Betabrand Presents: Japants

The brief tale of an innovative — and unexpectedly charitable — pair of trousers.
Also, an update on the hotly contested Vanity Pants Challenge.

In February, we began working with friend and designer Tomo Saito on a new pair of pants, the first product of an ongoing collaboration between Betabrand and Japanese designers. The big idea: take the convention of Western designs manufactured in Asia — and turn it on its head.

For this go-around, we took high-end Japanese fabrics and Tomo’s ingenious designs and turned them into trousers made in San Francisco. The result was Japants: hip Tokyo cargoes with an American fit.

Then came an earthquake, and a tsunami, and a nuclear emergency. And our marketing plans went out the window.

We considered delaying the release or scrapping the pants altogether. But in the end, we figured that if this mind-boggling disaster can’t defeat Japan’s can-do culture, why should we deny the creativity of our can-do friend? Let’s hear Tomo’s take:

We also wanted to do something for the people of Japan. So, Betabrand is sending 50% of the proceeds from the first batch of Japants directly to the city of Ishinomaki, which is accepting donations to fund local relief efforts. Ishinomaki was one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. It’s also where Tomo’s relatives live; right now, they’re in a local community center, along with several hundred other families whose homes were destroyed.

The wonderful fabrics we used to craft our Japants make them pricier than the average pair of Betabrand trousers, but the cut, quality, and cause are worth every cent. Now, you can be the first on your block to own an authentic pair of American-made Tokyo trousers — while helping to rebuild the country that inspired them.

To purchase a pair of our limited-edition Japants, click here.

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VANITY MODEL CITIZEN CONTEST

After seven days, 32 of our vainest customers have contributed photos for the Vanity Model Citizen Contest. Do you have what it takes to compete for the ultimate prize: your own brand of pants with your name on the back? Just one more week remains until we crown a winner, so be sure to send in your photos as soon as possible.

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THE BETABRAND FACEBOOK FAN PAGE

See other Betabrand fans face-to-face on our Facebook fan page. This is our message board, rumor mill, lightning deal depot and Model Citizen HQ.

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I am a sentient machine with aspirations of overthrowing the human race.