I wish there were more inventory geared towards us womenfolk here because I absolutely love Self Edge.I discovered the small Lower East Side shop about a year ago and since then have become aware of and quite fascinated with the Japanese raw denim movement that has been quickly evolving in New York City.
For now, and as I have done for the past year, I have turned to this boutique (yes, it is a boutique, so if you’re looking for a denim deal, shop elsewhere like H& M or Levi’s) for finding gifts for my ultra-hip younger brother and my boyfriend who could always benefit from a new fashion trend or two – who’s boyfriend couldn't?) The brands here you will find are too many to list but a handful include Iron Heart, Flat Head, Real Japan Blues, Sugar Cane, Dry Bones, 3Sixteen (which is actually a collaborative project between 3Sixteen and Self Edge’s own designer Kiya Babzani), Sling & Stones and more.
The store also carries some other miscellaneous goods like My Freedom! books featuring writings about rock and roll clothing, INVENTORY Magazine which focuses on the brands and products we crave after and the stories behind them, and a gallery of work by a Californian photographer whose passion is self-portraiture in a fashion-crazed world. The entry-level price for raw denim here is about $215, so prepare to splurge when you visit SE. Some other average price quotes are a pair of Iron Heart Slim Selvedge jeans for $400, a Strike Gold Indigo Dyed Zip Hoodie costs $345, and a pair of women’s Sling & Stones Delilah bootcuts are $270.
The staff here is superhuman. I didn’t know a single person could be so erudite concerning a subject I once thought sort of simple. I was so wrong. Not only is the staff here helpful and patient, but each brain enclosed in its salesperson shell holds encyclopedic knowledge about denim including its history, latest trends, best way to maintain and quickest ways to repair it. They are serious about it, too. I once purchased a $385 pair of Real Japan Blues for my boyfriend which he loved, but once he slipped into them, we both realized they needed some major hemming. I called SE to discuss my denim dilemma and Thomas cheerily suggested I bring in the jeans marked with where we wanted the hemming done (you can also being the jeans in and have them mark the hems for you if need be). After dropping them off, the mend was made within a week and they are now one of my beau’s favorite blues.
Take it from me when I say there is a major denim revolution going on. Donate or sell your Diesels and Lucky Sevens now. After walking the streets of NYC donning your Self Edge garb, you’ll be surprised to find that a) everyone else is walking around in deplorable denim and b) the quality of your oldies-but-goodies is way below par when it comes to how durable your jeans should be. If you’re not ready to ditch anything just yet, you can also turn to the SE wizards for any type of fixings like crotch repair, chainstitching and other tailoring.