DWC – White Trash Denim Tour


For all my time and experiences in the denim scene one facet has almost completely eluded me, the denim tour. For anyone unfamiliar with this concept it is where a particular retailer or manufacturer picks a particular pair of jeans in a popular size and asks for a list of people, usually on a forum, from anywhere in the world who might be interested in wearing the jeans for a month and documenting their time with the jeans pictorially, from the mundane to the amazing. For my part I do like to follow most tours pretty closely, I enjoy the insight into other peoples lives which it offers and oddly I find even the most banal of sights and details interesting, from supermarket trips to visiting great aunt Mary, other peoples lives are a fascinating and ultimately distracting thing and a tour is a great way to check out denim whilst be nosey into how and where fellow denim heads spend their time. At NoKipple we currently have the Trophy Clothing Dirt Dash happening over on Superfuture with a pair of Dirt Denim standard jeans, and we have seen some fantastic updates so far.


Back in the early Autumn of 2012 I took part in my one and only denim tour so far, in a pair of waterproof, paraffin coated white denim jeans by Iron Heart, it was too weird to pass up. The reason for my almost total abstinence from denim tours is that I’m a large unit, not many tours pick a size 36 or 38 to send out, so when this tour was marked up “for big dudes only”, I knew it was the one for me. So it was that in mid August I took ownership of some unexpectedly rather cool white jeans, I say unexpected because I genuinely thought that they would look completely awful, so I was amazed when they actually looked pretty good, good enough for me to wander around my home town and the surrounding countryside without fear of being burned at the stake.


I live in a large town in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands, near the city of Nottingham and famed as the home to the outlaw Robin Hood (unless Yorkshire are successful in their claim of him). The local industry here has been traditionally based on two areas, coal mining and textiles (seems inevitable I would develop an interest in work wear), but alas much of the industry has now left the region to be replaced by chain restaurants, shopping malls and endless branches of the regions current biggest employer Sports Direct, a discount sporting good retailer of much disrepute. I am not proud of my home town, it’s simply not a nice place with much violent crime and a large drug problem, mainly heroin related, so it was with some trepidation that I set out to introduce the place to my fellow Iron Heart Forum members. I decided early on that I would attempt to look past what the town had become and instead try to capture some of the history which I perhaps missed due to over familiarity, and more than a little contempt, this is what I found…









Denim HQ – Standard Uniform


Most of us in the denim scene share so many aesthetic traits that we look very, very similar. This thought first arrived to me on an unseasonably warm October night, down in a New York subway station after the Self Edge x Iron Heart party in 2012. I was stood on the platform with a large group of similarly clad denim enthusiasts ready to venture out into the night of the Big Apple in our exclusive Japanese denim, flannels, vests and super tough American made work boots….we looked like some kind of bizarre gang, and I was put in mind of the movie “The Warriors”.


There is no doubt that the denim scene has a “look”. Browse any WAYWT thread on any denim-centric forum and you will see individuals from all over the globe who could possibly do a closet swap without too much difference to their appearance. There are standard items which mark you out as a scene member and it is only when you go below the surface that you see the variations within what is, on first inspection, a fairly narrow niche. Breaking down the things which 99.9% of us would consider as essential into a list you have a fairly small selection of items.

Selvedge denim jeans, sometimes raw
Work boots or vintage styled sneakers such as Converse
Flannel shirts and denim shirts
Vintage styled denim or leather jackets

These are the things which we consider to be standard uniform, the building blocks of the denim enthusiasts wardrobe, arguably almost everything else after these items is simply decoration, but it is in the decoration where we find our differences, our individuality and refine our taste.


Consider a street of houses all built in the same style, same shape, same size spaced out evenly. The home owners find their individuality by adding to their gardens, painting the house a different colour, changing the doors and windows and even the roof. The basic shape is the same but what makes your home “yours” is the personal touches you apply which others do differently, and it is the same with denim. Whether it is the addition of a work cap or watch cap, a particular style of jacket, jewellery, reigns, chains wallets, belts, vests or even tattoos we all find our own comfort from the basic building blocks of denim, boots, shirt and jacket.


Subtlety is a word which I use often when talking about denim and work wear, I am a huge fan of subtle touches where the discovery is as much part of the pleasure as the feature itself. I feel the same way about denim and leather evolution where slight, even creeping changes give me far more excitement than the lightning strike fades popular amongst many. I have always preferred a well written plot over special effects, and it is in this slow march of change and wear which we find true variance to the prescribed standard. In essence we all start with the same tools, but what we build with them is entirely up to us.


Denim HQ – Denim, The Great Leveller

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Denim HQ – Recommend Me Some Denim ?


And now for something completely different.

Last night I was reading the Samurai jeans thread over on the Iron Heart forum and come across some posts by Max Power about his brand new pair of Samurai 710-OG jeans, they looked spectacular and came with a list of features as long as my arm. As I read more and more about the jeans I realised that they were totally different from any jeans in my current rotation, I almost convinced myself there and then to buy a pair but a few things made me hesitate. The first hesitation was caused by my own “Denim Monk” vow on not purchasing, but I did leave caveat to buy jeans for an enterprise due early next year so “could” save them, the second reason for hesitation is where DHQ and its readers come in.


I love Samurai jeans, I don’t currently own any but they are where I started in the quality Japanese denim scene and I have owned more than my fair share (6 pairs I think). I started with the 710 cut so the OG has huge appeal, especially when you add in the organic 16oz cotton denim, plant dyed green selvedge, special edition super thick patch and also specially produced stamped hardware, they are quite a pair of jeans. It would be easy and probably extremely satisfying for me to simply order a pair of the Samurai 710 OG’s, and I still might, but instead I wanted to hear the opinion and recommendations from others for a pair of jeans which will blow my tiny mind.


Denim is something where your education is never complete, I am more than fully aware that my denim knowledge is nowhere near a level where I can confidently proclaim one manufacturer or model to be better than another based on anything other than my own, limited, subjective experiences. I am very aware that there are a number of brands out there whom I have no experience of and who gather huge amounts of kudos from people who I like and respect, and so I want you guys to recommend me some jeans based on your own experiences. I’ll give you my current rotation and a little information about each pair so you can pick something either complimentary or totally different.


Iron Heart Mega Beatle Busters

Weight – 25oz
Cut – Straight, slight taper (oversized slightly)
Style – Traditional 5 pocket jeans

Trophy Clothing Dirt Denim Narrow

Weight – 14.5oz
Cut – Slim straight, very slight taper
Style – traditional 5 pocket jeans

Trophy Clothing Blackie Denim

Weight – 14.5oz
Cut – Loose straight
Style – Traditional 5 pocket black jeans

Shoot guys, should I buy the Sammie’s or is there something else which should have my attention?



Fresh Weaves – Joe & Co Denim – Proper Work Wear From Great Britain


There was a time, not so long ago, when the British Empire straddled the globe, it was famously said of Queen Victoria that the sun never set on her empire such was its magnitude. The catalyst for this vast expansion of reach from such a tiny island off the north western coast of Europe was industry, nobody embraced manufacturing, automation, technology and general hard work like Britain and its people were the engine which powered the machine. That was then and this now, though still a figurehead power on the world stage Britain has long since lost its economic muscle and its will to work, manufacturing has been replaced by service and truthfully we are not particularly good at that, ours is a legacy which has been in decline since VE Day with war debts, reparations and the cost of the fading empire setting us along a path which each governments version of the welfare state has steered us further down. Now with almost all manufacturing sub contracted abroad due to damage done in the 1970’s by embattled trade unions, cheaper labour rates and spiralling debts as the world economy plunged into the red the state of British industry is desolate in comparison to its former glory. Once home to a proud textile industry where our prowess for materials and sewing was second to none on the world stage we are now severely lacking anything resembling a clothing industry, this is where Joe Schindler and his very British brand Joe and Co Denim come in.


Joe is an old hand in the clothing industry with over 30 years experience. He has been bruised and battered by the economy, known good times and bad, and is determined that his denim brand will be the equal of the popular foreign brands whilst manufacturing in the UK. A staunchly proud Mancunian (resident of Manchester), Joe is a wise man with the kind of understanding which can only come from having been there, seen it, done that and not just worn the t shirt but also probably designed it and made it. Joe and Co is a brand intent on doing things right, they do not limit themselves in either style, time period or materials and have already established impressive collaborative efforts with famed Irish shoe maker Padmore Barnes along with working on a line of British milleraine jackets with a British manufacturer known in the industry for their quality work in the Japanese market. As a very hands on brand owner Joe is intimately familiar with the perils, pitfalls and immense satisfaction of making your vision a reality, so when I had the opportunity to speak with him that is exactly I did.


DHQ – Tell us a little about yourself, your background and what you do?

JS – I have been in the industry for over 30 years in some capacity or another, starting off in sales in the North West of England for one of the first Multiple stores, Stolen From Ivor in 1980. Moving on from there to higher level independents, until starting Josef Jeans in 1987. This was more of a commercial brand and everything was made in England until everyone started to move production out the UK. This led me to opening a lifestyle store in 2000 and for the next 10 years we invested quite heavily into the store and building up our brand profile with brands such as Edwin, Nudie, LVC, Red Wing, Sugarcane, Adidas Originals (Vintage) Stussy, Clarks Originals, Nike, Victorinox, Dickies, New Balance and many more., however, due to the crash in 2008, everything took its toll and eventually closed the doors in June 2010.

In 2008-09 I came across a Japanese brand at Bread & Butter and we discussed the possibilities to make a small amount of denim with them using the Nihon Menpu Mill. In the end we made 30 pairs of denim in 3 fits JCX001, JCX002 & JCX004 ( JCX003 is the same as JCX001 but with the cinch back). After we received the denims, it took us about 3 weeks to sell what we had at £175.00 each. In the meantime the registration of the brand was still going through, therefore, I sat on it and waited for completion. During this uncertain time, I was developing Joe & Co into a premium denim brand, but could really not afford to take it any further than I already and therefore was shelved for a while.

After the closing of the store, I was approached to design a collection and come up with a name for it and was given full control over the design element and branding. I got the brand to the stage where it was ready to exhibit in Jan 2012, however, after all this, the company ran out of money and could not afford to finance the brand.

All this happened in the summer of 2011 & by Jan 2012 I was exhibiting Joe & Co at Jacket Required for AW12 with the fabrics I had acquired from the Japanese and Italian mills, and had it made in England. I wasn’t particularly happy with the positioning of the stand, however I had some great feedback from Selectism and Marubini, but nothing concrete. As you are probably aware, Marubini represent stores like, SHIPS LIMITED, UNITED ARROWS, JOURNAL STANDARD and so forth
Since then, a price point type of denim was introduced, to trade with stores that I did not really want to. There are times in your life that you have to do something that you do not want to do, I wanted to build up the brand to get to the level I wanted to, and worked all hours god sent, to source the UK factories and other mills and the people who I actually wanted to work with to produce my garments on micro production runs with the emphasis on quality and attention detail. Having scoured the country from top to bottom looking for the right factories to work with and to manufacture what was actually required , with the right minimums, has not been easy to say the least, however, I now have these, and have pulled the brand from all UK stores for AW14 and concentrating on our website, with made in England garments and the balance of what is being carried
What I have, is a genuine article for the premium level of Denim & Apparel , focusing on various qualities of selvedge denim from JAPAN, ITALY & in some cases ASIA. I am looking forward to building the brand to be available in the most respected stores around the word and of course our own web store.


DHQ – The UK has a strong history of work wear and garment manufacturing, something which I am shamefully mostly ignorant of, how important is manufacturing and securing your brand in the UK to you?

JS – I have been manufacturing in the UK, on and off since 1987, however since then, the majority of factories went overseas and followed the poverty line, the rest declined and changed the way they manufactured or went bust. Now it seems, every man and his dog is looking for British manufactured, which is not a bad thing, however, what you have is factories with skeleton staff, as there is no workers to man the machines and what workers there are, can’t speak English and need an interpreter. A lot of these factories are either owned by the foreign investors with an English front man or factories with very basic equipment. The equipment is available, but expensive and no one is willing to invest in the machinery that is needed to produce the goods to the quality standard which the customers require.

The factories that have all the equipment are either far too expensive and want the same minimums as say China, Vietnam or Bangladesh, for instance are very busy with the likes of the Arcadia group. I find it scandalous that Great Britain (UK) has no manufacturing workforce or skilled labor to produce Made In Great Britain products. Our industry is screaming out for skilled labor and the government needs to start investing heavily into it before it’s too late. The problems we have that the youth of today would rather work in McDonald’s for £6 an hour or whatever the minimum wages is nowadays, than be a seamstress or a pattern cutter. These are jobs which are highly skilled and should not be sniffed at, but unfortunately they do.

We are now supposed to be a service industry and we can’t even do that properly. Therefore to find a decent factory, who is willing to work with you on micro production runs, with the fabrics that you have sourced from mills that are willing to work with you by selling you a few hundred meters and not 1000 is virtually imposable to find in the UK. Unless you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who is willing to do it for you. Even then you’re not sure whether the garments are going to be of quality that you would expect or require, therefore everything is sourced by myself

Securing the brand in the UK is not as important as it used to be, as the internet has thrown it wide open to the whole world, however, I believe that if you are a British company, you should have as much as you can made in the UK to bring the British economy back and to Export British made goods all over the world. The only thing that is missing is the investment, everything else will follow. I believe it will be at least 5 years or more before we see anything like we had in the early 80s.  


DHQ – What do you make which you are particularly proud of?

JS – There is no specific garment or product that am particularly proud of. I am very proud of every product we produce, as the same time and effort goes into every garment and product .


DHQ – What inspires you in the denim and work wear scene?

JS – Our inspiration comes from all walks of life, nothing specific, different cultures and different times. Our product is our lifestyle it’s proper British Work wear with a twist, it’s what we do , it’s what we want and it’s what we expect. You get what you see… Nothing more nothing less….
Everyone has a story to tell, We tell ours though our garments and the lens, I also like to pay homage to the Icons of yester-year who epitomize the essence of cool and I try to create a new take on past trends. Not just in our collective history but of our forefathers from across the pond, by using modern shapes & utilizing dead stock fabric



DHQ – What can we expect from Joe and Co going forwards?

JS – Going forward with Joe & Co, I am looking forward to be working with one of the finest denim factories in the UK and the denim mills that have been sourced. I am also working with an outerwear factory in the NW of England who make for the Japanese brand NEPENTHES and other quality brands, and in talks with a micro brewery to produce us a Pale Ale on the run up to Christmas, which is quite novel. There is so much going on, it never stops….. never a dull moment here at Joe & Co

Joe & Co are doing something extremely brave, something which I fully support in basing much of their operation in a market hostile to its own manufacturing, and where domestic products are routinely set aside for imported brands with perceived kudos. Having handled some examples of Joe & Co Denim jeans I will nail my flag to the mast in saying that they are the equal of just about any high end denim you could mention. I’ll be sharing my look at their denim in the next DHQ Fresh Weaves piece.

Denim HQ: Labor Of Love: A Simple Guide To Malaysian Denim Store

Post Written By Amir

ceremony fine wear

I got few emails asking of where they should check-in for a good pair of raw denim while they were in Malaysia – and I replied to them without hesitation a link to Ceremony Fine Wear and Cheese Denim through Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, these two are not the only denim brand available here in Malaysia, we do have some others but being that I personally known these two, and the credibility that their brand carries, I believe I’m recommending something good here.

With its heart pinned to the right path, Ceremony Fine Wear is one of the most respectable brands to come out of Malaysia. The fabric is sourced from Collect Co Ltd (Japan), Isko (Turkey) and Cone Mills (USA), some of the best mills in the world. They cut and sew their product exclusively in their studio, showroom and store combined, which is known as The Smokestack Provision Co. Do visit them, if you are lucky enough, you can see how they produce their jeans in the studio.

chesse denim

Cheese Denim on the other hand is a very productive label around here. During a recent phone call with the owner, I was informed that Cheese Denim Works will have its own mimosa back pocket tab on their next production. They mostly used Kaihara Japanese denim in the production of their selvedge line. The owner also runs a shop called The Yard.

tarik jeans

Another long run denim brand is Tarik Jeans. Their product is mostly non-selvedge but they do have one or two selvedge models in the product line. Their entire Tarik Jeans’ product are available at Nusantara Denim, which also owned by the Tarik Jeans founder. They carry a good variety of jeans and leather product from Indonesia and Thailand.

royaleworks limited

A new brand in the local market is Royale Works Limited. Armed with only two products at this moment, the DB01AT raw selvedge jeans and RB01AM hand print tshirt, this brand had shown a positive growth in the acceptance of denim’s market segment. No back patch, no arcurate, plain button and rivet; everything just clean and simple leaving the minimalist look to the people who wear it. I owe a big thanks to the brand for sponsoring me with their DB01AT to be used for the local fade contest Mydenim Fade 14. Their product was exclusively available online from http://bit.ly/royaleworkslimited

If you are already tired with what was available through Rakuten, you should give our local denim a try. On the quickest note: I’ve also learnt that Fuku Clothing has come out with a new model of selvedge jeans recently but I didn’t have the opportunity to check them out yet. Fuku is a part of Scythe, an established denim shop here in Malaysia. Raw Denim House is another new denim artisan that is currently perfecting their own cut. I saw some pictures of their prototypes and its looks promising. If you want to hem your jeans, do visit Emam Alteration. The shop offers hemming service using Union Special 43200G. Secret Art Touch also offer hemming and alteration service using Union Special.

Below is the list of some of the stores here in Malaysia and they are also an official reseller for brand like Nudie Jeans, Momotaro, Naked and Famous and also Iron Heart, if you are somewhere in Kuala Lumpur do check these shops. If you have a limited time, I suggest the first two shops from the list, they are very

knowledgeable not only about their product, but can give you an insight of what was happening in the local denim scene as well.

The Yard / Cheese Denim: 60A-1 1st Floor (Back Entrance) SS15/4 Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The Smokestack Provision Co. / Ceremony Fine Wear: #26-1, Jalan Wangsa Niaga, Wangsa Biz Avenue, Off Jalan 34/26, Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Nusantara Denim / Tarik Jeans: 26,Jalan SS15/8B,47500 Subang Jaya,Selangor, Malaysia.

Kronoz: Parkamaya, Fahrenheit88, 55100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Scythe / Fuku Clothing: 1-03, Level 1, e@Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Selangor, Malaysia.

Raizo Store: Lot FF45 level 1, Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall, Jalan Persiaran Putra, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.

Secret Art Touch: TF 01A, Tingkat 3 (Plaza Bukit Bintang), Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Zolo Collection: Campbell Complex, Jalan Dang Wangi, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Underground Street: S033 2nd Floor, Sungai Wang Plaza, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


On the other side of news, recently, Mydenim, (a local forum for denim enthusiast) had released its collaboration jeans, Iron Heart x Mydenim x Kronoz. The jeans were limited to only 100 pieces using 19oz left hand twill denim with individual pair being hand numbered. The production of this jean involved countless amounts of hard work and effort from every side, Mydenim comes with the idea and proposal of how the jeans will look like and Kronoz, being the official retailer of Iron Heart here in Malaysia, has brought this to the further discussion with Iron Heart camp. In July 2014, this special pair of Mydenim first international collaboration jeans (second collaboration in total, first one with local brand Cheese Denim Works) was available in the market. I must say that this collaboration marks a new milestone in the local denim scene!! The jeans still available from Kronoz, but being very limited, it is sure to run out fast, so hurry!

So should you find yourself in Malaysia you already know where you should ask the taxi driver to bring you to, especially in Kuala Lumpur. Do visit all the shops on the list and if you like the items which they are selling do buy them, especially the local made. It helps to grow the business and at the same time you are supporting the new brand to expand for a better quality in the future.

Denim HQ – Attention China, Let’s Make Some Jeans


At some stage of many folks immersion in the denim scene they get the crazy idea in their head that they should have a go at designing or making their own jeans, without realising perhaps how much work this actually is. Creating jeans, designing a pattern and seeing that through to manufacture whilst using high grade materials and ensuring the ethical nature of supply and making is a colossal and expensive task, I have seen close at hand the process through brands both major and minor, and also from individuals, and I admire each and every one of them for their efforts and the fruits of their labours. Such is the enormity of the task that I have managed to avoid the urge to step into the game myself, until now.


To summarise the total of my experience in this field, I have helped out with certain design tweaks and specifications on the Iron Heart Mega Beatle Buster, I have been involved with amending the cut of a certain other Japanese brand (which I can’t talk about yet 😉 ), and I have given advice to numerous start ups about what I think works and does not in a pair of jeans (some listen, most don’t), so my experience is not extensive but is pertinent. Nevertheless, whilst talking to a brand a few days ago I found myself setting out the framework to a new brand, a line of jeans, and an entire concept behind it which I genuinely liked and believe would be extremely popular, needless to say my ideas were met with less than 100% enthusiasm from a brand already on their way to finding their market niche, and not really looking re-invent the wheel. Undeterred I resolved to have a go at this myself and seek a willing partner to help me.


To many China may not seem like the ideal place to base a new brand, it’s synonyms with poor ethical sourcing and manufacture are many, but not all encompassing. China is a in the midst of realising its quality market potential, putting use to the myriad of skills at its disposal and most importantly the lack of ethics, which was once the standard, is slowly being driven out and replaced with fair pay and conditions for skilled craftsmen. Traditionally and historically China has played a role in the world with prominence which few countries can claim, it has been a centre for learning, a battleground and more recently been cast in the role of adversarial deterrent, it’s history is rich and colourful on a level without many peers and the saturation of Chinese culture into international and modern culture is almost total due to Chinese immigration and workers being prevalent in almost every corner of the globe. In short, China is culturally cool and probably always has been, political opinions aside.


We are starting to see some beautiful Chinese made denims and other fabrics, milled in ethical ways from Chinese cottons which makes me think that the time has never been more right for China to turn its considerable resources to the denim market in the way which Japan has done so successfully. I have been extremely impressed from what I have seen of the Chinese brand Red Cloud, and recently I reviewed some jeans made by SLHT which featured a very interesting, tightly woven 12.5oz raw denim, if this kind of denim can be produced in China then we should all be excited by the potential of the brands there.


Coupled with this, I have a brand concept which would work uniquely for a Chinese brand as it draws inspiration and imagery from aspects of the rich culture and history which have world wide appeal. I am absolutely eager to share this concept with a Chinese jeans maker and denim producer with the infrastructure, ethics and capability to join me in doing this, and I am publicly asking any Chinese company out there with the will and the means to do this to get in touch and hear what I have to say. Does anyone want to make some jeans with Megatron?