From Japan with love.
It has been over 70 years since Big John started business as a small sewing factory in Kojima, Okayama, now known as the denim capital of Japan.
Big John manufactured the first made-in-Japan jeans in 1965, and developed the first Japanese denim fabric in 1972. Fascinated both by the success and construction of the American Blue jean, Big John commissioned Kurabo Mills to produce Japan's first ever denim cloth in 1972. They say practice makes perfect, and so it proved, with eight attempts before Big John approved Kurabo's fabric.
Since then, they have continued to push boundaries in the world of denim. Their sole mission as the pioneer of Japanese Denim is to honor the history and lead the growth of this local industry.
Founder Mr. Kotaro Ozaki initially began his business manufacturing school uniform, work wear and U.S military inspired clothing. It wasn't until the 60s that denim, and in fact jeans, were being manufactured domestically.
The 1980s saw Japan's first ever selvage denim; with Big John producing a custom irregular weave denim, thus igniting the vintage jeans boom of the 90s.
The first model was created all the way back in 1980. At the time, the value of vintage denim was still unknown to the majority of consumers, but according to current Big John men’s designer Daisuke Inaba, “Big John created a selvedge denim fabric that featured tate-ochi (vertical faded stripes) using a spinning technology that enabled them to artificially control the uneven yarn.
The first model also had another revolutionary feature. With regular denim, the more it is washed the more the fabric becomes worn out, but the rare model had the opposite effect. It was made with a pattern technology that straightens the fibers after it is washed several times.” That first model, which was filled with quality craftsmanship, was priced three times as much as standard denim, and never truly penetrated the market.
Today, Big John's collection offers a full range of wardrobe. With Japanese design, Japanese fabric, and Japanese production as the core elements of our brand, we continue to pursue uncompromised quality and distinguished style in each piece of our clothing.
Big John's 'RARE' collection celebrates the vast achievements and storied history of Japan's first ever denim brand and we are proud to be amongst a handful of Big John stockist around the globe.