17 Instagram Feeds You Should Follow
San Francisco may be the birthplace of blue jeans, but Los Angeles is the modern-day denim capital of the US. And not only premium (fashion) denim, the city has a booming raw denim scene too.
LA is home to dozens of notable raw denim brands and retailers like Railcar Fine Goods, Freenote Cloth, Self Edge, and Mister Freedom.
And of course there’s famous Rose Bowl flea market for vintage aficionados and anyone who enjoys getting up early on Sunday mornings to get fried under the LA sun while trawling through piles of old rags.
Meet the LADenimHangs Crew
All this denim’s bred a thriving community of denimheads. Some of them have formed a crew they call the ‘LADenimHangs.’ Quite simply, a bunch of like-minded guys (and the occasional girl) who hangs out whenever they can and geek out on denim.
Looking at the pictures they post from their meets, I’ve got an itch to book flights out there and just hang out with these dudes. I’m sure we’d have the greatest time.
But, for now, I’ll have to make do with hanging out with the crew virtually. Let’s meet them!
Joseph Pizarro @joe_pizarro
Joe is born and raised in East Los Angeles in 1991, and he fell in love with American-made goods and work boots. And he’s the guy who founded the LADenimHangs.
I was scrolling through my Instagram when I saw my good friend Victor aka @selvedge1 was hanging out with a group of denim heads in Amsterdam. I was amazed by the number of gents he got together. I wanted to bring that here, but I didn’t know anyone at the time.”
Joe reached out to his buddy Greg aka The Denim Hound to arrange the first hang. “We got in contact with these fine gents and gals via DM and set a time and place to meet.” From there, the rest is history and the group has been expanding ever since.
We try to see each other as often as we can. If you’re ever in LA, message the @ladenimhangs page so we can set a hang!”
Frank Sanchez @japanese_buffalo
Frank is 28 and works as a bus operator. He’s a young blood in the community; “this is barely my second year since I got into raw denim and boots,” he writes to me. His only regret is he didn’t discover it sooner!
Frank joined Instagram as @japanese_buffalo to find out when his favourite brands have sales and to keep up with the latest releases. But he never expected to find an online community that turned into real-life friends.
Instagram has opened many doors and opportunities for me that I never expected when I first joined.”
His favourite thing about denim is how it only gets better with every wear. “How it moulds to your body and fades depending on how you wear it. It truly becomes one’s unique pair that tells a personalized story. And that itself is art to me.”
When Erik isn’t posting about denim and boots he’s a crew chief of a C-130 Hercules aeroplane.
I’m a 21-year-old from Southern California. I was there until I joined the Air Force, and I’ve been in Texas ever since,” he writes to me in a message on Instagram.
“My non-denim recreation includes playing and listening to music, riding motorcycles, and fitness! I weight lift multiple times a week and am also training for a marathon!”
Erik’s on Instagram as @denim_schmenim because, as he writes, “it’s a very convenient platform for quickly sharing images across the world.” He initially joined because he attended at @pigeontreecrafting with the crew’s honorary out-of-town member, Victor (@selvedge1).
I met a bunch of cool dudes and Vic suggested I make an account, and I did! Through Instagram, I’ve been able to talk to people from all over the world and share experiences!”
Erik’s favourite feature of jeans is the attention to detail! That’s why he recently picked up the Denim Hound x Kojima Genes x SF Jeans collaboration jeans.
Jesus Salgado @vedgesus
Jesus Salgado is a boot fan. “That’s how I entered the world of workwear,” he writes to me. “My love for denim came second.”
On his Instagram account @vedgesus, he originally posted personal of anything, as he says. When he started posting shots of his outfits, he found his direction.
I saw how awesome the community was and that’s how LADenimHangs came about. A bunch of random LA denimheads decided to get together for a hang. It’s been great ever since.”
His favourite feature on a jean is the belt loops. Why? “If belt loops weren’t there, we’d all be walking around in suspenders (braces),” he rightfully argues. “Don’t get me wrong, I like to pop out some suspenders every once in a while, but personally I wouldn’t be able to wear them every day.”
Belt loops also give Jesus (and all the rest of us) a reason to own several leather belts. Wise words. “A back leather patch is also fun, especially when you can put your belt through it,” he adds. “Lastly, I much prefer the button fly to a zipper.”
Michael Bandy @bigdudeindenim
Michael Bandy is a 36-year-old customer service rep and dispatcher who’s passionate about landscape photography and denim and boots. You probably know him as @bigdudeindenim. His username quite simply tells his story.
I’m an advocate for the bigger guys in the scene. I personally wear a size 40 and at least XXL in most brands.”
Michael joined Instagram because he likes to take photos. “As a photographer, Instagram is an almost ideal way to share my personal sense of style as well as my thoughts and experiences.”
As a spokesman for larger guys and girls in who’re into denim, Instagram also allows him to reach out to both consumers and brands. “It’s also a great community and I’ve met some truly great people through it.”
Michael’s favourite feature of jeans is how versatile they are:
People wear jeans worldwide. They have become standard casual attire in multiple countries besides the US. They have a long and interesting history and when made well, will last a long time and show their age in interesting ways. You can dress them up or dress them down and everything in between. They are an ideal article of clothing for your legs.”
If you want to read about some of Michael’s experiences being a big dude in denim, you should check out his posts over on the Clobber Calm blog.
Jake Rodriguez @almostvintagestyle
Jake Rodriguez aka @almostvintagestyle has always been interested in classic style and history, he writes to me. That’s how he got into leather jackets, hats, and engineer boots before I discovered denim.
Eventually, my interest in classic style pushed me to joining forums and Instagram, and then writing my own articles and reviews about jeans, boots, jackets, and the industry.”
Those articles and reviews he posts on almostvintagestyle.com.
But actually, Jake initially joined Instagram because his fiancée did and he was inspired by her sharing her outfits and style. “The photography aspect became a lot of fun and it was a fantastic tool to promote my blog,” he adds.
At this point, I stay because of the people I have met through the app. Finding @ladenimhangs was incredible. I never expected to create real-life friendships from this silly picture app.”
Sort of ironically, denim is Jake’s least favourite part of the scene. “I care far more about boots, leather jackets, and even shirts.” His favourite brands are The Flat Head, Himel Bros, Clinch, White Kloud, Conner’s Sewing Factory, and John Lofgren.
His favourite features of denim are—like it’s the case with the boots, jackets, and shirts he likes and writes about—passion and craftsmanship, which go hand in hand, he adds.
Isaac Paul @pigeontreecrafting
As you’re browsing through the feeds of these LA denim dudes, you can’t help but notice a recurring brand. Pigeon Tree Crafting. That’s because Isaac who runs it is part of the crew.
I’m 32 years old, and I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I worked in the film industry until I was 29, when I discovered a special connection with leatherworking,” he writes to me.
Isaac originally joined Instagram to share his photography (which another passion he has), but since then it’s not only become an integral aspect of his business, it’s also become a relaxing pastime.
I have Instagram to thank for some of my sincerest friendships. The raw denim community on instagram is second to none!”
“I did it for the fades,” he answers to my question about his favourite feature of jeans. “I originally got into raw denim because I was attracted to the American craftsmanship component, but I’ve since begun to really love denim for its unique character, texture and detailing.” That’s obviously lead him to the work of the Japanese; “their denim and fabrics are truly without equal.”
Being a solopreneur, Isaac loves the freedom of not having to answer to anyone and having complete control over the things he makes. “I can go into my studio and create something new on a whim. I plan on doing this for the rest of my life, and it will be a life well-lived.”
Jeffrey Aralar @j_aralar
Jeff’s born and raised in LA in the Elysian Valley area near the Dodger Stadium. He’s had quite a few hobbies and interests prior to denim, including playing in a metal band and motorcycles.
Instagram became my number one social media platform because of how simple it is to interact with other people,” he writes to me. “It’s just so simple and convenient.”
His favourite feature of jeans the denim itself, especially when it’s in a pair of Freenote Cloth jeans. “From the details within their jeans to the friendly interactions with their team, they offer the fits that I totally dig.”
He’s also a fan of The Flat Head because the details that go into their garments. And, as he puts it, “the fadings are phenomenal!”
Greg Tamura @denimhound
If you’re on Instagram and you like denim, you’ve surely already seen the work of Greg Tamura aka The Denim Hound. If you haven’t, maybe you read the blog post I published about his collaboration jeans?
Greg’s half Japanese, half Irish, and he was raised in Berkeley, California, just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco. “About 10 years ago, my desire to learn more about my Japanese heritage, gave my denim interests a specific point of focus; Japanese denim,” he writes.
After years of travel and research, exposing himself to a wealth experience with denim from all over the world, he wanted to share his knowledge, so he began thedenimhound.com.
There were lots of other people out there with this strange and beautiful obsession.”
On the question of ‘why Instagram,’ Greg explains that he loves the creativity of the platform and instant feedback you get from posting there.
His favourite feature of jeans is the denim itself. “Everything from the texture of brand new raw unsanforized denim, to when it first starts to pop with the electric blue, to when its beat up and faded. The whole journey.”
Honorary Out-of-Town Members
Not all of the members of the LADenimHangs actually lives in Los Angeles. Isaac from Pigeon Tree Crafting suggested I include them as out-of-town members.
Victor is a photographer, engineer and travel consultant, and he has over 43k followers on his @selvedge1 account on Instagram as this blog post publishes. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Victor loves travelling, motorsports, photography, hiking, biking, and hanging out with his friends. “As for a denim history, I had worn jeans for years, but never found the right fit or feel until I learned about raw denim about 12 years ago,” he writes to me, “starting with A.P.C. as my first pair.” Classic. His favourite feature of jeans is the button fly.
Instagram is a positive, engaging community that welcomes new and die-hard alike,” he answers as I ask him about why he’s on the platform. “Despite the algorithm games, it’s still the friendliest environment for fellow denimheads to connect.”
Another out-of-town member of the crew that all the guys said I should include is Jess aka @aegishandcraft.
Her reason to be on Instagram and her favourite feature of jeans you can read about in the post I did about must-follow ladies in denim.
Joel Castro @jcleatherworks
Joel lives in San Diego but he hangs out with the LADenimHangs crew once in a while. He works for the US Government, but he would love to make his hobby into a part-time leatherworker gig, he writes to me in a message on Instagram.
I’m a family man, and love spending time with them, so sometimes it’s hard to balance out my leather working time.”
He got into Instagram because a friend was nagging him for almost three months to put his shit on Instagram, he writes.
She said that people would start buying my things and I kind of didn’t believe her, so I was hesitant. Finally, I said fuck it why not.”
Now, thanks to that friend and Instagram, Joel sells the stuff he loves to make, and he found a lot of new friends doing so!
Other LA Denim Dudes and Dudettes
With a population of over 4 million, LA’s got tons and tons of cool denim dudes and dudettes. Here are a few of the ones I get updates from regularly that I think you should follow too.
Like Jess, Suzie’s on my list of must-follow ladies in denim list, so you can read her story there. She’s also hung out with some of the LADenimHangs crew on occasions. In the post above, she snapped a selfie together with Jake, Jesus, Frank and Michael at Freenote Cloth‘s Cinco de Mayo party.
Amy Leverton @denimdudes
Amy’s the denim dudette. She’s been in the business for way more than a decade. She’s a denim consultant, writer and designer. Originally from the UK, she moved out to LA a couple of years ago, which is why she’s on this list too.
Devin McGovern @outlinedcloth
Devin was born and raised in Colorado but moved to California in the early 2000s to pursue his Hollywood dream. He works in reality TV, currently as the co-executive producer on a show, and he’s been producing various reality shows for the past 10 years.
I wanted to be an actor, but was not that good, stumbled in stand-up comedy for a bit, and finally landed in reality TV,” he writes.
His favourite feature of jeans is how they become very personal. “Each pair tells a story of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. I love that!”
Aun Tay @imaunit
Aun’s posts denim updates on Instagram as @imaunit. He’s a freelance photographer, a career he recently chose.
My interest with Instagram and capturing details of my daily fits led to this career change,” he writes.
He was actually going into a career in healthcare, but couldn’t see himself doing that for the rest of his life. Instead, he’s started doing food photography for a few local Los Angeles businesses while waiting for the weather to cool, so I can bust out his boots and outerwear again.
He joined Instagram back in 2014 to post evolution pictures of items he owns. “The platform makes it easy to post a pic and write captions about my stuff and it went on from there,” he explains. His favourite feature of jeans is the selvedge colour.
Want My Tip on More Instagrammers to Follow?
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