Story of Hidehiko Yamane’s Evisu
Japan’s first dalliance with high-quality denim came in the form of vintage Levi’s. As consumers became savvier, however; these deadstock one-of-kind pieces became worth thousands of dollars. Brands like Studio D’artisan and Denime sprang up, riding the wave of interest in vintage denim. They used high-quality denims and made allusions to the classic Levi’s details that people treasured.
In 1991 Yamane teamed up with Mikiharu Tsujita (future founder of Full Count) to create the brand Evis, named after Ebisu, Japanese god of fortune and fishermen. More importantly, Evis was just Levi’s with the ‘L’ removed. This sense of play and humor would pervade through Evis’ early years, especially with the iconic seagull design.
Evis’ first three hundred pairs were large, anti-fit, “American-style” jeans reminiscent of the ill-fitting garments Yamane would find at his local surplus store. Yamane painted the now-famous seagull arcuate on some of the jeans, but mostly as a joke. He’s quoted as saying, “The paint was half joke. I never thought anyone would buy them.” The first pairs to sell were those with the garish arcs. He would add them to the others soon after.
As Evis gained momentum, they had to tack a U on their name to evade the notoriously litigious legal team at Levi’s. This didn’t slow things down. When the company was first founded, the brand was producing about 14 pairs of jeans a day and Yamane would hand-paint each seagull arcuate.
By the early 2000s, things were kicked up a notch. Yamane partnered with Peter Caplowe to disseminate his uniquely garish jeans among the cool kids of London and NY. The so-called American style jeans, with their outsize, baggy fit and their marked-up price point made them an aspirational purchase for rappers, DJs, and celebrities. #evisu #kiev #evisusecond #jualevisu #evisubekas #casual #cpcompany #thenorthface #hk #barbour #champion #ellesse #evisujeans #casualukraine #stussy #weekendoffender #napapijri #casualstyle #ukraine #streetwear #oxygenultras #clobber #tattoo #mastrum #officialcasual #evisumurah #aquascutum #peacefulhooligan #fjallraven