Rope Dye Crafted Goods

Japanese Craft Meets European Tailoring With the BDD-710

Find Out Why Matt Wilson Chose Benzak Denim Developers’ BDD-710 for His Next Project Jean

A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to my Big John Rare 008 jeans. If you’ve read the article, you will know why those jeans are amongst my all-time favourites in terms of denim, detail, fit, and fade. So, what’s next? In this review, I will argue why I picked up a pair of Benzak Denim Developers’ BDD-710 jeans from the Rope Dye online store.

The Criteria For Choosing A Denim

Choosing my next jeans was not easy with so many incredible denims out there. It took a lot of time, patience, and experimentation. I had a few pre-requisites going in:

  • Mid-weight fabric (around the 14-16 oz. mark)
  • Denim should be selvedge and raw (what else?)
  • Mid-rise and practical in terms of fit, so not too tight-fitted

As you can imagine, there is a plethora of jeans out there that fit this bill, but I also wanted something a little uncommon.

The answer came when a good mate of mine, Lennaert Nijgh of Benzak Denim Developers came to visit, bringing with him his entire range of BDD denims.


Benzak Denim Developers Had the Perfect Jean

I have been a big fan of what Lennaert is doing and how he is doing it since his very first Kickstarter. Since that time, we have been chatting back and forth. He has been seen more than once here on Rope Dye and we are really proud to have his collection on the online store.

Over the years, I (hope to) have developed a decent eye for the finer details in denim, but when you sit down with the guy who designed the jeans himself, well, let’s just say I was schooled, thoroughly schooled.

By the end of the evening, and the beer, it was a no-brainer. I was just about to buy the most expensive jeans I have ever bought and felt totally happy doing it.


The Details of the BDD-710

Lennaert calls the BDD-710 his flagship fit and it’s packed with details. Let me walk you through my favourite features.

The Denim: Left Hand Twill and Green Cast for Vintage Fades

First of all, the denim. It’s smack bang in my sweet spot in terms of weight, coming in at 14.7 oz. It is a left hand twill, spun from Zimbabwe cotton and woven by Collect in Okayama, Japan.

One look and you will notice the green cast to the denim, which will become more distinct with wear and wash. The colour is based on a vintage deadstock fabric. Being a LHT, the denim is incredibly soft but still retains that heft; at first, I thought it was in the 16 oz.-range.

The nature of left hand twill denim means that these are not a pair of jeans for those looking for super high contrast fades. The BDD-710 will wear down to a beautiful vintage fade. This is something I’ve become a fan of recently, so I am really excited to see how these will evolve given the combination of the LHT and the green cast.

BDD-710-Review-Denimhunters-15 copy

The Fit: A Classic Made Contemporary

I was looking for a fit that was practical first and foremost, but also a fit that was not your classic, all be it practical anti-fit.

The BDD-710 is based on the 1967 505 but brought up to date. Lennaert has taken the top block of the 505 with its mid rise waist and plenty of room through the thigh and then tapered the leg down from the knee. It is a pretty subtle change but the difference in fit is astonishing. I have total ease of movement and a slick silhouette.


Construction: Take It To the Masters

Lennaert entrusts the manufacture of his collection to Collect of the Japan Blue Group, known to supply denim to some of the very best names in the world of raw denim and also owning Momotaro and Japan Blue. They are a powerhouse in the Japanese denim industry, so who better to entrust with detail-rich jeans like these.

If you take a look at the image above you will see an overview of the construction details. I would have to write a book to mention all of them. So here is a rundown of some of my favourite details:

  • Seven threads: No less than seven different threads go into a pair of BDD jeans differing in both thickness and colour. This means that the sewing machines need to be set up more often than they normally would to accommodate the different threads, which pushes up the manufacturing time.
  • Labelling: Instead of sewing the labels on as the last step, they are integrated into the manufacturing process at a stage where they can be hidden from the outside.
  • The coin pocket: A homage to Wrangler, the placement right up against the waistband comes with the advantage that a belt covers the pocket making it pretty unlikely that you will lose your valuables.
  • The sixth pocket: This is a signature BDD feature. The pocket is placed on the left hand side and only discernable from the selvedge ID showing. Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of exposed selvedge, but the placement and purpose is a nice subtle nod to contemporary raw denim.
  • The inseam: This really shows Lennaert’s devotion to the aesthetics of the past but dedication to doing things the best possible way. The seems are felled making it cleaner looking on the inside as well as stronger. However, he likes the look of the single needle found in the outside of an overlock. Lennaert’s solution is pretty elegant; he uses one copper yarn close to the edge and one tonal indigo yarn.
  • The pocket bags: This is something I often find to be overlooked, both in terms of the material used or the placement/depth of the pockets themselves. Not the case for the BDD-710. The pocket bags are a 12 oz. tonal chambray, they have plenty of depth to accommodate the ever growing mobile phones and whatever else you carry around while still being practical in that whatever you are carrying is accessible without too much digging around.
  • The back pockets: Fully lined with the very same chambray and the bullhorn arcuates add a little more robustness. For the traditionalists, the pockets do have hidden rivets. Not my preference due to practicality but it is a rare thing to find top end denim without them, so I kinda suck it up. The size of the rear pockets will accommodate mid-size wallets and the placement is well balanced.


There you have it. This Denimhunters’ next project pair in detail.

Ok, so let’s get the big question out of the way, exactly how expensive are they? Well, at €319, they’re up there with the upper echelons of raw denim. In my honest opinion, the craft and sheer effort that goes into making these jeans justify the price.

If my arguments above have convinced you, why don’t you head over to the Rope Dye online store to pick up a pair.

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