Founded more than 70 years ago in Japan, Edwin has been known for utilizing exclusive fabrics, revolutionary production technologies with state-of-the-art finishing. Known as “the Levi’s of Japan,” the brand has more than 2,000 points of sale throughout Japan and Europe and 32 company-owned stores in Japan.
“The goal is to make Edwin the only global Japanese denim brand,” said Goldschmied, who has long admired and worked with Japanese denim companies. “They are one of my main inspirations because they love indigo and they are amazing at developing product.”
The new Edwin collection is designed at Goldschmied’s studios in Arts District of downtown Los Angeles, and the company’s main headquarters are in East Tokyo, hence the new slogan “From East Tokyo to East L.A.” The first collection will be a limited capsule collection for men and women, available for holiday 2017 retail, followed by a focused collection of stand-alone items for spring 2018. Staying true to the roots of the brand, the collection will be manufactured in Japan. Retail prices range from $225 to $390 with an average price point of $240, and retailers include Ron Herman and Union Made in the U.S. and Gotstyle, Still Life and Lost & Found in Canada.
Goldschmied’s aim was to fuse Edwin’s classic DNA with a modern sensibility. “I have experience in both markets so I was in a position to mix the two cultures properly, in a way we hope will work for the American market and be understandable all over the world,” he said.
His first priority was quality, noting that denim consumers today are highly educated and expect the best. For its design, his approach was to keep the men’s and women’s collections very similar. “It was common in the past to design the men’s and women’s collections differently, but in this case, the new generation of consumers don’t have this distinction. It is more about size than design,” he said. Jackets, shirts and fashion items are generally oversize with an easy fit, and the bottoms follow similar silhouettes for both sexes.
The key men’s style is the Marlon, an updated classic five-pocket jean with a straight fit, slightly bigger on top, and a tapered leg. For women, innovation is mostly in fabrics, as it looks like authentic Nineties denim but has comfortable stretch properties. Goldschmied also designed indigo French terry bottoms in a range of cargo and military styles and bomber jackets made from indigo-dyed Nylon.
“We know rebuilding a brand is not like switching the lights on; we have to work at it,” he said. “But we feel the formula we have is going to bring something new to the American market and create interest. The modern consumer buys a story, and we both have long histories.”