Our walking denim-encyclopedia friend Amy Leverton has just released a women's rendition of her first published book 'Denim Dudes', appropriately called 'Denim Dudettes'.
In the beautiful hardcover she has curated the world's raddest women who love denim, from so many corners of the globe. Since PTJ's very own editor-at-large Eric Kvatek contributed to a large portion of the book, shooting denim dudettes in Thailand and the United States, he's shared all of his special images with us for the launch.
Starting in Thailand, we kick off the first part of this exclusive series in Bangkok, where there is a rich and diverse denim scene that speaks to the unique Thai culture. I put the impressiveness of the Thai denim scene down to a few big reasons, first being that Thailand is home to both denim garment and textile manufacturing for the world. One of the globe's biggest premium denim mills, Atlantic Mills, is Thai. They produce over two million meters of denim for brands all over the world each year, producing a vast range from elasticized blends (think jeggings) to recycled denim, hemp denim, as well as heavier and more unique selvedge qualities like broken twills for example.
Another player in the picture is the flourishing vintage market in Thailand. Think of the clothes that people clear out of their closets and send to local donation bins. A lot of these show up on the Thai-Cambodian border where there is a wholesale market that supplies many of the vintage dealers in the region. Here everything is sorted into style and colour, then dumped in huge piles and sold by the kilo.
In Bangkok, the biggest market for vintage is Chatuchak market where young cats and old hang out on the weekend, digging through piles of the vintage. You'll also spot vintage buyers from developed countries like Japan, Australia, America, other South East Asian countries, and Europe come through to source vintage for their stores or clients. So that in a nutshell is how used clothing circulates the globe through this South East Asian zone. It's not surprising to me that Thais have such progressive and unique taste thanks to the abundance of inspiration from all over the world at their fingertips.
So here is Eric's picks of his favourite denim dudettes in the kingdom of Siam, ranging from Diner-come-vintage-store owner Meenmarch of Buddy Boys' Diner; Thai celebrity model Linn Mashannoad who rides motorbikes, collects vintage, and loves cooking; Walili Zhou who relocated from China to Chiang Mai to trade rare handmade Northern Thai Indigo pieces; Puk the owner of Hippie Bar in Bangkok's famous Khao San Road; and finally myself.
Above, Meenmarch of Buddy Boys' Diner with her twin sons in Bangkok. Below, Linn Mashannoad by the canals of Bangkok's inner city zone.
Above, Walili Zhao (aka Jeap) and her ride. Below, Lauren wearing antique Laotian embroidered silk and cotton indigo pants and 200 year old hmong tribe jacket.
Below, Puk at Hippie Bar in Khao San with her two sons.