The USA’s homegrown shrine to Japanese denim has finally reached sunny Southern California as Self Edge opens its doors to Los Angeles, following New York City and San Francisco. Now Angelenos finally have a chance to savor the sweet touch of Japanese-milled denim in their own hands.
Kiya Babzani, co-owner and co-founder of Self Edge, proudly (and in jest) proclaims that by purchasing something from Self Edge, you are “buying peace”. Well if peace comes in the form of high quality selvedge denim, then they may be the most philanthropic retailers in the States. Stocked to the brim with exclusive brands that rarely cross the Pacific Ocean (or Atlantic, if you take the long way), Self Edge sells clothing that is inspired by 1940’s America. More importantly, Self Edge brands tell a story and represent a lifestyle beyond fashion.
The new store is huge and Johan, who will be heading up the LA store, commented that this was the biggest Self Edge yet. By the entrance, a table of leather accessories and jewelry sits in front of the denim heart and soul of Self Edge: jeans that hang neatly on custom iron hangers set upon a serrated rack. Up a flight of stairs resides a collection of meticulously chosen shirts, hats and scarves. Overall the store has an intimate but spacious feel.
Japanese denim is heralded by many as the pinnacle of denim quality and construction and Self Edge prides itself on stocking labels that are the pinnacle of Japanese denim. Brands include Flat Head ($295 – $320), Sugar Cane ($275 – $300), Skull ($290 – $340), Real Japan Blues ($320), Dry Bones ($260 – $275), Iron Heart ($320 – $450), and Strike Gold ($300). Now, where does the American made and designed denim label 3Sixteen ($195 – $230) fit into the sea of Japanese denim? Well Johan is one of 3Sixteen’s two founders. How’s that for being close to the source? It’s like buying mountain spring water…bottled by a cloud.
Man does not live by bread, er, jeans alone and Self Edge also stocks a wide range of shirts, from the famous chambray snap western shirts by Flat Head ($195 – $220) to work shirts by Sugar Cane ($155) and flannels by Iron Heart ($290). Be sure to check out the wide variety of Los Angeles’ own Mister Freedom jackets ($429 – $900) and button-downs ($250 – $300), exhibiting his trademark naval inspiration.
All items in stock are exclusive to the Self Edge stores and, starting in the fall, the three stores are going to be stocking items exclusive to each store. Each item reflecting the clientele and lifestyle of the represented cities: New York will be getting dressier items, whereas LA and San Francisco will be receiving the crazier merchandise. Exclusive stuff that is already exclusive? And that, my friend, is how black holes are formed.
Kiya mentioned that by buying a Dry Bones x Rockin’ Jelly Bean Kawasaki shirt ($250), you could possibly “become the coolest person in LA.” We’re not saying that we don’t believe him, but anything from this store is bound to turn heads. Stay tuned, because word on the street is that in a matter of weeks Self Edge will surprise us with a new product that will surely knock your selvedge socks off.
144 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036 – (323) 933-9000 – 7 Days a Week: Noon to 7pm Map
Big thanks to Don Kang/John Ong for helping out with the photos!