Today the 6th episode of the topic Meet the CollectorMeet the Collector is about passionate people with a focus on collecting. With this topic I will give you an insight in their special collection. Collectors will tell their story behind their treasures, show their most rare and unique items and tell you all about the collecting thrill. I’m very proud to show you the 6th collector: Ruedi Karrer in the topic: Meet the Collector! I met Ruedi years ago in Berlin during the tradeshows. Ruedi is one of the most dedicated denim persons I have ever met, especially when it comes to denim fades. Thanks Ruedi for sharing your story and showing some of your awesome treasures from your collection. Enjoy.

Ruedi Karrer and me at Modefabriek – tradeshow Amsterdam in 2015. 


Ruedi Karrer

  • Name: Ruedi Karrer
  • Living in village & country: Zuerich, Switzerland
  • Age: Born in Sept. 5th 1959
  • Instagram ID: @swissjeansfreak
  • Number of Instagram followers: 27.000
  • Website
  • Daily work: Geographer with Geographic Information System on Water Management

What’s your favorite brand: All raw denim brands with greencast denim fabrics.

What’s your favorite denim brand: Alphabetically: APC, Atelier LaDurance, BDD, Eat Dust, Edwin, G-Star US Lumber, Iron Heart, Lee, Levi’s, Nudie, Pike Brothers, Rising Sun, Rogue Territory, Strike Gold, Tellason, Tulp, Wrangler , Ooh just too many!!!!!

Some worn-out jeans from the large private collection from Ruedi Karrer.

What’s your favorite footwear brand: My sandals ha ha.

How long are you collecting: I started in 1973 in a remote little swiss alpine village.

Ruedi Karrer in 1984 at a age of 25 years. This picture proofs that he’s wearing denim always and always.

How many items are there in your collection: About 8.000 jeans and 6.000 denim jackets (too difficult to take a picture).

Some of the storage of the huge denim collection from Ruedi Karrer.

How or why did you became a collector: I became a raw denim addict after a donation parcel including 2 pairs of Levi’s Jeans arrived our family place.

The Lee 101 Stormrider collab jacket. Collab is made by Long John, artist Joos Bohnen and Lee Jeans. Jeans is from Iron Heart 25oz worn for 965 days.

What’s the best thrill about collecting? I always try to rescue real heaviest faded and trashed raw denim items from the garbage bin, best if never washed, reflecting the full power of strong natural denim evolution including crazy patina at it’s best. I’m always in heaven, when I can give such an item an eternal life in the Jeansmuseum of heaviest fadings.

Images of the Jeansmuseum from Ruedi:

What is your favorite item and why: A never washed greencast lefthand twill G-Star US Lumber jeans from 2000. This jeans is worn hard for 2 years with crazy denim evolution and amazing patina. I just can’t stop watching them. I also have 2 APC, 2 Nudie and 2 Edwin jeans all heavy used and never washed, which are together with 2 never washed Lee Storm Rider denim jackets and an Atelier LaDurance jeans and my heaviest used Denime, Strike Gold 23oz and Iron Heart 25oz jeans (all 3 items never washed and worn for 700, 780 and 990 wear days in a row). They are my really top favorite items!!!

G-Star U.S. Lumber New vs G-Star U.S. Lumber worn for 2 years.

A selection of the top notch denim items from Ruedi Karrer.

Iron Heart – 25oz worn for 965 days vs Strike Gold – 23oz worn for 765 days by Ruedi Karrer.

What’s your best bargain in your collection: Many heaviest faded jeans and denim jackets from Lee, Levi’s Wrangler from dump areas, occupieed houses or on cheap flea markets. Too many to picture them.

Some faded jeans from the private collection from Ruedi Karrer.

Which item was the hardest to get and/or the most valuable one: A Big Smith jeans from the 70’ies from a Tokyo student which I met on the streets in Zuerich. It took a day off and guided him to my little Jeansroom and begged about 8 hours for swapping his never washed and heaviest faded jeans against a brand new Levi’s 501 jeans with flasher from the 70’ies.

Which item would you add to your collection: Many heaviest faded and never washed items I saw on Instagram like the epic Lee 23 oz jeans from @kingyiuyu, or from the Australian stone mason man @Lee_in_denim or the 5 Atelier LaDurance jeans in the Tenue De Nimes store in Amsterdam, the brand new G-Star US Lumber jeans in the same store, several heaviest faded Iron Heart jeans at the Gosport HQ worn hard by a hard working man, the 32 oz Naked & Famous jeans from @opie_whiskas and many other heaviest faded items from many crazy raw denim heads in Indonesia, USA and Canada.

The Lee 101Z – 23oz worn by @kingyuyiu for 1.338 days. @kingyuyiu is now wearing the Lee 101Z – 19oz. Follow him on Instagram to see the ageing of his new project.

Where do you get your daily inspiration from? From Instagram, Superfuture, IronHeart, Styleforum, Facebook, eBay and on the streets.

Vintage Lee Jeans Stormrider bought from vintage denim hunter Brit Eaton from the U.S.

What’s your favorite inspiration: Instagram. But I just don’t have time to check out the other sources a lot.

Read also the previous episodes of Meet the Collector;

Jerry van Vorstenbos:

Michael van Hal:

Antonio di Battista:

Ronald Vijsma:

Eric Maggiori:

Are you also a collector or do you know an interesting collector, please send an email to:

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.