Here we asked denim lover, blogger & expert Thomas Stege Bojer aka The Denimhunter to list and write about his very personal top ten denim stores around the globe.
Each day in the next two weeks we will present one of Bojer's favorites.
Today, it's part VII with Self Edge in San Francisco (and various other locations).
"Four weeks in the US. First stop was San Francisco, a city known for its bridges, hills and free spirit. Fans of denim also know it as the cradle of Levi's and blue jeans as we know them. And if you're into raw denim, you surely know it for Self Edge. Founded by Kiya and Demitra Babzani, Self Edge has played a central role in bringing Japanese raw denim to the western parts of the world; being the first retailer outside of Japan to stock brands like Dry Bones, Strike Gold and Real Japan Blues. With five branches across North America-two of which are co-owned and operated by Andrew Chen and Johan Lam of 3sixteen-Self Edge has been established as an authority in the raw denim scene.
Kiya Babzani's denim passion is closely linked with his interest in music. As a driving force behind how people dress, music has always fascinated him. ''Dressing the part' can be so much fun,' he tells me via e-mail, 'when the music you're into in a certain point in your life dictates how you should dress.'
His first pair of raw denim jeans are a Yamane Deluxe that he bought at the Yamane Saloon in Hong Kong in the late '90s. 'Buying unsanforized jeans in those years meant really listening to the sales associate,' he reminds us, because you couldn't look it up online. 'I loved that connection between product, store, and customer.' Wanting to know more got him hooked. And even before opening the first Self Edge, Kiya had built a name for himself in the raw denim community through forums.
Upstairs at Self Edge in San Francisco
The common characteristics of any product you find at Self Edge are that they're honest, well made and don't follow any current trends. Combining in-depth product knowledge with a wide selection of over 100 jeans models is what truly makes Self Edge a denim destination. 'I don't think any other store, even in Japan, really goes as hard into the entire Japanese denim brand world as we do,' Kiya says.Name:
San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and
Portland in the USA and San Jose del Cabo in Mexico Opened in:
2006, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2015, respectivelyFive defining brands:
Iron Heart, Stevensan Overall Co., Good Art Hlywd, 3sixteen, Human Made Website:
Please note: This story is also published in our current magazine #290, 'The Best of Denim' issue.
Find out more about Thomas Stege Bojer, Denimhunters and the selected stores on denimhunters.com.
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