True denim lovers know that “virgin” denim is a breed of its own, far different from “regular” (washed) denim. And while we can go on (and on …) about how much we love virgin denim, we’ve asked our longtime customer Josha Roymans to share his thoughts on why he chooses to wear this type of jean.
Name: Josha Roymans
Occupation: Product Designer
City of residence: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
When did you become interested in denim?
At the end of my teenage years, when virgin denim first started to become popular. I bought a pair, but only later I became interested in what they actually were. I already had a dislike for big brands that only cared about quantity. For everything I buy I want it to last forever – whether it’s watches, jackets, jeans, or furniture that I make.
How did you discover DENHAM?
I moved to Amsterdam in 2007, and when DENHAM was founded in 2008, I immediately liked it because it all suited me: high quality, nice detailing, the whole identity of the shop and what they do.
Your favourite DENHAM jean model:
I only wear one but I’ve had multiple pairs of it: the VJS (Virgin Japanese selvedge). I’ve bought some, worn them in, and traded them back with Jason. This pair I’ve had for about seven years, wearing them about half of the time.
What do you like about DENHAM jeans?
I want to keep all my clothes for as long as possible. I only want high quality and that’s why I wear DENHAM. The jeans aren’t cheap, but they are full of details and are super nice quality. They last a long time and the designs are timeless.
Why do you like wearing virgin denim?
The colour and the feel. I have always disliked pre-washed denim since I know how it’s produced. Every denim is made as a virgin jean, then factory workers tear them up … so you’re buying them halfway through their life already.
Virgin denim makes more sense to me. When I have a new pair, I wear them straight for a year, more or less everyday.
How many pairs of virgin jeans do you have now?
I always have two or three pairs on the go – one virgin, one vintage, and one in-between.
What’s the coolest characteristic on your jeans?
I have a constant itch on my left shin, so you can see the deterioration on the fabric, where I itch the same spot, over and over.
How often do you wash your virgin jeans?
In the past I almost never washed them, but now I do more often – sometimes once a month, and sometimes every other month. I started wearing the jeans to my work at Neef Louis. Because I work with epoxy, sanding and gluing, the jeans get really dirty with grease and oil, very quickly.
How many times have your jeans been repaired?
Clinton has fixed them almost 30 times already … now they’re like an antique!
When was the first time you washed these jeans?
The first time, I was working with epoxy and I got some on my jeans. It smells really bad, so I HAD to wash them to get it out! Then I waited another year with no washing. I went to a festival, and at that point I realized I had to wash more regularly.
Your advice to any first-time virgin jean buyer?
Don’t sit on a white couch!
The sashiko denim detail was hand-stitched by artist Pey.
Photos by Catharina Veder.