NIGO gets a lot of credit for his still-influential streetwear legacy but the designer is more rarely lauded for his immense archive of vintage workwear, a frequent source of inspiration for his label, HUMAN MADE. To be fair, NIGO doesn’t often allow outsiders to peruse his stash, so it’s not often that anyone gets to sample the goods for themselves. That may all change soon enough, however, as NIGO aligns with Levi’s to give new life to classic pieces that he’s collected over the years.
First up is a set of timeworn Levi’s staples, faithfully reproduced to mirror NIGO’s garments down the wear patterns and distressing. There’s a Type II Trucker jacket inspired by the one that NIGO purchased back in 1986 and classic 1915 buckle-back 501 jeans, each limited to only 100 pairs apiece and finished with painstaking detail.
For instance, the rear pockets of NIGO’s 501s aren’t quite the same size — he worked with Levi’s to get the reproductions’ pockets exactly askew to match. Of course, these new editions are far sturdier than NIGO’s threadbare originals, all crafted from Japanese denim in a domestic factory. To drive home the collector’s feel, each garment features hand-numbered tags that recall vintage sample labels and comes in a “trasure chest” box.
The trucker holds a special place in NIGO’s heart, in particular. “The first time I ever bought a vintage garment I was 15,” NIGO told NOWNESS back in 2011. “It was a Levi’s Type 2 jacket. The thing was shredded, falling to pieces. My mom was totally pissed off and couldn’t imagine that I’d bought a jacket with holes in it. She gave me hell for it. I’ve still got the jacket now.”
Head to Levi’s Japan’s website for more information on the collaborative jacket and jeans, which launch later this month via HUMAN MADE’s website and Levi’s Harajuku flagship for ¥96,800 (approximately $870) and ¥78,650 (approximately $710), respectively.