Your guide to Edwin | Brand history, key styles and more

In the ever-evolving landscape of fashion, certain brands stand as pillars of heritage. Among these iconic names, Edwin holds a special place, celebrated not only for its rich history but also for its enduring design. Born out of a desire for denim at a time when Japan produced none, Mr.Tsunemi established Edwin in 1947.

Founded with the vision their denim would not only be a utilitarian fabric but also carry an artistic and cultural significance. Mr. Tsunemi launched the brand emerged in Tokyo, Japan, as a response to the scarcity of high-quality denim during the post-war era. Mr. Tsunemi’s commitment to craftsmanship and innovation laid the foundation for Edwin’s legacy.

edwin brand history


Edwin History

Importing used, worn-out, and dirty denim from America, which was then laundered and mended by hand, Mr Tsunemi sold his product to customers. By 1951, denim manufacturers had started to operate within Japan, but the fabric still remained of inferior quality to its American counterparts. It was this quality difference that drove Mr.Tsunemi to create his own denim, with greater sophistication in fits, washes, and quality.

In 1961 Mr.Tsunemi crafted the first pair of Edwin denim jeans. Inverting the letter M to create a W, Edwin originated as an anagram of the word denim and the pair proved to be an exceptional sartorial partnership. By 1963 Edwin had produced the world’s heaviest ring-spun denim jean (16oz), featuring the famous three-colour rainbow selvage. Edwin was then the first company in the world to develop an ‘old wash’ designed to replicate already worn denim. From this point on in Edwin’s denim history, quality, craftsmanship, innovation, and integrity have been paramount to the ethos and aesthetic for the brand. The brand’s relentless pursuit of perfection led to the creation of revolutionary denim washes and cuts that captured the imagination of denim enthusiasts around the world.

In the 1980s, Edwin invented ‘stone washing’ which revolutionized the entire denim industry. It was a pivotal moment in the evolution of denim manufacturing, a development that has influenced every denim company today. Moving into the 1990s, Edwin went on to create the ‘new vintage’ denim concept. Encompassing the subtle beauty of hand-replicated vintage washes, Edwin used designs from archive references pre-dating 1947 in order to create new, but ‘vintage’ jeans. Today, Edwin continues to pride itself on innovation and craftsmanship, utilising exclusive fabrics, unique technology, hand wash processes, and continual progression in design and fit.

edwin brand history


Key Styles that Define Edwin’s Identity

ED-55: A Timeless Classic

The ED-55 style, introduced in the 1950s, remains one of Edwin’s most iconic and enduring designs. Its straight cut, comfortable fit, and classic look have made it a staple in the wardrobes of denim aficionados. Whether dressed up with a crisp shirt or down with a casual tee, the ED-55 exudes an effortless style.

ED-71: Embracing the Slim Fit

Edwin kept pace by introducing the ED-71 style—a slim-fit option that resonated with the changing denim-wearing population. With its contemporary silhouette, the ED-71 symbolises modernity while still retaining the brand’s core values of quality and craftsmanship.

ED-80: The Tapered Masterpiece

In response to the growing demand for tapered jeans, Edwin introduced the ED-80 style. This design blends a relaxed fit with the sleekness of a tapered leg. Striking a perfect balance between versatility and trendiness. The ED-80 showcases Edwin’s ability to adapt to evolving fashion trends without compromising on its heritage.

Vintage Collection: Nostalgia Reimagined

Edwin’s vintage collection pays homage to the brand’s illustrious history by reinterpreting classic styles with a modern twist. These pieces capture the bygone eras with contemporary elements. The result is that it appeals to both traditionalists and trendsetters.

The Enduring Allure of Edwin

As fashion cycles come and go, Edwin’s brand history remains. Its heritage and dedication to quality and innovation continue to inspire the brand itself and the denim industry. Their key styles reflect an understanding of the ever-changing fashion landscape while staying true to the brand’s DNA.

Whether you’re a devoted denim collector or want to understand the brand evolution, Edwin’s brand history is one to know about. From the pioneering days of denim in post-war Japan to the contemporary global influence it holds today.


Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Writer and expert