This is not your typical authentic Japanese denim brand. Mastercraft Union (MCU), which was launched for the spring/summer 2015 season by designer Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, offers what firstly sounds like an oxymoron: stretch selvedge denim. While many hardcore denim heads believe that a pair of Japanese denim has to be so stiff that it hurts, Mastercraft Union is weaving its fabrics tightly on tradition selvedge looms, but giving it all the comfort and shape retention by adding some 3% stretch yarn.


Another specialty is the label’s Paper Denim, where MCU includes one third traditionally milled Japanese paper within the weave, which enables the material to breathe (resp. insulate in winter) plus enhances the product with a shorter wear-in time.

When it comes to branding, MCU replaces the traditional leather patch with Italian bonded seam-seal and uses matt black enameling instead of copper rivets.

Since its birth, the brand has specialized on slimmer five-pocket silhouettes and professionalized its vintage treatments, introducing several additional washes with its third collection for fall/winter 15-16. For instance, there is the ‘Resin Slate’ wash, where a 12 oz. stretch selvedge fabric has been coated with an ochre resin layer, or the glossy ‘Painted Black’ finishing on top of a ripped and repaired denim base.

MCU’s Made-in-Japan denims range between €435 - €675 (retail price) and are sold at premium denim stockists worldwide including Your in Antwerp, Joyce in Beijing/Shanghai/Hong Kong, Allan Joseph in Marseille, Pool in Munich, Excelsior in Milan, Harvey Nichols in London or Maxfield in Los Angeles.
Paper Denim by Mastercraft Union
Paper Denim by Mastercraft Union