In 2011, Evisu will celebrate its official 20th anniversary. Since the brand's inception, Evisu has continually innovated and created its own definitive place in the denim business. Before anyone did anything, Evisu did everything.
In 1988, Hidehiko Yamane, an avid denim collector, importer, and trained tailor from Japan set out to replicate the American classic 1944-style jean with an obsessive attention to detail. Yamane transferred his training experience in the
vintage clothing import business into his love of denim and began collecting the elements required to produce the vintage inspired jeans he wanted to create. This process involved meticulously gathering much machinery that had not been produced for over 40 years. The initial production allowed about 14 pairs to be made a day and each was lovingly hand-painted by Yamane himself. The name Evisu (also written as Evis or Ebis) is derived from the Japanese folk god of money, who is usually portrayed with a fish and a fishing rod. The painted gulls and the visage of the Japanese god of prosperity still serve as symbols of the brand to this day.
Although initially Evisu was more a labour of love than a commercial venture, Evisu jeans captured the imagination of the detail-obsessed Japanese fashion crowd, spurring a revival of interest in vintage denim, which has now spread worldwide.