Chimala | Pre-Worn Workwear

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The Chimala website contains just two pages – home and contact. In this era of over-cooked brand concepts, their stripped down site is both refreshing and incredibly frustrating. Collection images, stockists, even an about me page, all these things were apparently deemed too frivolous for Chimala. When we look at the site’s of certain Japanese brands like Chimala, we often think – simplicity does create a certain allure, but why must we go on an archaeological dig through the internet just to find a few photos? Fortunately, what Chimala has that many such brands do not is actual accounts, including heavy-hitters like J. Crew, Barneys, Unionmade, and Totokaelo. These stores might have very limited stock of Chimala’s pieces (probably due to sticker shock) but they were drawn, just as we were, to the care that the brand puts into each garment.

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They might not devote a lot of effort to their website, but we imagine that’s because Chimala designer Noriko Machida is too busy fading westerns and studying selvedge to worry about the damn internet. It’s evident that she has done her research and so each flourish, fade-spot, whisker, and wrinkle of Chimala’s garments seems to be drawn from the archives. In this way, Chimala’s collections toe that fine line between clothing and craft, reshaping these classic styles as something unique, rather than merely repeating history. Now, if only they could put this much care into the website, but we suppose you gotta cut corners somewhere.

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All images via Shabby & Industrial in Japan.

Comments on “Chimala | Pre-Worn Workwear

    Lucas on September 10, 2014 4:47 PM:

    These are nice, I saw their collection on Unionmade. It’s just the price that keeps me away. A lot of menswear is nice, really nice stuff, just sticker shock. I really can’t justify paying $310 for painter pants or work pants. I just find it ironic to be buying something that’s a repro from the 50’s or 40’s that poor people used to wear or work in, and that you don’t actually do any work in. I guess I’m blue collar, I do manual labor and I like reading this blog. I really want to craft a pair of denim jeans, or make some boots. I guess I’m drawn to the production of all this stuff, just too poor to buy it. so instead of Dickies 1922 collection, i’ll just wear dickies 874 work pants for $20 bucks. The same goes with Red wings/wolverine 1k mile collection/Alden. ill just wear Dr martens instead. I’ve read this site for years, I don’t know if I’ve ever commented on it. I really don’t want to come off as a hater or troll. I live in a city in the southwest(No, not dallas, Austin, or Houston) and fashion here is just True religion jeans, vineyard vines, greek life pocket tee, or other gaudy shit but I do enjoy the craft behind this blog and other obscure Japanese repro brands


    Daniel on September 10, 2014 11:25 PM:

    Those pants might almost change my mind about capris, or they’re the perfect exception that proves the rule.

    Gary on September 12, 2014 1:35 PM:

    Hmm. I think I’d rather wear out my clothes myself, thank you. There’s really a market for pre-worn stuff, new? What’s next? Just an empty clothes box? “So broken in, they’re not even there.”

    Sam on September 13, 2014 4:59 AM:

    This is exactly the kind of pants that I love, thank you for this article and for your website that is awesome!

    Richard Williams on September 15, 2014 10:37 AM:

    Used shirts for over $300 a pop? Right.

    Andrew on September 15, 2014 6:06 PM:

    I have a chore coat by Chimala I acquired second-hand. I had no idea part of the brand concept was to pre-distress the garments. What I can say is I previously thought that I had chanced upon the most perfectly broken-in denim coat in the history of the world. Knowing now that it was done intentionally by someone who had a vision of how the coat should look, and made it so, reduces none of my pleasure. It’s the same vision that produces great tailoring, silhouettes, etc. A lovely brand.

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