How did you become interested in denim? The things we talk about on this forum - like raw denim, natural leather, and Japanese repro brands - aren't exactly common knowledge, at least not where I come from in the southern US. Was Nudie your denim gateway brand? Did you discover it online? Did a friend introduce you? Or do you have a more interesting story to tell? When I was an exchange student in Japan in 2009, I had Australian friends who wore Nudie jeans and introduced me to the brand. Up until then, I had pretty much only been wearing crappy Levi's skinny jeans that stretched out like crazy, and bought all my clothes at Urban Outfitters. I was never happy with the jeans I found, but all I knew outside of Levi's were all the awful mall brands like True Religion, and they didn't make slim cuts I could wear, anyway. I researched online and found out more about Nudie and discovered this forum, and the rest is history. From there I learned about all the good Japanese stuff. I wish I had known about all of this years earlier - if only I could send back a message in 2007 and tell myself to buy Flat Heads or something! On a sorta-related note, why is denim so popular in far-flung places like Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand? Japan, with their deeply-entrenched affection for American culture, makes sense, plus a lot of the good stuff originates here. But why is it that virtually nobody in the US has ever heard of Nudie or the good Japanese brands, but Nudie and raw denim is totally normal in southeast Asia? Is there some magazine or movie that started the whole thing in those places?