Denim the great leveller, born from necessity and coveted as much in high fashion as it is in your local supermarket. Perhaps more so than any other fabric it transcends borders both societal and international, you can literally travel anywhere on the planet and see a guy or girl wearing their blue jeans, the every day symbol of casual wear. So common are jeans that over time they have evolved and been altered to be dressed up, dressed down and even pre-distressed for that ultimate expression of life through clothing.
The grand appeal of denim to the denim otaku is two fold; first comes the enjoyment on the new item (jeans, jacket or shirt), we marvel over the cut the fabric the weave the hardware the patch the selvedge and many other small details which quite probably mean nothing at all to 99% of the general populous. Second comes the joy of inflicting ourselves upon the garment, making it our companion in life safe in the knowledge that like no other fabric it show our scars, share our adventures and serve as a suit of evidence of our experience, a material like no other to bear the very justification of our existence.
The denim collector draws almost total pleasure from the first set of pleasures, they revel in the details and in keeping those details as pristine as possible for the very joy of owning and preserving an article of such quality. The denim collector will actively seek the differentiating factor, whether that is different models from the same brand or differing fabrics or cuts from many brands, they seek examples of variation.
The denim wearer is more likely to dedicate them self to one item until they have worn it to a state referred to amongst many enthusiasts as “grail”, until the denim is a reflection of their life and in many cases until it passes the point that many none denim enthusiasts would consider acceptable to wear.
As human beings we all like to receive kudos from our peers and the denim community is no exception. There is kudos readily given for both of the above ways of denim enjoyment, the accumulation of product is applauded just as much as the achievement of grail status and just like everyday walks of life wealth is given the same approval as endeavour and in this way it maintains its broad spectrum appeal even in the niche of high end selvedge denim. From the college student in his one pair of mid priced selvedge, to the collector with their racks and wardrobes full of pristine $400 jeans, in this way we are all equal in the great denim community, all you need is some denim, and the ability to wear it or store it.