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Faded Glory: Annual Denim Competition

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Fade February 2015_7

dutil. rallies denim experts and fans for Fade February competition

“The experience of raw denim is patience and perseverance” – David Strong, Freenote Cloth.

dutil.‘s annual showcase of the country’s most jaw-dropping faded jeans didn’t disappoint denim heads in Vancouver and Toronto this past weekend. Before the complimentary PBRs even hit the cooler, and esteemed industry experts arrived for the competition, throes of denim connoisseurs and their supportive friends were already packing the sidewalks of both store locations to celebrate the end of Fade February.

Vancouver judges from left to right, Carmen Faye Mathes (Sad Mag), Matt Townsend (Nudie), David Strong (Freenote Cloth), Jeffrey Lee (Doublewood Project)

Vancouver judges from left to right, Carmen Faye Mathes (Sad Mag), Matt Townsend (Nudie), David Strong (Freenote Cloth), Jeffrey Lee (Doublewood Project)

For this year’s friendly competition, our judging panel consisted of Matt Townsend and Corey Spencer from Nudie Jeans, Freenote Cloth’s Sales Director David Strong, Doublewood Project co-founder Jeffrey Lee, Sad Mag’s representative Carmen Faye Mathes, Tammy Thorne of Dandyhorse Magazine, and Adam Cruickshanks from Pabst Blue Ribbon. We relied on their keen eyes and experience to settle on a seemingly impossible conclusion – which jeans in front of them had faded with maximum contrast and personality? Amongst 50 online and in-store entries, our judges managed to pick eight winners.

In Vancouver, Conrad Pazdyk nabbed third place with his Dirty Fade Weird Guys by Naked and Famous. These Weird Guys are 14oz and have been worn for two and half years. They were soaked twice, first at the 12-month mark and again eight months after that. Surprisingly these jeans have not required any repairs. Instagram: @conraadpaz

Vancouver winners Colleen Meegan, Conrad Pazdyk, and Aleksey Balotskiy

Vancouver winners Colleen Meegan, Conrad Pazdyk, and Aleksey Balotskiy

In second place, Colleen Meegan stole the show with her pair of Tight Long Johns by Nudie Jeans. These jeans are 11oz and were worn for three years between 2009 and 2012 before being forced into retirement. They were washed once after 18 months. There have been a total of four repairs made on the garment, including patchwork on the knee, thigh, crotch, and back inseam. Instagram: @gradualgram

Vancouver’s grand winner was Aleksey Balotskiy with his Petit Standards by APC. This pair uses 12oz denim and has been worn for two years and seven months without any washes. dutil. recommends the Cure Apothecary x IDC’s Antibacterial Denim Spray  for non-washers. There have been two repairs to the crotch. Twitter: @abalotsk

In Toronto, third place went to Krystian Kielbasa and his New Cures by APC. They are 12oz and have been worn just under four years. They were washed twice, first in the ocean and then in a regular cold wash.

Jonathan Cheng from Toronto's winning entry

Jonathan Cheng from Toronto’s winning entry

Second place winner was Justin Black and his pair of United Stock Dry Goods jeans. They are 12.5oz and were worn for 2 years. They were washed three times, all in cold water.

And the grand prize in Toronto went to Jonathan Cheng and his pair of New Standards by APC. The New Standards are 12oz and were worn for four and half years. They were washed four times in total.

From our online entries, our judges were incredibly impressed with Gordon Clark and his Deep Indigo Selvedge Skinny Guys by Naked and Famous. His Skinny Guys are 14oz and have roughly five years of wear. He’s repaired them personally with canvas and leather patches five times. Yitzhak Bongenaar from Indonesia, also won with his pair of Left Hand Twill Skinny Guys by Naked and Famous. His jeans are 14oz and 18 months old. They were washed three times and are absolutely beautiful.

Congratulations to all our winners who walked away with a fresh pair of raw denim courtesy of our judges and sponsors from Naked and Famous, Doublewood Project and Nudie Jeans, and Freenote Cloth.

With every Fade February that passes, it becomes increasingly apparent how adventurous and creative both denim makers and their appreciators are becoming. This yearly event brings to light the people in the denim community who simply want to share their stories and honour the craft. As Jeffery Lee notes, “Its fun to see how people offer their own perspective of how they wear their denim.”

dutil. is ecstatic to host these gatherings of like-minded but unique souls – a forum where they can get together and celebrate the journey from pristine raw to faded glory. Or, as Matt from Nudie Jeans notes, “It’s a piece of art – you start with a blank canvas and end with Van Gogh’s starry night.”

– James Davidson

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