Denim Dudes is a cool new book by Amy Leverton that profiles many of the top designers and innovators in the denim world. The photography is stunning, shot around the globe, as it tracks down denim gurus in the US, UK, Europe, Japan, and Australia. There are definitely some friendly, familiar faces. Like Donwan Harrell of PRPS, King of Japanese denim, and the first to bring it to the US years ago. Dude is world renowned as a leading authority on denim and washes. I was blown away that Donwan chose to wear the Blackbird jean made from 14oz raw Japanese denim that we collaborated on for The Selvedge Yard a few years back. It was truly humbling to crack the cover and see Donwan Harrell proudly wearing our jean. Damn. Thank you.

“The jean was a limited-edition collaboration with one of the blogs I frequent: The Selvedge Yard. Only 50 were made. We thought it would be cool to come up with a giveaway jean to celebrate the coming together of both companies, but it turned into a three-way official effort with Triumph motorcycles. We printed the bike (vintage Blackbird) on the inside pocket bags, and the gas tank icon (old Triumph Thunderbird logo) as the stitch on the back pocket. It’s my personal favorite rope-dyed, Japanese selvedge denim.” –Donwan Harrell, PRPS

Checkout the pics above of Donwan Harrell’s vintage M-65 military jacket hand-inked himself with a fine point Sharpie permanent marker. There’s a very personal story behind that amazing artwork– “I have a bunch of friends that are Vietnam or Korean War veterans, they tell me their story, and I illustrate them. They all have their old jackets that they kept when they came home. They donate them to me and say you can draw my story. So we get together and talk. It’s difficult to get the stories out; most American vets don’t like to talk about it because it was so traumatic. I pull it out of them. Now, they all want me to do their jackets.” Donwan toils long hours in his spare time to illustrate and honor these veteran’s personal war stories in amazing detail. Very cool, man. Don is a class act all the way.

Nice to see some familiar faces of dudes in the industry that I admire, and that inspire me. Maurizio Donadi is always a pleasure to run into (it’s been too long). Maurizio’s total package of style, demeanor, creativity, and business acumen simply blows my mind. Bart Sights has the one-in-a-billion position of honor at the helm of global development for the most iconic denim brand that will ever be– Levi Strauss. Christophe Loiron AKA Mister Freedom is simply the Kingpin of Cool, and it’s an absolute sin we’ve never met, we have many folks in common. Mark Wilsmore of Ace Cafe London is a legend and every time I see him in pics with mutual friends (like Kevin Dunworth) I eat my heart out that I’m not there to share in the mayhem.

Denim Dudes is scheduled for release on February 6th at Rin Tanaka’s Inspiration show in LA. You can preorder a copy now at Amazon.