I’m a bit of a denim fanboy to state the obvious, of all the materials out there it is the one that I hold in the highest regard. I have had my flings with flannel of all patters, colours and weights, I certainly have time for both duck canvas and wabash and different sorts of leather boots, belts and jackets almost reach the peak, but in truth there is nothing to compare to denim.
When I first began my obsession with denim, mainly produced in Japan, I would buy anything just to try it out regardless of brand, cut or weight. This scattergun effect proved to be extremely expensive but it did teach me a lot about what I liked, what I didn’t like and which cuts suited me best, it gave me a quick and expensive lesson in the world of quality denim. Amongst the brands and cuts I tried were LVC (55’s and 66’s), Samurai (710, 510 and 5000VX, 110xj2), Oni (Blue and Red), Pure Blue Japan (005 and 007), Sugar Cane (Hawaii and Okinawa) and of course Iron Heart (634s, Beatle Buster, SExIH01, Mega Beatle Buster) so I think I’m now in a position where I can honestly and fairly say what I like and what I don’t like in a pair of jeans.
Before I go on talk about the Trophy Blackie jeans I should divulge (in the interests of full disclosure) that the Trophy Dirt Denim in the narrow cut is my favourite pair of jeans ever, for a couple of fairly straight forward reasons. Prior to owning a pair of Trophy jeans my favourite cut was the SExIH01, the Dirt Denim narrow cut is extremely reminscent of this. My favourite denim was the original Samurai Jin denim, Dirt Denim has all the characteristics I loved about this denim but with extra texture and a more acceptable weight for year round wear. I thought it best to disclose this as you may think that I have some bias towards Trophy, I won’t deny this at all but I will say that my broad experience of other denims allows me to maintain a certain objectivity.
The Blackie jeans are, in their most basic form, a pair of regular cut Dirt Denim which has been coloured with both a brown cast dye and a black furtive pigment dye, the warp is black the weft is brown, simple. When you look at a photograph of the jeans you see a black pair of jeans, when you handle them and see them up close the brown cast is very evident. The dyeing process initially takes virtually all the surface texture out of the denim, making it very flat like Garage Denim but also quite soft, it feels almost like a significantly weighted duck canvas rather than denim. The other significant change brought about by the dye process is that all appreciable shrink is totally removed from the jeans making them feel a little tighter through the leg, in terms of cut they sit mid way between the regular Dirt Denim and the narrow version.
Though originally weighing in at 14.5oz the Blackies have a post dye weight of closer to 15.5oz due the the tightening of the weave, this also results in the denim being slightly more wind resistant and maybe more suitable to the chillier months. The Blackies feature all the Trophy details that I know well and love, from the slash pockets to the double strengthened heavy twill canvas pocket bags (believe me, this is a fantastic feature for those who know the frustration of bust pockets) and the half lined back pockets, Trophy’s detailing in everything they do is both subtle and devastating, understated yet revolutionary. I find myself wishing that all jeans took some tips from Trophy.