Competitiveness of the Japanese denim and jeans industry
The cases of Kaihara and Japan Blue, 1970–2015
in European fashion
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In the 1950s and 1960s, blue jeans became a symbol of youth protests against the conformity of their parents. Vintage and designer denim became an important part of the global fashion system. The two case studies in this chapter draw on interviews with the CEOs of Kaihara and Japan Blue and documents from both the companies. The examples fit perfectly within a comparative, historical study of Japanese premium denim and jeans. The case studies demonstrate that producing denim, the fabric, is a different story and needs a different strategy from producing jeans, the garment. They are also closely related because of interdependence between the two industries; Kaihara, for example, dyes Japan Blue's woven cotton. An in-depth historical analysis of these two cases provides valuable insight into the historical competitiveness of denim and jeans manufacturing in Japan over the last five decades.

European fashion

The creation of a global industry

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