DENIM FADING CONTEST

UPDATE - 01/11/2021

OCTOBER

UPDATE - 01/10/2021

SEPTEMBER

UPDATE - 11/08/2021

THE RULES

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.

BEFORE THE START ON 1st of SEPTEMBER

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.

DURING THE CONTEST YEAR

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.

MONTHLY UPDATE ON ROBIN DENIM

Everyone that participated in the first BENZAK fading contest might remember the monthly updates on RobinDenim.com. 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.

JUDGING YOUR FADES

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.

 


23/06/2021

FADING CONTEST: ROUND 2

THE CONCEPT OF A DENIM FADING CONTEST

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.

ROUND 2

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.


HOW TO JOIN

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.


KEY DATES 

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

 

PRIZES

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).

STOCKISTS

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)

MEDIA PARTNER

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.

THE FIT

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.

THE FABRIC

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.