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How did you get here?

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illumin8em View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 4:51pm
I am curious what everyone's path making it here was? Not so much "here" as in Denimbro (as most of us are mutineers) but more this place of similar interests. What's your story?

After talking with the venerable and generous Dr. H, I am again reminded of how much less I know from the already small amount I thought I knew. Which got me thinking, "why does he know so much, and been in the know for so long?" How did any of the main contributors of knowledge here find this interest? I can't figure out how anybody outside of San Fran and Japan, ever knew that Levi's started "Levi's Vintage Clothing" back in 1996, or any other company reproducing these clothes before the internet.

I guess I could ask individually (Randal, Harris's, and so on), but I figure I could open it to all




Edited by illumin8em - 03 Feb 2013 at 5:02pm
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illumin8em View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote illumin8em Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 5:07pm

My story isn't much but I am long winded. I was more Huckleberry Finn / Woody Guthrie than anything else growing up. When all my friends (parents) were buying Nike Jordans and listening to rap, I was picking through yard sales, peoples closets and attics and playing country blues and later the Misfits and Elvis. Unfortunately most of clothes I found were 70's-80's junk and we didn't have a thrift store in town till I was in high school. My preference for the forgotten and bygone bled to pretty much everything I did, it just looked, sounded and felt better in my hands than anything else. I never found much, but cherished and made sure to use what I took.

By age 22 I had given up thrift and was wearing skinny jeans that I though I looked great in and working on starting a photography business. I had been on the hunt for an older cameras and stumbled upon a pair of old boots at an estate sale. They did not fit, but in a couple months I figured out they were WWII Jump boots and managed to find a pair on ebay. During a visit home, my always encouraging mother told me that she used to buy Levis that one could shrink the dickens out of, and I should try there instead of trying on women's jeans (yeah right). I couldn't find them in any stores, and from searching online I actually stumbled on Superfuture, 2005?. I lurked that site for over a year before registering as a member. And that is about it until now. I had no idea this kind of community existed before Sufu.

Edited by illumin8em - 03 Feb 2013 at 5:12pm
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Bob Dale View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Bob Dale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 6:16pm
In high school I got a hand me down pair of 'Husky' 505's I think they were like 29-30's or something and baggy jeans were still sort of cool.  I wore them and was sold on Levis.  They were all I wanted to wear ever.  I didn't really 'skate' but did this embarassing early 00's version of parkore (sp?) and my 505's ripped. I was at a boarding school, and poor, so my 'mentor' bought me a pair of Wrangler 'Hero' jeans.  I was grateful, but I hated those jeans.

I went home and bought like 50$ worth of Levis at the thrift store.  I am pretty sure I saw Selvage on that trip but was more annoyed than intrigued.  20$ for these ''pieces of crap'' - - little did I know. So I took my 6-7 pairs of ill fitting 517's with me and rocked them until college.

I was in to beat to shit jeans in college so my 517s still worked. I had a job at Abercrombie and really liked the trashed jeans for whatever reason.  I couldn't afford them and at the time and boot cuts were all the rage so I stole several pairs of my dads bootcut rustlers and kept  thrifting like a mofo.  I had a few pairs of ill fitting 646's (I called them mom jeans at the time, the rise was so full)  I became legitimately addicted to thrifting.  I went at least once a week with a good friend of mine.  never found anything good, but it kept me in western shirts , ironic t-shirts, and more polyester than studio54.

My good friend heard about /saw a pair of Nudies and discovered superfuture and then styleforum.  Neither one of us were really 'beasty' at the time so all the sneakers and streetwear didn't appeal all that much.  We just wanted shit that fit so we gravitated to styleforum.  I was still poor, but I think by now I'd bought my first pair of 501s ( I still have them, they are my favorite pair) .  I aspired for a pair of APCs sized down 3 as was the styleforum 'way'.  Never could afford them.

My buddy got a great deal on some KMW's from kiya -- and eventually passed the deal on to me.  I was hooked.

got really into styleforum, and posted a ton there.  eventually it got lame and I dabbled at sufu because there was way more info on LVC.  I was un-decided I knew I really liked the 47's but just couldn't decide and was scared to death about sizing on a luxury item.

I saw an initial pair of Roy's MTM offering and was blown away.  The patch reminded me of summer camp and leather crafts.    My wife gave me my pair as my 1st wedding anniversary gift , and then I must have sent 300 (a slight exaggeration) emails to Roy.   We became friends (or whatever you call someone you email frequently but have never actually met). 

There was a lot of enthusiasm surrounding Roy, the thread on sufu blew up just like Roy and then there was the Roy x Cone contest.

Riding the high of the RxC ADH92 and I approached Left Field about doing a contest and we had a successful contest with the indigo dyed chinos last year.

this forum came to fruition, and since then I've gravitated primarily here.

wow ;  that's a long, boring story.


Edited by Bob Dale - 03 Feb 2013 at 8:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote colgems1966 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 7:39pm
  maybe there is something wrong with me, but from the time i was a little boy i was always interested in the past. i was the kind of kid that when we drove over a concrete bridge i'd look right to see what year it was constructed or if you handed me a quarter i'd look to see when it was made and if vintage i'd wonder where all it had been.
  i'm sure movies and TV played a large role in all this as they illustrated to me quite vividly different eras and piqued my interest. the net result of all this is that i was a full blown vintage junkie by age 10. it being the mid 70's you could still easily find stuff and cheap! i remember the army surplus stores back then had all the m-43's, button fly khaki's etc you wanted and for only a few dollars. so i grew up with it and wanted to look like all those people i had seen in old movies.
  the most challenging time for me was when i grown and had to replace all those smaller size vintage clothes i had grown up wearing and had outgrown. prices had risen and there wasn't much true vintage out there to fit my 6 foot frame but luckily i found a few things and the repro market was just begininng to heat up. i have been into it for so long i don't know any other way to dress.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote devilish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2013 at 11:04pm
Psychobilly. That was the gateway that started the appeal of the past for me. Even though the uniform was fairly rigid in my particular neck of the woods. MA-1 jacket, band t-shirt with cut-off flannel over the top, rolled up STF's and Dr. Marten boots. Some of the more stylish and adventurous of us branched out into a kind hybrid rock n' roll/40's Britain look. Morrisey would dress that way sometimes but he followed 'the street' not the other way round.

There were a few vintage shops in my home town where we'd pick up old cardigans and shirts, these would be paired with 40's tweed overcoats. There were also trips to London to find the American stuff that could only be had on the Kings Rd or Camden Mkt.

At college in London in the 80's drugs took over and it was known as the 2nd Summer of Love but still my fashion would always incorporate as much vintage as possible and Levi's were always the jean of choice, even then. I always tended to be more rocker than my more hippie leaning friends.

After moving to San Francisco 20 odd years ago, there have been a few minor changes in style over the years and then a few years back I made a decision to start buying the most quality clothes I could afford and in a more classic style. It was time to dress in a way that was more appealing to me as I grew older and would grow older with me.

I still make a hybrid of both classic British and American men's style with denim and tweed. The British stuff is even more expensive than the U.S./Japanese and takes a little longer to save for or hunt down. One day I'll have a 3pc tweed suit made in England to wear when jeans are not appropriate.

I have always had a mind for useless knowledge and minutiae so I try and pick up as much of the history of it all as I can and that is what most appeals to me about places like SuFu, denimbro, The Fedora Lounge, VLJ et al. They are also great enablers for the addiction of collecting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote nick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 4:52am
Really interesting devilish, particularly the reference to Morrissey which is probably how I started off. I was a huge metal fan in the mid to late 80s and then gravitated towards US guitar bands. Having cut off my hair and stopped wearing band tees, I started wearing plaid shirts, orange tab 518s. DMs, a mackinaw jacket and a quiff. I was always interested in band imagery and how the looks fitted in with the music - loved hardcore/guitar bands who wore anything than standard cargos, jeans, tees, high tops.

That was my A Levels and then university look. But then I became more interested in fashion culminating in a bit of a wild Vivienne Westwood phase late 90s/early 00s. 

After that, I started wearing jeans again, picked up a few pairs of LVC 2005ish. And then discovered superfuture around the same time. Always thought sufu was a good resource but the vibe was more of a consumerist thing rather than for aesthetics which is my main thing.

So, i am still interested in how things look and fit and I am a bit more interested now in where they came from. But I do think people get bogged down in detail to the detriment of actually having a good clean look. How you wear things is just as important as what it is or it's manufacturing process. No point in spending x dollars/yen on your clothes if it's the same look you can get at Gap.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote killer b Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 4:58am
I think when i heard the idea of not washing your jeans a few years ago it appealed to my slovenly nature, but i found with the cheap prewashed jeans i was wearing at the time it gave a less than satisfactory result.

so i read a bit about it on the internet, and all roads led to superfuture, then here...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote rayw44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 6:21am

Like a lot of others here, old things have always resonated with me. My Dad really piqued my interest in all of this, and he always took great care of his favorite articles of clothing.

He used to mend and darn anything he truly cherished, and my Grandmother likes to tell stories of him asking her to mend things that other people would have thrown out long before. He still does today (he has a sweatchirt from the good old days of Champion that is now more darning than sweatshirt).
 
I used to wear a lot of his old stuff, and still do. But in my freshman year of college I started to get interested in denim, and I stumbled upon LVC through the Levis website (back when you could buy LVC direct from them). I balked at the $175 price for the 47s, so I bought a pair on ebay for around $95 and also grabbed a pair of fakes for quite cheap.
 
I wore both of these for sabout a year without knowing much about Sufu. Then I happened to be at the King of Prussia Mall sometime around 2005-2006 because I wanted to see more LVC firsthand at the Levis store that had recently opened there.
 
One of the employees struck up a conversation with me and asked if the fakes I was wearing was a pair of 47s. I explained that they were fakes and we talked a bit about LVC and the level of quality of these fakes (I thought they were pretty good at the time, except for a paper patch instead of the correct leather version).
 
The employee suggested that I take a look at Sufu, and I did right when I got home. I lurked for at least a year or so before actually joining, and then "defected" to here. My love of old things has only gotten worse since.
 
I still don't know who the employee was on Sufu, so if you are here, make yourself known.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote Mr Black Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2013 at 6:44am
 

Here’s my story it’s sad but true…. And very rambling

I guess my first forays into clothing came when I was 10/11.  2-tone fever had gripped the UK and I was swept into it a little bit. I remember going to the army surplus shop to get my monkey boots and first pair of sta-prest (not genuine levis, but at that age I wouldn’t have known the difference). Loved rummaging through the rails and boxes of stuff. The smell was great too. Also had my yellow braces, assorted Fred perry’s and moccasins.

I started secondary school around this time and was given a hand-me down school blazer to wear which had slim lapels.- quite a 60’s cut. Everyone else had massive lapels. My mum let me take in my school trousers a little bit so I started school looking quite cool (so I thought). The older rude boys and skins sort of took me under their wing so I didn’t get any hassle for looking a bit ‘different’.

Anyhoo- that phased out. I wasn’t particulary sporty or academic and my friends were mainly those with a similar musical taste which by then was the Smiths, echo & the bunnymen, Siouxsie & banshees, David bowie, icicle works, Bauhaus. General new-wave stuff I guess. We just used to hang around at school together talking about music and clothes.

We started going to Kensington Market at the weekends which for those that don’t know it was a London haven for ‘alternatives’ be it Goths, punks, rockabillies, late new romantic types etc, whatever. Much like Devilish, the look was quiffed hair, old vintage tweed overcoats, suede front cardigans, moccasins. I guess that was where my rummaging through vintage clothing started

Psycholbilly then came on my radar and coincided with leaving school and starting 6th form college. Also giving me the freedom to wear whatever I wanted. My sister had some old cramps records which really got to me. Started listening to other psychobilly bands and changing my look. Tatty, tightish fitting second hand 501’s which I probably took in a bit, band tees, old army boots, checked shirts. Many of my friends went for the MA1, tight jeans, massive boots look- very bone-heady, but I adopted more of an American 50’s with a twist look. So- lumberjack jackets, checked shirts, baseball shirts and cuffs on my jeans. We’d flit between the great gear market on the Kings Road and Kensington market. Dabbling in vintage.

Musically I preferred the more melodic stuff rather than the punky angry sounds. Couple if years later I’d morphed into what I guess they call a neo-rockabilly. At this time I was friends with a girl at college (very attractive she was) who kindly took me along to my 1st proper rockabilly/Rockin’ club. I was blown away. The music was SO much raw-er. Almost gutteral. The attendees, generally a little older than me were just the coolest things I’d ever seen. Amazing clothes, amazing dancing and some very amazing looking girls. I was hooked.

Round that time- aged 18/19 I was all STF 501’s, checked shirts, bandana’s and dealer boots or boating shoes but slowly I started noticing the finite details of what my hero’s were wearing. Particularly the denim. What was that white line on their turn-ups? why was there this really interesting fading down the side seams, how come mine didn’t fade like that? how come they had a ‘grain’ and faded with so much more contrast than mine? How come that denim trucker jacket doesn’t have side-pockets, and what are those pleats on that jacket? Slowly I picked it up and started buying vintage denim and trying to perfect the look as best I could. At the time 50’s American clothing was relatively cheap and plentiful but I was still on a budget so the rarer items were out of my reach but I still spent most weekends trawling through the rails picking up bits here and there..

I stayed on the scene until I was about 26 ish. Was getting bored of going to the same clubs every week, seeing the same people, hearing the same tunes so it was a natural time to break away. Around that time Acid jazz was pretty popular. I’d always liked old soul & funk so it seemed a natural progression, and I could still wear my old denims J but mixed with 60’s knitwear.

Workwear also came into play with Carhartt, Dickies, Ben Davies being quite popular.

Got friendly with a few moddy types and went to some mod nights aswell. I had a scooter by this time so fitted in OK. Loved the music but just didn’t feel comfortable so stayed on the periphery. Their idea of dressing up was to pull on an immaculate suit. Mine was to slip into some old Big E’s.

Prices of vintage were shooting up and LVC had just started so although I wasn’t wealthy, it made sense to buy new rather than vintage. Al least I knew I could get my size and I could finally afford to get a type 1.!!

A trip round America and a tour of the Valencia Street factory increased my interest and I started buying more LVC.

Not entirely sure how, but I stumbled across Superfuture in early 2007 and started getting more into the repro brands aswell as LVC & vintage stuff. A couple of years later I was made redundant from my magazine job and started working part time at Son of A stag in london and got to finger more of the Japanese brands i was reading about on Sufu. It taught me alot and I was happy just chatting to the customers all day about denim, learning more about the relative merits of this denim or that denim. This cut or that cut,how this pair fades compared to that pair & so on

I guess now I’m just an amalgam of all my past influences- and happy with where I am.



Edited by Mr Black - 25 Feb 2013 at 9:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote proulxsie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2013 at 11:31am
I've always dressed tomboy-ish but was very misguided and didn't really know one thing from another—I'm now more interested in the details/history as my boyfriend is a bit of a clothing snob after working for Bobby and doing windows for RRL. I like to be a bit more laid back about it than he is though! 

I found DB from researching old elephant bandannys and decided to stay. :)
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