Studio d'Artisan is a Japanese clothing company well known for its denim production. Each product produced by Studio d’Artisan is emblazoned with prints of pigs, also included in their logo. Recent legal issues with Levi’s Strauss & Co. in the United States has made the import of the product harder in the US, but worldwide demand is still high.
Studio d’Artisan was founded in 1979 and has been producing denim in Japan and for overseas ever since. Their products have been among the most highly regarded denim lines in Japan and with the exception of some brands which are slightly more expensive such as Sugar Cane and Samurai, it is one of the top end lines in the country. Products created by Studio d’Artisan uses old, thrown aside shuttle looms to produce its jeans, eschewing most mass production techniques in favor of a more hand-made style.
The products are still designed in Osaka, in the home of the company, while the production of the jeans takes place in Okayama prefecture, an area that has been well known for its cotton weaving and indigo dying for many years. The original dying methods and looms in Okayama are still used today to provide the vintage, classic style denim that has made the company so successful.
Studio d’Artisan has recently been embroiled in a lawsuit with Levi’s Straus & Co due to a series of claims of copyright infringement. The lawsuit stems from the use of the tab on the back pocket and the leather patch, both trademarks Levi’s claims as its own. The lawsuit has not been entirely settled, but there has been a series of injunctions against importing denim products from Studio d’Artisan directly into the United States as a result.
The design of Studio d’Artisan denim is well known both because of its use of the original looms, dating back to the 1930s and 1940s (a common practice among many high end denim brands now). It also receives special note because of the signature integration of the pig (buta) into each product, often using a small element of humor in the illustration of the logo and its placement.
Production of Studio d’Artisan denim is completed without the style of chemical wash that became popular in the 1980s. Using indigo and skin dying with copper to color the denim, the process is as old as the process of denim creation itself, making each pair of jeans more unique and vintage, a popular aspect of the brand. To this day, the brand maintains the same techniques and advertises them openly on their website and in their marketing.