I was born into a real working class English family in the latter part of the 1970’s, as a child my greatest influences were what I saw on television and my choice of viewing material was things like Starsky and Hutch, Godzilla movies and Ghostbusters. The result of these formative experiences and influences was that I always dreamed of New York and Tokyo, but due to the finances of my family I was most likely to stay in a guesthouse on the Lincolnshire coast, or at best a week on the Costa Del Sol through my teen years.
Fast forward 10 years and now in gainful employment and without responsibility I was now able to self finance a trip to New York City, and it did not disappoint. Marriage quickly followed and my wife and I visited NYC a few times in the following years, getting engaged at the top of the Empire State building. Soon my wife was pregnant with our son Tommy and it was during this pregnancy that we first visited Tokyo, and in Tokyo I found Harajuku and in Harajuku I found the phenominon of the re-seller stores, and in one of these stores I bought two pairs of Japanese made selvedge denim jeans by New York skate clothing label Supreme. New York and Tokyo brought me to denim just as my childhood dreams had brought me to New York and Tokyo. Fate maybe.
Since these early days I have returned to Japan for several visits with my family both concerning denim and not, been back to New York quite a few times both with a denim agenda and not, and have also been to other hubs of denim around the globe, from Singapore and Jakarta to Gosport. Although I have not travelled nearly as far or as often as some I still count myself extremely lucky to have been to the places I have been to, and met the people I have met, especially when I think about my childhood summers spent on Skegness beach, not that I would change them if I could.
Hand in hand with the places we go are the people we meet, and my family and I have also been very lucky in this regard to have met some of the nicest, most genuine people on our denim travels. We have made some friends for life and been shown jaw dropping warmth and generosity by people with whom I have only communicated via the internet and had some fantastic times making memories that will stay with us long into our old age. Denim has been good to me, it hasn’t made me money (far from it), but it has made me wealthy in friends, experiences and stories that I’ll still be boring people with in the retirement village.