Top 13 Fades of 2013 – Fade Friday


As long-time readers here well know, every Friday we focus our attention on an aged pair of raw denim jeans through our weekly instalment, Fade Friday. Though not every episode is a fan favourite, there are a healthy handful that garner much more interest and enthusiasm.

More importantly, with 2013 now in our rear-view mirror, we take a moment to round up the top 13 fades from the past year. If there’s a pair that you think we’ve missed, let us know in the comments below.

1. Levi’s 511 Rigid Dragon (20 Months, 2 Washes)


  • Weight: 11.2 oz.
  • Fit: Slim Fit
  • Denim: 99% Cotton, 1% Spandex
  • Length of Wear: 20 Months
  • Number of Washes: 2
  • Original Fade Friday

2. Samurai S5000S 21 Oz. (5 Months, 1 Soak, 1 Wash)


  • Weight: 21 oz.
  • Fit: Straight Leg, Mid Rise
  • Denim: 100% Cotton, Japanese Selvedge
  • Length of Wear: 5 Months
  • Number of washes: 1
  • Original Fade Friday

3. Unbranded 201 UB201 (3 Years, 4 Washes)


  • Weight: 14 Oz.
  • Fit: Tapered
  • Other Details:
    • Blank fly buttons, rivets, and leather patch
    • Chain stitched hem
    • Two-toned stitching
    • Blue selvedge
  • Original Fade Friday

4. Strike Gold 1105 (2 Years, 13 Washes)


  • Weight: 14.5 Oz.
  • Fit: Slim Leg
  • Denim: 100% Japanese Cotton Selvedge Raw Unsanforized Denim (golden sparkle ID)
  • Additional Details:
    • Hidden Rivets
    • Button Fly
    • Deerskin Leather Tag
    • Iron Male Rivet – Copper Female Rivet
  • Length of Wear: 2 Years
  • Number of washes: 13
  • Original Fade Friday

5. Pure Blue Japan XX-011 (26 Months, 10 Washes)


  • Name: Pure Blue Japan XX-011 
  • Weight: 13.5 Oz.
  • Denim: 100% Cotton Selvedge Denim from Okayama, Japan
  • Fit: Tapered
  • Other Details
    • Left Hand Twill
    • Indigo warp with grey weft
  • Length of Wear: 26 Months
  • Number of Washes: 10 Months
  • Original Fade Friday

6. Levi’s 511 Rigid (14 months, 2 washes, 1 soak)


  • Weight: 11.2 Oz.
  • Fit: 511 Slim
  • Denim: 100% cotton
  • Length of Wear:  14 Months
  • Number of Washes: 2 washes, 1 soak
  • Original Fade Friday

7. Eternal 811s (2 Years, No Washes)


  • Name: Eternal BIG811XXX “Contest Jeans”
  • Weight: 14.5 Oz.
  • Fit: Mid-rise, straight fit
  • Denim: Unsanforized, 100% Japanese Cotton Selvedge Raw Denim
  • Length of Wear: 2 Years
  • Number of washes: None
  • Additional Details:
    • 39″ inseam
    • Half-lined back pockets
    • 6 oz. indigo-dyed pocket bags
    • Custom contest label
    • Custom leather patch
  • Original Fade Friday

8. Skull Jeans 5010xx 6×6 (4 Years, Unknown Washes)


  • Name: Skull Jeans 5010xx 6×6
  • Weight: 14.5 Oz.
  • Fit: Slim tapered cut
  • Denim: 100% Pima Cotton
  • Length of Wear: 4 years
  • Number of Washes: Unknown
  • Original Fade Friday

9. Iron Heart 634S-RAW (8 Months, 8 Washes)

Iron Heart 634S-RAW (8 Months, 8 Washes)


  • Name: Iron Heart 634S-RAW Limited Run
  • Weight: 21 Oz. (shrinks to 23 Oz. post-soak)
  • Denim: Unsanforized 100% Zimbabwean Long Fiber Cotton Denim
  • Fit: Straight Leg
  • Length of wear: 8 Months
  • Washes: 8 Washes
  • Additional Details:
    • Button fly
    • Hidden rivets
    • Right Hand Twill
    • Limited Run
  • Original Fade Friday

10. Unbranded 21 Oz. 121 Skinny (2.5 Months, No Washes)


  • Weight: 21 Oz.
  • Fit: Skinny
  • Denim: 100% cotton, sanforized, rope-dyed raw indigo denim
  • Other Details:
    • Silver matte fly buttons and rivets
    • Leather patch
    • Chain stitched hem
    • Two-toned stitching
  • Original Fade Friday

11. Levi’s LVC 1947 501xx (9 Months, No Washes)


  • Weight: 14 Oz.
  • Fit: Classic fit with straight leg
  • Length of Wear: 9 months
  • Washes: None
  • Other Details:
    • 100% cotton
    • Shrink to fit selvage denim from Cone Mills Oak Plant
  • Original Fade Friday

12. Naked & Famous Left Hand Twill (15 Months, 2 Washes)


  • Name: Naked and Famous Left Hand Twill Selvedge
  • Weight: 13.75 Oz.
  • Fit: Skinny Guy (Medium rise, Straight leg, Slim throughout)
  • Denim: Old-School Left Hand Twill Weave
  • Other Details:
    • Deep Indigo Dyed
    • Japanese Fabric
    • Made in Canada
  • Original Fade Friday

13. Kamikaze Attack x Naked & Famous (6 Months, No Washes)


  • Name: Kamikaze Attack x Naked & Famous
  • Weight: 14.5 Oz.
  • Fit: Naked & Famous Skinny Guy Fit
  • Denim: Super Dark Indigo Warp + Weft Unsanforized 100% Selvedge Denim
  • Length of wear: 6 months
  • Number of washes: 0
  • Other details
    • Half-lined back pockets
    • Hidden copper rivets
    • Deerskin leather patch
  • Original Fade Friday

Honorable Mention – SEXI14 (15 Months, 8 Soaks, 3 Washes)


  • Weight: 15 Oz.
  • Fit: Slim Fit
  • Denim: Pure indigo un-calendered, un-mercerized, & un-singed 100% selvedge denim
  • Length of wear: 15 months
  • Number of washes: 3
  • Number of soaks: 8
  • Original Fade Friday

Nick Coe

Nick is the Founding Editor of

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  • Dwiputra Latief

    unbranded ftw!

  • Davil

    Lots of very fine example of well worn and faded jeans, but some of these I have no idea how they are in the running for being some of the best fades of the year. 4, 6, 8, and 10 really don’t do anything for me. I guess its all just a matter of opinion. That being said, numbers 5, 7, 12, and 13 are my top picks. Number 7 would be my favorite. There were many pairs left out, but I would put the pair of Indigoskin V-series in here some where. IMO anyway.

    • Will Ryan

      word. that honorable mention is way better than a handful that were actually in the list.

  • Gabri8

    I can bet 100euro now saying that not all the denim shown are faded naturally.

    • BillygoatsGruff312

      I don’t buy it. Why would anyone fade or age their denim “artificially”? There isn’t any money, trophy or award for most faded or busted out jeans. They’d basically be destroying their own property. Seriously, who would do that?

      • MosquitoControl

        I mean, one guy in the pictures is laying in mud, rubbing it in his jeans, to age them. People do this. They do sea washes, too.

        Lots of people are stupid.

        • Thomas


  • Damian

    Love the fades on 2, 9, 12 and HM. 2 and 9 have perfect “off the rack” fades and 12 and HM have so much character. I’d love to see more photos of 12 that haven’t been distorted in Photoshop.

  • Jim

    The first one is just plain awful in my opinion and number 9 is awesome.

  • whorebucks

    the ‘pure blues’ takes it in my book.

  • Quoc Nguyen

    What kind of belt is in the first pic? Anyone know?

  • G Scott

    #10 – the guy put a word in his jeans… how is that not number 1?

  • Jackson Kaufman

    the honorable mention is better than half of these. esp the UB 121s, don’t know how those made it.

  • toolazytomakename

    Where are the IndigoSkin V series? THOSE WERE CRAZY

    • trev

      yea what the heck!

  • Dave523

    How can I contribute to Fade Friday, might have some cool and really worn RAW stuff to share

  • swissjeansfreak

    Thanks Nick for this awesome top 13 fades of 2013. It’s impressing to see how much raw denim love some raw denim heads are willing to give to their favorite raw denim projects, which leads to such impressing fading results. It’s always amazing, to follow a raw denim project on their long journey on the road of denim evolution to see at the end the full power of fading potential. That way the raw denim spirit can be kept alive for ever.

  • trehsu

    My personal favorites. 3rd Iron Hearts. 2nd Skill Jeans 5010xx. 1st Samurai s5000s

  • mf051404

    There are a lot better than #10 (for example the IndigoSkin and the Dior Homme) The jeans/brand specs itself is impressive, but as a top fade for 2013…naaahhh, in fact it looks partly artificially faded…sorry but that’s just my honest opinion

  • Arie van den Berg

    Love the worn-in project on nr. 6 (Levi´s) with scrubbing the jeans with water and sand. And great crotch-repairs in nr. 7, the place where my 501xx´s always blown out at first (because of Dutch cycling). I have done a lot of crotch repairs (inside and outside patches) on all my 501´s. Doing that really adds some beauty to my jeans.

  • Gerhard

    IMO the fades on the Imperial x Self Edge Sexi14s are way better than a lot of the others on this list.

  • Jess Daniel

    Buy Straight leg jeans DL1961 jeans have a classic, vintage look. Fading and whiskering add a lived-in element. 5-pocket styling. Single-button closure and zip fly from trendzmania