BRAND HISTORY

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The holy ground and earliest days of denims have walked with BIG JOHN.

In 1960s and 1970s when number of Japanese brands appeared like bamboo shoots and started manufacturing jeans, Big John was born with pride as a manufacturer of domestic jeans among them. Pouring its know-how accumulated in sewing work wear and uniforms originally in Kojima into denims, Big John has become a Japan-made jeans brand representing Kojima.

  • 40s
  • 50s
  • 60s
  • 70s
  • 80s
  • 90s
  • 00s
  • 10s

Era of work wear

1940
Kotaro Ozaki, the founder started sewing business.
Manufactured student’s wear, uniforms, and work wear.

  • Kotaro Ozaki

  • Maruo Clothing, Inc.

  • Woven name label of Maruo Clothing

  • The predecessor of Big John,
    Maruo Clothing sewed
    not only work wear and
    uniforms but also U.S.
    Military-Look pants
    because of the popularity
    of American style clothing.

  • Warm cloth which gained great
    popularity

  • Kojima, still remaining the mecca of student’s wear today.
    Maruo Clothing sewed American style clothing
    such as Military-Look pants as well as work wear.

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Era of used clothing imported from the U.S.

After the
WWⅡ war Started selling the U.S.-made used clothes imported from the U.S.

  • American-made used
    cloth that was
    remade for a Japanese
    Used jeans among the items released
    from the U.S. military and
    sold in the black market
    after the war.
    As the hip and waist
    sizes are too big
    for Japanese to wear,
    they were resized.

  • Popularity of the U.S.-made used clothes was also
    a longing for the country.
    A scene of cotton farming in the U.S. at the time

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1963
After liberalization of import in 1963, had contact with Mr. Okada, Ministry of International Trade and Industry in fall of 1964. Exchanged a contract that Maruo Clothing would have the production and sales right for the areas west of Hakone with Oishi Trading and 50 rolls of denim fabric (Canton Textile Mills Inc.: the U.S.) arrived Kojima in February of the following year, 1965. In April, the Japan’s first domestic jeans were born in Kojima (under the Canton brand/made by Maruo Clothing). In October, sold world’s first one-wash jeans (wash processing with several household wash machines).
  • The Canton jeans sewed by Maruo Clothing

    Maruo Clothing that became a member of the
    Canton associationand
    had the production and
    sales right for western Japan.
    Guessing from the sewing technique,
    this model seems to be sewed
    by Maruo Clothing.

  • Ogata Factory of Big John in 1960s
1967
In parallel with sewing the Canton jeans of Oishi Trading, produced jeans of the BIG JOHN brand using the fabric imported from Cone Mills (U.S.A.) (M1002 PROTO MODEL).

  • Maruo Clothing became a member of
    the Canton association.
    This is a photo of a gathering of the Canton association
    held at Imperial Hotel in 1967.

    Left 1: Mr. Tetsuo Oishi (Oishi Trading)
    Left 2: Louis Jones (Canton Mills)
    Right 1: Mr. Kashino (Maruo Clothing)

  • Both signs of Canton and
    Big John are placed in front of the
    Kurashiki station at that time.
  • M1002 PROT0 MODEL
    M1002 PROT0 MODEL
1968
Completed the M1002 FIRST MODEL (also completed the M2002 boot-cut model and M3002 slim model).
  • BIG JOHN 最初の広告
    First advertisement of BIG JOHN
  • BIG JOHN 最初の広告
  • M1002 FIRST MODEL
    M1002 FIRST MODEL
1969
The color series, “ROAD RUNNER” made a debut. Produced and released color jeans for the first time in Japan.
Sold the M4002 bell-bottom jeans and created a big boom.

  • Road Runner, the Slim fit collection of Big John, in the late 1960s.
    The fabric of this white denim was also made in U.S.A.
  • M4002 ベルボトム
    M4002 bell-bottom model

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70s ジーンズ生産工業化時代

1972
Developed the Japan’s first denim fabric “KD-8” jointly with Kurabo.
1973
Made a debut the Signature collection "M" series using KD-8. This was the first pure Japan-made jeans.
  • M1002 ALL JAPAN MADE
    M1002 ALL JAPAN MADE
1975
The Japan’s first Work pant wear brand “WORLD WORKERS” made a debut.
This initiated an outdoor activities boom.
  • WORLD WORKERS
1977
The “Old series” made a debut.

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1980
Developed the world’s first uneven yarns and completed the “RARE JEANS” woven with power looms. This led to a boom of vintage and replica jeans later.
  • RARE JEANS
    RARE JEANS

  • Craftsman mark
1982
The“LUCKY”model with sophisticated design made a debut. This would later be improved into the “SPANA” model.
1984
Established the Corporate Philosophy“Quality Comes First.”
1989
Completed Hirao Factory in Yamaguchi Prefecture, to expand the production system.
  • RARE JEANS

  • Hirao Factory

1996
Implemented the “Jeans Revolution” campaign using natural dyes and recycled denims.
1997
Sold only 300 pieces of the “Rare Meister” jeans made by hand work of craftsmen. The jeans were sold out soon after available for pre-order.
1999
Released the “Sharp Fit” collection that reproduced bell-bottom and tight straight fit.
  • シャープフィットシリーズ MH103
    Sharp Fit collection, MH103
  • レアマイスター
    "Rare Meister" with box

00s スタイル提案期

2002
Made a license contract with Dickies. . Developed and sold products under the Dickies brand in Japan.
The UM874 model, which was the low-rise model of UD874, later became a big hit.
2004
Released “low-rise jeans” in response to street style fashion.
2006
The “A-Stitch” that has another stitch on the inner thigh portion made a debut.
2008
The jeans for coordination, “The Tailored”collection focusing on the Slim-Fit silhouette made a debut.
2009
Released “M3,” a modern version and sublimation of the slim-fit jeans M3002 in 1960s.

  • Low-rise jeans
  • Λ-Stitch
    Λ-Stitch
  • The Tailored
    The Tailored

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10s 70th ANNIVERSARY

70th ANNIVERSARY

In 2010, Big John has marked its 70th anniversary of the foundation including the period of Maruo Clothing. In commemoration of the 70 years, we are planning to release the Big John archive series that reproduce the classic jeans of BIG JOHN.
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