Last week we’ve concluded the year-long fading contest, featuring our first collaboration with Samurai Jeans as the main subject. The fact that we teamed up with Samurai Jeans to create this limited-edition collaboration jeans was a proud moment in itself, as the brand holds a special place in our founders’ heart.

However, a fading contest would be nowhere without its contestants and their shared passion. We all started this journey at the same time, with the same blank (denim) canvas so to speak. It brought us much joy to see everyone’s jeans evolve as the months went by and simultaneously see how each pair got its own characteristics, which is all thanks to the participants vigorously wearing their jeans. We would like to thank all of you for making this contest possible!


The top 10 has already been announced, but we would like to showcase everyone who participated and finished the contest. You can enjoy all the final submissions below, and perhaps get inspired for your next fading project.

BDDxSAM-01 19 oz. sword selvedge
#1 @fading_surfer
#2 @eypinhashim
#3 @rasage_traditionnel
#4 @huangkuian
#5 @denim_girl_jeans
#6 @thomasdebarbier
#7 @ruggeddenimgiant
#8 @indigo.account
#9 @kvr_denim
#10 yoni_brandsen

UPDATE - 01/09/2022


All good things must come to an end, and so does our fading contest which started a year ago. We would like to thank Samurai Jeans for collaborating with us, Robin Denim for co-hosting the contest, and of course all the contestants for their participation. We’ve seen our jeans evolve in unique ways all over the globe, and unfortunately this update will be the last one.

However, the final top 10 of the BENZAK x Samurai Jeans fading contest still has to be announced next week. The winners will receive some great prizes, so stay tuned.

Head over to Robin Denim for the full August update, and check out the month's 'best nine' >>

UPDATE - 01/08/2022


With the summer season in full swing, we’re actually heading into the last month of our fading contest. July has given us more distinguishable fades, stronger contrasts and striking shades of blue. It’s great to see all the unique characteristics each pair has developed of the past (almost) year. As the finish line of our fading contest is in sight, so is the awesome lineup of prizes. We can’t wait to see the final results at the end of this month, so all there is left to do is to wish good luck to all competing contestants!

Head over to Robin Denim for the full July update, and check out the month's 'best nine' >>

UPDATE - 01/07/2022


We’ve entered the final two months of our fading contest, and the denim evolution is becoming more and more apparent. Each participating pair of jeans has clearly seen a lot of wear days, resulting in some amazing result. The high contrast fades in some of these examples really show the difference between the indigo blue tones from when the jeans were still new, and the stark white core of the cotton threads. As we’re now in the final stretch of our fading contest, we would like to wish all the participants the best of luck. Even though competing is more important than winning, there are some pretty nice prizes lined up for the best fades.

Head over to Robin Denim for the full June update, and check out the month's 'best nine' >>

UPDATE - 01/06/2022


When going through the selection of this months’ favourite fades, we saw a commonality amongst them. The beloved honeycombs are prominently visible in many of the contestants' updates, and understandably so! So, for this month’s best nine we have decided make ‘honeycombs’ the theme of the month, albeit subsequently. It’s great to see the shared love for the same detail, but the distinct difference in each pair of jeans. This is what makes a fading contest so interesting, and shows that each pair of jeans will mould to its owner. Maybe we’ll find a new theme for next month’s update, nevertheless, keep sharing those beautiful fades with us as we are heading into the final quarter of the BENZAK x Samurai Jeans fading contest.

Head over to Robin Denim for the full May update, and check out the month's 'best nine' >>

UPDATE - 01/05/2022


This April we finally had the opportunity to catch up with likeminded denim heads at Denim Days Festival in Amsterdam. It has been long overdue, since we did not have the chance to see some of our friends and colleagues for over 2 years. While at Denim Days, it was humbling seeing you guys wearing our garments with pride. On top of that, we spotted some amazing fades including those of a few contestants. It was refreshing seeing all the denim evolution off-screen and inspiring to see the denim community spring to life again.
Even though every pair started the same, in this month’s selection we can already see how unique every pair has become. We can’t wait to see the progress in the next update, so keep showing us those fades!

Head over to Robin Denim for the full April update, and check out the month's 'best nine' >>

UPDATE - 01/04/2022


The further the process, the better the fades are getting. This is really showing in this month’s update; it has been a difficult task to select only nine pictures for March’s best nine, considering all the heavy honeycomb and whisker developments. To really stand out it’s also important to showcase your fades in an original way, and therefore we are looking at the creativity of content creation too. We have come up with a selection of well-shot top-down fade update pics, combined with a couple of outdoor shots showing either beautiful surroundings, or making perfect use of the natural daylight. Now that Spring is upon us, go outside and show us more of these the coming weeks!

Head over to Robin Denim for the full March update, and check out the month's 'best nine' >>

UPDATE - 01/03/2022


Halfway there! We’ve just passed the 6-month mark and cannot express how much we love the progress everyone is making. A lot of jeans show amazing fading and more and more jeans have been washed at least once already. It’s also really great to see how most of the contestants are still finding interesting ways to capture their individual fading evolution. Of course, it helps when the jeans are already looking this good after such a short amount of time. Everyone is really doing their best, and it shows. We’re looking forward to the second half of this contest!

Head over to Robin Denim for the full February update, and check out the month's 'best nine' >>

UPDATE - 01/02/2022


UPDATE - 01/01/2022


UPDATE - 01/12/2021


UPDATE - 01/11/2021


UPDATE - 01/10/2021


UPDATE - 11/08/2021


With less than three weeks remaining, our fading contest in collaboration with Samurai Jeans will finally start on the 1st of September. We’ve really been looking forward to this one and already have many registered participants. In this update we’ll be informing you about the rules of our contest. Most of it will be pretty straight-forward, but nevertheless it’s very important to carefully go through it, as some of the fundamentals are crucial to be able to participate or not.

Please note that you need to own a pair of BENZAK x Samurai Jeans to be able to participate. There might be few pieces left here and there at one of our retailers; we could help you locate them. In case you’re new to fading contests but want to know more about them, you can check out this article we’d published earlier this year.


There is only one, but very important rule before we start:

Keep all tags attached and do not wear the jeans

Basically, you need to keep the jeans brand-new without any alterations. The only exception would be hemming, which can be done prior to the start.

The day before the start we’ll share a ‘secret password’ with all contestants. You need to write this password on a piece of paper and take a picture with your jeans like in the example. This picture should be posted on your Instagram account to ‘proof’ the jeans are still new on the 1st of September and doubles as your first entry for September.

Below you may find an example of how the 'proof' picture should look like.


A fading contest is primarily about... well, fades. During the year you can do anything you would normally do while wearing the jeans, to produce a set of authentic and individual fading patterns. You are allowed to wash them as often as you like and repair them when necessary. Basically, anything that involves normal wear is allowed, but please take note of the following:

  • It’s not allowed to manually create creases or speed up the fading by sanding, bleaching or with the use of any artificial method to speed up the fading process.
  • If you normally wash your jeans with a little bit of bleach added to the wash, you are still allowed to do so, but applying bleach directly on the fabric is highly prohibited.
  • You may repair your jeans at any point when necessary. You can choose to bring them to a professional or apply some nice DIY repairs, either method is allowed.

Our trained eyes can easily spot any form of artificial aging and we follow a zero-tolerance policy. Just keep in mind that a fading contest is mostly about the experience and community building, and less about wining, so let’s keep it fun for everyone.

As community is an important factor of the contest, we require every participant to actively post updates on their Instagram account. We know that not everyone has the time to post updates on a daily basis, so we require at least 1 picture update by the end of each month. Make sure to accompany every post with the hashtag #benzakcontest so we can easily find all updates. If you somehow miss a deadline for the monthly update, it’s not the end of the world, but frequently missing the deadline will mean exclusion from the contest.


Everyone that participated in the first BENZAK fading contest might remember the monthly updates on For this contest we are bringing back this concept: every month we will select our top 9 picture updates and share this on the dedicated contest page on Robin Denim. Another reason to make these monthly updates count!

To get an idea about these monthly updates, check out the previous contest here.


After a full year of indigo, sweat and tears, the contest will end on the 30th of August 2022. All contestants will have one more week to provide us the final submission pictures. Based on these pictures we (Samurai Jeans, Robin Denim and BENZAK) will decide the top 10 and eventually the winner of our contest.

When nearing the end, we will further update all participants with an in-dept instruction on how this will work and how to prepare yourself for the final submission.





One of the unique aspects of raw denim is its fading capability. Just like leather, indigo will evolve and become more beautiful over time. Every pair of jeans that starts the same will turn out to look different after wear, marking its wearers lifestyle onto the pant through indigo fading.

Due to this, fading has become an important reason for people to wear raw denim. You will be able to experience the process on a daily basis, seeing how your own pair of jeans becomes softer, lighter and better fitting after each wear. Your jeans will develop whiskers, honeycombs, lap fades, train tracks and more unique fading details. The way a pair of jeans evolves has become the basis for a fading contest.

The idea is simple: a group of people starts wearing a specific pair of raw denim jeans simultaneously, for a set amount of time (usually one year), and whoever has the best fading results afterwards wins. This means that you are required to wear the jeans as much as possible; most people would wear the jeans at least 5 days a week, but some hardcore faders even push it to the full 365 days.

Another important aspect of a denim fading contest is community building. Usually you are required to update your own process through social media and this way you are able to interact with other contestants, meet new people with similar interests and make new friends along the road.


We didn’t invent the concept of fading contests. It was in fact Samurai Jeans that can be credited as the first denim brand being involved with a contest, back in 2005, organized by members of the Superfuture forum. Back then, Samurai was considered an obscure brand and only known to the biggest denim geeks. The contest has helped strengthen the denim community, but also gained the brand more popularity; it has sparked our founder Lennaert’s interest in Samurai Jeans and he’s been following them ever since.

Even though he did not compete in this particular contest, he was intrigued by the concept, which eventually led to BENZAK’s first denim fading contest in 2017. For this contest we developed a special pair of jeans (later released in our regular collection as the B-01 SLIM 15.5 oz. Kojima selvedge) and we had 50 contestants competing for the best fades. The contest was a great success for us and the denim community; since we are from the Netherlands, naturally, we had a large group of Dutch contestants. The contest helped shaping the Dutch denim community and brought like-minded people closer together.

Now, we have joined forces with Samurai Jeans for our second fading contest, and come full circle together with them, fifteen years after the first-ever contest. For round 2 we have developed a new regular tapered fit and are using one of Samurai’s most sought-after fabrics, known for its quick and beautiful fading capability.


To join the contest, you need to own a pair of the BENZAK x Samurai Jeans collaboration. Make sure not to wear them before the contest starts, and do not remove any of the tags till the 1st of September.

If you missed out on the pre-orders, you still have a chance to get your hands on a pair through some of our retailers (see list of stockists further up in this article).

Next, if you have secured your pair, make sure to provide us the following info by clicking on the register button below:

  • your name
  • Instagram account*
  • country of residence

We will then contact you after registration with additional info leading up to the start of the contest -- reminder: make sure the keep all tags intact and don't wear them till the 1st of September.

To make sure we all get an equal start, we will require every contestant to submit a photo of their jeans proving they are indeed unworn, together with a 'secret password' (e.g. written on a piece of paper). Any pair with markings of wearing will be disqualified. The 'secret password' will be provided to all contestants on the 31st of August.

*To be able to participate, a public Instagram account is necessary, because that's where all fading updates need to be shared. If you have a private IG account, or no account at all, we recommend creating a public one just for this contest.


1st of September ‘21 - contest start
31st of August ’22 - contest end
September ’22 - winners will be announced



Even though competing is more important than winning, we also have some pretty nice prizes lined up for the best fades:

1st place - €1.000 shop credit for the BENZAK webshop
2nd place - €500 shop credit for the BENZAK webshop
3rd place - €250 shop credit for the BENZAK webshop

Places 1 till 10 also receive a limited-edition denim banner (see picture).


This release has been guaranteed for anyone who placed their pre-order back in October/November last year. We will not be stocking the jeans ourselves, but if you missed out on this opportunity, there’s still a possibility to get your hands on a pair. The following stores will be stocking a limited batch of jeans after we have fulfilled the preorders:

Samurai Jeans Flagship Store - Osaka (Japan)
Redcast Heritage - online (Spain)
James Dant - Indianapolis, IN (USA)
De Rode Winkel - Utrecht (Netherlands)
Hype Heroes - Den Bosch (Netherlands)
Double Indigo - Nanjing (China)
Pronto - Bangkok (Thailand)
CULTIZM - online (Germany)
stuf|f - Düsseldorf (Germany)
Bleu Brut - Bordeaux (France)
Blue Beach Denim - Taipei (Taiwan)


Our previous contest has been a great success, the monthly coverage by Robin Denim on their website played a big role in that success. I'm proud to announce that this time we've joined forces with Robin again! They are going to report about the process of the contest and help out selecting the best fades throughout the year. This means that showcasing your fade process on your Instagram account will give you a chance to be featured on their website and enjoy eternal fading fame!

In case you're wondering about the fading results of previous contestants, you can check out the coverage on Robin's website here.


Together with Samurai Jeans, we have developed this new fit called the BDDxSAM-01. It’s considered a regular fit with a medium rise and tapered legs. We wanted to use a BENZAK fit as a base pattern for this collaboration, but we had to tweak the pattern to make it work with an unsanforized fabric. Because shrinkage on the warp and weft are always different (the warp usually shrinks more) our pattern maker had to make some ingenious alterations that have allowed us to create a versatile, shaped top block to fit European body types, something that BENZAK is known for.

The fit can be considered a hybrid between our iconic B-01 SLIM and B-03 TAPERED styles. We do recommend buying your true size based on the size chart, because we will deliver the jeans pre-soaked and eliminated of most of the shrinkage; it will mostly just stretch out with wear and not shrink anymore.


19 oz. sword selvedge is a free translation of the term KATANAMIMI, as used by Samurai Jeans for this proprietary fabric. It refers to the silver lurex selvedge which represents the katana samurai sword. The fabric is known for its incredible fading capabilities and high contrast markings. These characteristics are the result of the fabric's construction: uneven, slubby indigo-dyed #5 warp yarns, and heavy, thick white #4 weft yarns.

The 19 oz. fabric falls into the category of heavy-weight denim. The sword selvedge denim is noticeably tough; this is due to the fabric being woven at a high tension. Samurai Jeans also refers to this fabric as KIWAMI DENIM, which translates to ‘extreme denim’. However, it has a very short break-in time and is a well-balanced, comfortable choice to go for as your first heavy-weight denim project.

The fabric is very well-known by Samurai fans internationally, as it’s used for the world-renown popular model, s710xx and others. The awesome fading capabilities of the fabric can be seen on a pair of Lennaert’s Samurai Jeans he had worn 10 years ago, before launching BENZAK.

The fabric is unsanforized (which means it will shrink about 2 sizes after a warm wash), but the jeans will already be soaked in the factory to eliminate most of the shrinkage; this is called ‘one-wash’. This means you should get a tight fit, that allows for some stretching after wear. We are very proud to be able to use this beautiful fabric for this collaboration, especially because it has been one of Lennaert’s favourite denim fabrics of all time.