fabric supplier into a denim powerhouse, mastering all processes in the supply chain.

All garments of Japan Blue Jeans are made by the hands of experienced artisans in small factories in-or-around Kojima. By making use of vintage machinery, the garments are made following the heritage of Japanese denim with a surgical attention to detail. ‘Collect Mills’ is the fabric division of Japan Blue and is responsible for all fantastic fabrics that the brand use. The fortune of arising from a denim mill, has been expertly demonstrated during the last decade by the brand and the anniversary collection is no exception.


Japan Blue


The Fabrics

Though the designs and details of the release are fantastic, the fabrics are where the collection really excels. Japan Blue Jeans re-designed its jeans and jacket to make it possible to offer them in four very different fabrics. Yep, you read that right, each and every garment consists of four different fabrics. All fabrics are woven by Collect and have each played a significant role in its history. Keep reading for a breakdown of each fabrics’ characteristics.

The 16.5oz Côte d’Ivoire Monster Selvedge Denim is one of the brands’ heaviest fabrics and has an uneven surface, yet is comfortable and breathable. The use of Côte d’Ivoire Cotton quickly became a cornerstone for the brand and is now used for the majority of their custom-made fabrics. Côte d’Ivoire Cotton isn’t genetically engineered and is, according to the brand, closest to the ‘original’ cotton. Handpicked and offering an incredibly high quality, the fabric is unique to say the least.

The 14.8 oz. Texas Cotton Selvedge Denim is one of the signature fabrics of the brand and has been offered by Japan Blue since the beginning. The spinning of the cotton has been adjusted to give extra strength to the fabric and an uneven, slubby, texture.

The 12.5 oz. African Cotton Selvedge Denim includes 12% brown cotton in order to recreate an ‘old-fashion blue’. It is reminiscent of the color of jeans in the early 1900s, when synthetic indigo was just being invented. Due to its weight, the fabric can be worn for all seasons and in all climates, making it a very versatile and popular fabric.

At first glance, the 12.5 oz. Stretch Selvedge Denim looks like a 100% cotton fabric, but due to the 5% polyurethane fiber it provides some stretch too. The fabric is made from a mixture of American and Australian cotton which has been specifically developed for ‘good discoloration’. The low-tension weave almost feels like a hand-woven fabric and provides a three-dimensional unevenness to the surface of the denim. And in addition, the stretch just gives that added element of comfort from the get-go.


Japan Blue

Considering all these very different fabrics, Japan Blue Jeans has taken up the challenge to create something truly special and unique. With the exception of high quality selvedge denim being the common denominator, all four fabrics have very different characteristics and intended wear styles. Where the 16.5 oz. heavy denim is developed for the traditional ‘denim head’, the 12.5 oz. stretch denim has been made following new technology for the modern man.

To prevent to garments from skew, the experienced craftsmen of the brand calculated the shrinkage percentage from all fabrics and added a different margin to all different parts. The unequal parts have then been sewn together into an un-balanced pair of jeans, including some misfitting parts. This obviously is a challenging job, as a minor difference will cause troubles in the balance of the pattern. Thereafter the garments have been rinsed in order to straighten all parts making a well-balanced and unique pair of jeans.

Due to the varying characteristics of the cotton and the weight of the denim, each fabric will age differently and provide contrasting results. It’s a fun, ambitious and innovative way to mark the occasion and will undoubtedly result in some interesting (fade) results!


Japan Blue Jeans Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Details 

On top of the brand’s usual signatures, the anniversary collection also features a host of exclusive details. As a result using four different fabrics, the jeans are have 2 unique selvedge ID’s of 2 different fabrics. Another exclusive detail is the custom-made cowhide 10th Anniversary leather patch, which is sewn on both the jeans and the jacket.  Here’s a breakdown of the details in full;


Here’s a breakdown of the details in full:

  • Canvas pocket bags with Japan Blue Jeans embroidery
  • Peek-a-boo selvedge detail on the coin pocket
  • Branded brass donut buttons
  • Branded cotter rivets
  • Chain stitched hem and waistband
  • Curved waistband
  • 10th Anniversary cowhide leather patch
  • Signature Japan Blue inseam stitching
  • Zip fly
  • Rinsed fabric finish
  • Made in Japan


Focus 10th patchPhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


The Conclusions 

When Japan Blue Jeans first told us about their plans for a 10th anniversary collection, they had our attention immediately, because we knew it was going to be great! We love the brand for its fantastic designs, experimental use of fabrics, and its forward thinking approach to denim, so we knew to expect something pretty special.

In terms of design and construction, the collection is huge accomplishment for what is still a young brand. The use of different fabrics in one construction, considering the varying characteristics and shrinkage isn’t easy to say the least, but has been executed carefully and flawlessly. In our humble opinion, the collection is a melting pot of high-quality denim, well-balanced fits, contemporary shapes and unique details.

More than just a double denim duo, the two items are a fantastic ode to the brand who has accomplished so much in such a short space of time. The jeans and jacket lead us through the milestones the brand has achieved in 10 years of denim. It showcases four of the best fabrics from this landmark brand, as well as exhibiting the signature details of the brand and its four most well-known fits.

The capsule collection was available for pre-order last April and as of today, available via the Japan Blue Jeans web store and via selected retailers in limited quantities. The jeans are available for €250, while the jacket is available for €330. You know what to do!


Japan Blue Jeans Photo courtesy of Koen Kuik.