Rope Dye Crafted Goods

The “King of Vintage” Explains Heller’s Café’s New Jeans

Heller's Café jeans labels

Warehouse label Heller’s Café Merge Heritage With the Contemporary in their New Jeans

As if more proof were needed that there’s great denim coming out of Japan, Warehouse label Heller’s Café have further cemented their reputation with the new jeans collection. I caught up Heller’s Café founder, the “King of Vintage,” Larry McKaughan to find out more about it.

Four New Fits in 12 oz. Denim

Heller’s Café have released four new fits – ranging from the cinch-back 1930s cut of the Lot 1 to the skinny contemporary silhouette of the Lot 4. All fits are available in both washed and unwashed versions.

The jeans are all cut from sanforized 12 oz. denim. The fabric itself is alive with slubby character and has a wonderfully rough hand feel – something Warehouse have lovingly reproduced through tweaking the chatter on their looms.

Clever Details Such as Felled Selvedge Seam

As you’d expect from these guys, the attention to detail extends to the fabrication. One of the standout details is the single needle stitching throughout. Another nice touch is the felled outer leg seam, giving a single visible folded selvedge edge – a detail seen on vintage workwear, the felled seam makes it much stronger.

On Lots 1 and 2 there are also a riveted crotch panel. Across the range you find the one-piece selvedge fly. The scalloped back pockets are a nice touch and they’re also lined with the same cotton used for the front pocket bags. The light yellow patch is deerskin and we’re sure it will age beautifully.

Heller's Café jeans felled selvedge outseam

How to Tweak Vintage Into Contemporary

The collection may wear its vintage detailing on its sleeve, but as a whole it still has a very modern feel. As Larry explains,

“My inspiration behind Heller’s Cafe collections has to do with what I sense is exciting for the market – and not only the vintage market. I look for what I find unusual and exciting in our collection and I temper that with what I think might be interesting or appealing for the new clothing market.”

This translates in garments that have had the fits tweaked slightly to make them more contemporary. Like my favourite in the collection, the Lot 1, which sports a slightly higher rise at the back and a cinch, yet it has a much slimmer cut than the 1920s period jeans that inspired the design.

Getting a Vintage Feeling From New Garments With Washes

This idea also partly inspires the washed versions of the jeans. Normally we like to keep things raw here at DH, but this is very much Larry’s way of experimenting with the Heller’s Café range; to replicate the details of some of the pieces in his vintage collection.

As the man himself puts it, Larry wants to imbue, “some of the feeling to the new pieces that the vintage pieces have and to add life to them.” The detailing on the washes even extends to heavily oxidizing the rivets and buttons. Whether you’re a fan of prewashed denim or not, it is this dedication to perfecting the smallest detail that has always separated most Japanese labels from the others.

Heller's Café jeans

It’s Not a Costume!

With so many heritage brands focusing on workwear, you might wonder what is it that sets Heller’s Cafe apart? For Larry the answer is simple; he has dedicated his career to finding the best, most unusual and rare pieces in the world.

The Heller’s Café collections are based on those samples and offer a line of clothing that is based entirely on authentic design from actual pieces in Larry’s collection. As he argues,

“We commit ourselves to recreating that feeling. No other line of clothing has the experience in vintage and know how with production to do what we have done.”

As you’d expect from the “King of Vintage,” Larry has struck this balance perfectly with the new collection – giving us beautiful jeans with the all the period detail that vintage buffs will love, without falling in to heritage fashion trap of just producing costume.

Picture shows Heller's Cafe new jeans collection S/S 2015.  See  Credit should read: Picture by Mark Larner NO UNAUTHORISED USAGE Picture shows Heller's Cafe new jeans collection S/S 2015.  See  Credit should read: Picture by Mark Larner NO UNAUTHORISED USAGE

The Future of Heller’s Café Looks Bright in Europe

So what’s next for Heller’s Café and Warehouse? Larry wanted to keep future projects under his hat, but he did say that his anticipation is that Heller’s Cafe will become a permanent part of the Warehouse brand and that HC, “will occupy a part of the brand that continues to offer the most unique and exclusive designs to the vintage lover and collector.”

Excitingly Larry is also looking forward to opening more stand alone Heller’s Cafe stores as well as “continuing to offer our product through other venues and expand.” As a Europe-based denimhead, Japanese denim can be hard to get hold of, so this is good news.

Visit Heller’s Café online here.

A big thank-you to Larry McKaughan, Masiki Fujiki & Keita Senzaki at Ebbets for all their help and time. Words and photography by Mark Larner.

Related posts

This Is What 4 Years in Raw Denim Have Taught Me

Matt Wilson

The New Denim Direction for Rope Dye with Our First Video Blog

Matt Wilson

Q&A: What Happens When Raw Denim Is Washed Too Early?

Editorial | Marc


mike April 3, 2015 at 21:01

Hella cool.

gate io April 25, 2023 at 00:45

Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

gateio June 1, 2023 at 01:58

I may need your help. I tried many ways but couldn’t solve it, but after reading your article, I think you have a way to help me. I’m looking forward for your reply. Thanks.

sklep internetowy March 22, 2024 at 01:57

Wow, fantastic weblog layout! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The whole glance
of your site is magnificent, as smartly as the content material!
You can see similar here najlepszy sklep

注册以获取100 USDT March 23, 2024 at 14:02

Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

vpn special coupon code 2024 April 8, 2024 at 01:03

Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I
provide credit and sources back to your site?
My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and
my visitors would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
Please let me know if this alright with you. Many thanks!

My website … vpn special coupon code 2024

Https://Casinoselection.Populiser.Com April 27, 2024 at 10:19

Hello! I understand this is sort of off-topic butt
I needed to ask. Dooes managing a well-established blog like
yoours require a lot of work? I’m brand new to operating a
blog however I do write in myy journal everyday. I’d like to stwrt a
blog so I can easily shaee my experience and thoughts online.
Please let me know if yoou have anny ind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring blog owners.
Appreciate it!

Herre is my bblog https://Casinoselection.Populiser.Com

Leave a Comment