Premium denim or designer denim jeans carry with it much more than just a higher price tag. For many men, a good pair of premium denim jeans is a sartorial staple. Of course the one reason denim jeans became a favorite in the first place is because of its durability. Influential and contemporary denim brands and designers have revolutionized fashion by introducing a redefined, more versatile, accessible, and fashion forward garment, which we know as the premium denim jean. Premium denim, unlike its prototype, the denim jean, which symbolizes western decodence and youthful defiance, has now transitioned into a symbol of high fashion and luxury, worn by true Quintessential Gentlemen of the world. Here are our picks for top 10 brands with the best premium denim fashions, styles, and cuts (in no particular order):
Levi’s – Unquestionably one of the world’s most iconic labels, Levi Strauss & Co. was founded in the mid 1800s when Levi Strauss emigrated from Bavaria to San Francisco. After partnering with tailor Jacob Davis, the duo received a US patent to make the first riveted work pants from denim. Although Levi’s blue jeans gained in popularity via subcultures like the greasers, mods, and skinheads, the brand continues to thrive on the classic, everyday quality of its denimwear. From the signature tapered 501s to the slim-cut 511s, each and every pair is crafted with a strong focus on unrivalled quality and construction. (http://www.levistrauss.com)
Diesel – Diesel Known for its youthful take on men’s denim and ready-to-wear, Diesel was founded in Italy in 1978 by designer Renzo Rosso. Saying that he learned creativity from Italy, systems from Germany, and marketing from the U.S., Rosso launched a legacy of bold style choices, both on the runway and off. Diesel’s expertly faded and distressed jeans originated the “premium denim” movement, while its infamous ad campaigns established the brand’s role as a cultural provocateur: smart, sexy, and just ironic enough. Since 2013, artistic director Nicola Formichetti has continued to push Diesel’s rebellious and challenging side. Its updated denim make Diesel an always contemporary force in street fashion. (http://www.diesel.com)
Nudie Jeans – More than a pair jeans, Nudie is a way of thinking, a concept, a passion. Carefully made in Italy with the best quality denim, the best laundries and with extra value in detail, Nudie Jeans are made with love for real denim lovers. Premium Dry Denim is the heart and soul of the brand. Live as hard as you can in your dry Nudies and the indigo will mix with your body heat to create natural creases and crinkles. Once you put them on, it won’t be long until they become your second skin. (http://www.nudiejeans.com/)
Prps – Ground breaking designer and founder of Prps, Donwan Harrell is the first American designer to bring Japanese denim jeans to the United States. Established in 2002, Donwan single handedly started the rise of the Japanese luxury denim jeans business in America. He doesn’t simply just make washed & selvedge jeans, Donwan constantly researches, selects premium denim and uses revolutionary washes that has changed the face of mens fashion & celebrity fashion as we know it. Prps has 3 collections that are shaping the men’s fashion industry: Prps Noir, Prps, and Prps Goods & Co. Every characteristic of every garment produced by Prps is representative of Donwan’s penchant for meticulousness. No detail, no matter how minute, goes overlooked; creating the best jeans to date. Your pair of Prps will last, allowing you to live in them to create your own imprint. Prps premium jeans are “Bruised, Never Broken.” (http://www.prpsjeans.com)
Robin’s Jeans – Robin’s Jean was founded in 2005 by Robin Chretien. Based in Downtown Los Angeles, Robin’s Jean is now in its 8th year and has four flagship stores, in Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, New York City and Ibiza, Spain. Robin’s Jean’s unique signature, a set of golden wings, is a reflection of the designer’s positive energy and playful spirit. The brand, is known for its stylish cuts and avant-garde washes, as well as its intricate detailing, studded embellishments and embroidery. (http://www.robinsjean.com/)
Balmain – Pierre Balmain opened his quintessentially Parisian couture house in 1945, creating an aesthetic that became synonymous with easy sophistication and simple elegance. Current creative director Olivier Rousteing, appointed in 2011, approaches the house’s menswear with a global, millennial outlook. His proposal for a modern men’s wardrobe takes in sharply tailored blazers, biker jeans and cargo pants, leather motorcycle jackets, loungewear, and graphic knits: a mix of streetwear and suiting that evokes a relaxed attitude of contemporary refinement. (http://www.balmain.com)
Saint Laurent – Saint Laurent Algerian-born French designer Yves Saint founded his namesake couture house in 1961, pioneering luxury ready-to-wear in his 1966 “Rive Gauche” collection and setting a standard of youth and freedom expressed with elegance that the designer would later carry over to menswear collections. Saint Laurent, under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane since 2012, continues the house’s fusion of refinement and rebellion. Inspired by the youth subcultures of garage, grunge, and psych rock in his home base of Los Angeles, Slimane elevates staples of rock style to an unprecedented standard of luxury. Expect sharp tailoring, slick leather jackets and narrow-fit denim. (http://www.ysl.com)
Kapital – KAPITAL takes its name from Kojima, Okayama, an area known as Japan’s ‘Denim Capital’. Founded in 1984, the company originally focused exclusively on denim, borrowing heritage production techniques from vintage American workwear. The label reimagines mid-century Americana using heritage production techniques to create designs with an authentic workwear feel. Now, with superior denim as well as a full range of designs in additional fabrics, Kapital is a mainstay of the Japanese menswear community. (http://www.kapital.jp/)
Blackmeans – Immersed in Tokyo’s underground punk scene, Blackmeans fuses the hardcore punk and D.I.Y. aesthetic with visual elements of tribal cultures from around the globe. Blackmeans is heavily influenced by British punk subculture as well as traditional Japanese craftsmanship. The clothing has an anarchistic look, without the undone quality associated with the rock ‘n’ roll genre. Designers Yujiro Komatsu, Takatomo Ariga, Masatomo Ariga, and Tomoko Moriya place a particular focus on leather craftsmanship, developing new techniques for panting, treating, distressing, and embellishment to showcase the distinctive identity of Tokyo’s punk style tribe. (http://www.blackmeans.com)
Dsquared2 – Canadian-born twins Dan and Dean Caten joined the international fashion world in 1984, moving to Italy and capturing the industry’s eye with runway shows mashing up elements from the fashion, music, and theatre worlds. Dsquared2 continues to embody the same adventurous spirit, with collections embracing playful humor and theatrical inspirations alongside refined tailoring and top quality Italian craftsmanship. Its signature menswear mix of well-cut suiting and casual basics can be seen the line’s utilitarian parkas, colorful shoes, tongue-in-cheek graphic t-shirts, tailored blazers and trousers, and perfectly cut jeans. (http://www.dsquared2.com)
There are many styles, fashions, and fits to choose from. Although there are many fits, generally, the straight-leg fit jeans are a bit looser than the slim fit, meaning they slightly hug the thigh while the knees and calves are free.The fit of your premium denim is always important. The fit determines how you feel and how you feel determines how you look. The style is also important. Choosing the right style will help you with determining if it is suitable attire for a particualar occasion. Certain cuts are more appropriate for some occasions than others. Some styles are not always appropriate for some formal or business settings. By understanding the way premium denim jeans are made, evaluating your body type, and thinking about your overall style, you will be more likely to purchase premium denim that are just right for you. Choose wisely and wear your premium denim with confidence. Besides, they are essentially your second skin.
Since they are part of you, wear them proudly.
The Quintessential Gentleman