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 VI with Standard & Strange in Oakland and Santa Fe.
"Before opening Standard & Strange in 2012, co-founders Neil Berrett and Jeremy Smith had started a brand making top-quality US-made merino wool cycling jerseys. But when they realized there was a gap in the market for rugged basics and quality jeans in Oakland, they changed course. I featured them for the first time on my blog in 2013.
A trigger for their denim passion is the fact that it's a very honest garment. 'The journey from a new pair of raw denim jeans to their final state reflects everywhere you've been and done in them,' Jeremy explains. He grew up wearing raw denim ('back when they were just called jeans,' he adds.). His first pair he got in second grade. 'l hated washing them and having them return to that 'stiff as-a-board' feeling'. As an adult, he rediscovered raw denim when be was trying to get a good pair of jeans that weren't distressed or bad weird pockets or extra zippers.
The brands you'll find at two stores are all about quality and timeless designs. 'We've learned to be laser-focused in our buying to make sure we're representing our brands well, but also providing goods that people want to buy.'
Jeans from Ooe Yofukuten will sell out almost immediately. ln Jeremy's opinion, they are the best jeans makers in the world, right now. 'They're obsessed at a level we've not seen anywhere else.' Another example is the attention to detail and period-correctness of The Real McCoy's, which he says is unmatched. 'They will go as far as making thread to get the details right for their A2 flight jackets.' And then you have John Lofgren, who makes some of the best boots in the world with a focus on fit and comfort as well as on quality."
Name: Standard & Strange
Locations: Oakland, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Opened in: 2012 and 2019, respectively
Five defining brands: The Real McCoy's, lndigofera, Wesco, Ooe Yofukuten, John Lofgren
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.