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Itw by Antonio Isaja – Pics by Denis Piccolo

REGARDING THE DENIM GARMENTS FEATURED IN MY ARCHIVE II, WHAT WERE THE CRITERIA FOR YOUR SELECTION?

In the second book I chose the workwear theme, because everything related to the denim industry started with it, and the criteria for the selection are mostly aesthetic since I believe in beauty of an aged garment that is exalted by its purpose as well. I don’t consider My Archive just for the industry professionals, but also for curious and enthusiastic people, who can appreciate an old pair of jeans with an history.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR FIRST AND SECOND BOOK?

In the first book I’ve selected the garments which I’m the most attached to, presenting them in order of their age, while in the second, as I said before, I’ve picked workwear pieces only.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT GARMENTS IN THE FIRST AND SECOND “MY ARCHIVE”?

Definitely the oldest pieces are most important, from the ’40s and earlier decades, because of their economic value and because it’s getting more and more difficult to find them.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DETAILS MENTIONED IN MY ARCHIVE II?

Since it’s about workwear pieces, the most important details are all those practical features that provide workers with movement ease, stability and resilience, such as bar tacks, rivets, cloth reinforcements, baggy fit, yardstick and hammer pocket, triple needles stitch, watch pocket etc.DiBattista-2-picsWHAT ARE THE CRITERIA YOU BASE YOUR DENIM RESEARCH ON?

Initially I used to collect everything that I liked aesthetically, regardless of its age; it’s been few years since I only search for old and rare pieces never mind their brand and conditions.

WHAT’S THE PERIOD YOU PREFER IN REGARD TO YOUR VINTAGE PIECES RESEARCH AND WHY?

I prefer the pieces from the early 1900s to the ’40s because they’re rich in details and functional aspects and at the same time aesthetically appealing which, together with a rough and old-fashioned ways of manufacture – provides plenty of excitement.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU BUY VINTAGE JEANS?

Since I’m looking for really exclusive and valued garments, Lately I’ve significantly reduced the quantity of pieces I buy, arriving at a couple of purchases a year and limiting myself to buying around ten garments at a time.

HOW DENIM VALUE CAN BE DEFINED?

The value of an old garment varies for different reasons. First of all the production date, the brand, then there’s condition of the garment, the size and the aesthetic part – finally the price depends on the buyer. Since it’s a field where no official pricelist exist, you got to know well the person you’re buying from, and especially to have a throughout knowledge on the matter.

DiBattista4WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT GARMENT IN YOUR COLLECTION?

It’s a pair of Levi’s from 1901, in excellent condition.

WHAT’S THE MOST EXCITING DETAIL IN YOUR COLLECTION?

No doubt all those accessories, details and patchwork used to repair a specific worn out piece, which have been taken from other garments (from the same period) by different brands.

WHO’S THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTER WORLDWIDE FOR THE HISTORIC DENIM RESEARCH?

The most important character regarding the collection and sale of historical garments is for sure Brit Eaton, also known as ‘Indiana Jeans’, whom a waist overall from the Blue Blanket collection is dedicated to.

WHO IS THE IDEAL AUDIENCE OF MY ARCHIVE II?

I think my book’s audience should be quite broad because, as I said before, besides featuring garments of historical interest, the jeans were chosen also from an aesthetic viewpoint – So even industry novice would enjoy flipping through it.

DiBattista7HOW’S THE DENIM INDUSTRY EVOLVING?

Unfortunately the denim industry is evolving toward the opposite direction of its culture and background; the current crisis caused by a strong consumerism led to a market full of cheap products and without history.

WHAT ARE TEN MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS TO INDICATE VALUE OF VINTAGE DENIM (THE ONES EVERYONE SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO)?

The ten aspects to estimate the value of old denim are the following:

1 – Production date

2 – Condition

3 – Brand

4 – Size

5 – Rarity

6 – Original materials without missing parts

7 – Tidy labels

8 – Repair work and inserts

9 – Good price for the quality

10 – Final one, yet the most important is how much you are willing to spend to bring the garment home.