Refining Perfection – orSlow
After dealing with some of the world's most prestigious boutique brands for over a decade, we're confident in saying we've seen a lot of things. In that time we've been through plenty of trend cycles, economic swings and now even a global pandemic. As things come and go, we sometimes find ourselves looking for a bit of consistency – a known quantity on which to rely.
Within the Up There brand list there's a few labels which represent this consistency: BEAMS, Norse Projects, Birkenstock, Armor Lux and even Engineered Garments are all brands which keep things going in a linear direction. Perhaps the brand which best represents this though, is the Japanese label orSlow.
Established in 2005 by Ichiro Nakatsu, the brand was founded off the back of his significant archive of American denim, military, outdoors and workwear garments. Wanting to recreate what he loved, Nakatsu set about to replicate them. His love affair with denim begins much earlier though – Nakatsu often references a pair of denim dungarees bought by mother from when he was growing up in Osaka.
Most orSlow garments are made in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture using vintage Reece, Singer and Union Special sewing machines. Few places outside of Japan can even give designers access to this level of detail, but it's something that Nakatsu harnesses to perfection. With these resources, orSlow is able to reproduce decades-old designs in exact detail, then make fine adjustments to improve on original shortcomings.
Although orSlow produces garments from fabrics other than denim, the indigo-dyed twill cotton best captures the essence of Ichico Nakatsu's original idea. With each wear – through years of love and attachment – denim changes to take on a life of its own. It's true that no two pair of jeans are the same. With each scuff, fall or scoot-along the couch your denim is forming a unique patina that no other person will have.
As the concepts of forced redundancy, instant gratification and fast fashion continue their stranglehold on our society, we look to brands like orSlow as the antidote. Through a slow and considered approach un-phased by trends and outside demands, Mr Nakatsu continues to produce some of the most uncontrived and authentic garments.
You can shop for orSlow in-store and through our online store.