Some brands, like Samurai, which is exclusive to Self Edge, are "known for how stiff they are, like sandpaper," Babzani says. "They're not meant to be comfortable." For best results, you shouldn't even wash them for the first month or two -- if ever -- as you break them in.
Such is the allure of raw Japanese denim. It bends to the owner's whims and life. Self Edge employee Jan Galang was riding his bike and wearing his 15-ounce Sugar Cane Okinawas when he was hit by a car recently. He's OK, but the jeans sustained some damage. Still, it's all good: "With denim right now, it's all about how they fade," he says.
(I imported my Sugar Cane 1945 Lee repros direct from Japan for a hair over half what Self Edge is charging, including EMS shipping)
Levi's original location was at 55 Valencia St in San Francisco. In fact, if you can find a pair of old 501s with "55" stamped behind the big fly button, you can probably sell them on ebay for a tidy profit. Or, if they're 31x34s, you can send them my way for no profit at all.