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That One Thing: Chimala Denim

By Lotuff Leather

If we make the last bags you’ll ever need here at Lotuff, Chimala makes the last jeans you’ll ever need. Originally from Japan and now based in New York, creator and head designer Noriko Machida maintains an air of mystery around her company—there’s no official website to be found, no Instagram or Twitter handle—but all you need to know is the fact that what she does is amazing. Case in point: despite this lack of advertising, Chimala has only been making more of a name for itself as time passes, and their partnership with Madewell and J. Crew is proof of that. 

It’s true that Japan is known for their denim, but in a sea of competitors Chimala knocks them all out of the water. Their designs are a little bit androgynous, a little bit vintage, and a lot special. Every pair of jeans is indigo-dyed and individually handcrafted from start to finish, and even the fabric itself is woven by in-house artisans (on pre-war looms, no less)! You can instantly tell how well it’s made, and there’s no showmanship needed to substantiate it, either. 

I first learned about Chimala a few years ago through Bird. Now that the company has been around for a little while, they’re pretty iconic at this point and almost a classic in my eyes. It’s always cool when you think, “Oh, they don’t make them like that anymore,” and then you find someone who actually still does! From the fabric to the design process, I find it all very elemental and thoughtfully done.