Hang out among raw denim aficionados long enough, and you're sure to hear someone start dropping Japanese words in reference to the wear and tear on their jeans. Participate at your own risk, says Babzani, adding, "It's stupid when people do that because it's literally [that] you're just using a Japanese word for an English word that already exists." If you do decide to play along or want to drop a shibboleth the next time you're shopping in Japan, here are a few choice words to try:
Hige: "Whiskers," or the horizontal fade marks that appear at the top of the jean from creasing caused by sitting and movement.
Atari: Used to describe all fading that occurs on frequently rubbed or creased parts of raw denim jeans.
Iro-ochi: Literally translated as "color slips," this phrase can be used to talk about the places on jeans where fading has occurred in a more uniform manner such as the front of the knees or thighs.Back to top