The History of Jeans in Japan: Black Markets, Red-Line Selvedge, & the Blue of Victory Lecture

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan

This lecture is being held in conjunction with our Indigo Threads /藍・つむぐ : Weaving Japanese Craftsmanship & American Heritage exhibition.

W. David Marx, the author of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style, will speak about the history of jeans in Japan. His lecture will follow the story of the initial interest in the American garment after World War II to the start of Japanese jeans brands during the peak of 1960s countercultures to the Japanese mass import of vintage Levi’s and Lee in the 1980s, and finally, the creation of premium Japanese replica denim which has made Japanese textile mills and brands famous worldwide. In short, the extremely iconic “American” garment has now become a symbol for Japanese craftsmanship and cultural leadership.

This event will be followed by a short reception.

Image of W. David Marx


W. David Marx is the author of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style (Basic Books, 2015) — a cultural history covering the Japanese assimilation of American fashion over the past hundred and fifty years. He has also written on music, fashion, and culture for publications such as The New Yorker (dot com), The New Republic, Lapham's Quarterly, Popeye, Nylon, VOX, and The Business of Fashion. Marx holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard College as well as an M.A. in Marketing and Consumer Behavior from Keio University.

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