Vintage Denim: Past, Present and Future

Denim is unarguably the most iconic fabric that has had a far reaching influence not only on fashion. It has been a cultural icon in the 20th century and still is nowadays. From its inception as a fabric for heavy duty work pants in the second half of the 19th century denim has become a symbol for rebellious spirit and independence.


It has not lost its traction during the 50s, 60s and 70s and managed to shine on the catwalks of big fashion brands in 80s and 90s. And today it still has not lost its relevance. The surge in popularity of vintage denim is another proof that no matter the decade, good pair of jeans are here to stay.

It is established that denim took off as a durable pants for heavy outdoor work conditions. However, during the 20th century denim proliferated through culture more further than that and has become a symbol on its own terms. Before the WWII denim pants gained popularity in America as a part of romanticized view on American frontier culture with its cowboys, gunslingers, bounty hunters and scruffy saloons.


This aesthetic of a untamed cowboy-type wanderer translated in to a post-war bad boy looks inspired by such Hollywood actors as Marlon Brando and James Dean. These connotations of freedom and protest stuck to the denim and continued through the next decades with a time specific articulations. Just to name a few, eatniks, hippies, mods, rockers, punks, skinheads and others all had a denim as a part of their dress code. 


If this is the denim's past, what about the present and future prospects? Denim today is as much popular as it has been during the previous two centuries. High street designer brands are still making denim collections and vintage collectors are in search for old Levi Strauss denim pants with a specific instructions how to tell the production decade of a particular pair.

The inspection starts starts from evaluating letters on the tag, rivet type and checking for other markers. There are no signs of denim falling-off of the favor in fashion scene, just the opposite. There are a myriad of denim styles in fashion right now that are borrowed from the vast history of this iconic garment. 


Vintage scene is no exception for this obsession with denim. VIntage market it is the place where you can get the iconic denim cuts, best materials and high tailoring quality for a reasonable price compared to the more recent denim products. In Northern Grip we are focusing on a classic high waist thick denim pants for every walk of life.

These are the laid back jeans from 80s and 90s that age with honor and fade with class, the jeans we wear ourselves and offer to our customers. In our shop you will most likely find that pair of denim you've been looking for so long – a pair of indestructible classic Levi's jeans that we all so love, or Lee and Wrangler denim pants for men and women.

You may be a bit surprised that we don't have Y2K denim in our stock considering the recent hype for this trend. The reason is that vintage jeans from this period just don't cut it when it comes to our quality standards. That is why we are staying with the classic vintage denim from 80s and 90s. And if you are in search for denim jacket, we got that covered too with a wide selection of well worn vintage denim jackets - a staple for a modern urban wardrobe.