You probably haven’t heard of half the brands in Martin Kirby’s new store on Brunswick Street. Or perhaps you have, but haven’t been able to buy them outside Japan. Whatever your familiarity with the premium Japanese denim stocked at Godspeed, the short story is this: it’s all extremely good, it’s extremely easy to wear, and because every man and his dog doesn’t have the same jeans, you’ll feel extremely special. Plus, if you’re a denim fan, your wallet isn’t going to be stretched in the way overseas designer brands have led you to expect. Think $250 to $300, with years of durability a given.
For the denim dedicated, buying a pair of Radiall, Rough and Rugged, TCB or Edwin jeans is a bit of a rite of passage. They all look pretty similar in their raw state, but let’s get one thing straight: these aren’t jeans that come fictitiously aged – you tell the story. The frayed jeans on the wall are display only, evidence of a life well lived. You got to earn that, those holes are experience.
Godspeed offers repairs and alterations to a ridiculous level. Take the thread in the rare darning machine which has been prepared by “farm-to-closet” label Buaisou, which grows its own indigo plants and dyes its own yarn for its jeans (there’s a whole story in that alone). Especially dyed for Godspeed’s alteration service, the cotton matches perfectly to a pair having a hole repaired. Kirby is planning a wall of dyed thread to match any and all jeans that come across his desk. In this case it’s practically invisible and, as a result, will age like the jeans themselves.
Some beautiful jackets and shirts, alongside Redwing boots and Ebbets Field Flannels caps, round out the Godspeed selections that will have you looking like a motorcycle mechanic in due course. Fitting, as Kirby got the store’s name from the Japanese black-and-white documentary, God Speed You! Black Emperor (from which the Canadian post-rock band also took its name). The film documents the bosozoku motorcycle movement in the 1970s, following the exploits of the Black Emperors motorcycle club.
63 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9416 3183
Tue & Wed 10am–6pm
Thu & Fri 10am–7pm