The First ENDRIME® Archives (Denim) Book

During the last edition of the denim fabric show Kingpins in Amsterdam, denim designer Mohsin Sajid released his ENDRIME® Archive Vol. 1 book. Next to working as a denim designer, Mohsin is working as a denim lecturer and historian at universities as well in the UK. The idea to release a book of his impressive 3,000+ pieces archive was born when students started to ask for a reference book of his rare denim pieces.

Now, after many days and days of work, the first volume with hardback is ready to order! Expect a heavy-weight book of 2kg with 510 pages featuring 92 jeans styles, 70 denim jackets, 18 overalls and so much more. Time to sit down with Mohsin to speak about his ENDRIME® Archive Vol. 1 book.

mohsin sajid
Mohsin Sajid and Wouter Munnichs, founder of Long John at the release of the ENDRIME® Archive Vol. 1 book.


LJ: Can you introduce yourself, who are you and what are you doing?

Hi my name is Mohsin Sajid, I’m a denim designer for the past 22 years. I’m a denim consultant and denim historian worked for many brands and denim mills in my career. I spend 50% of my time being a denim educator and I run our denim consultancy ENDRIME® with my wife Sadia Rafique.

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mohsin sajid

LJ: You just released your first book, a very exciting moment. How did you come up with the idea? And who’s your target audience?

I teach hundreds of fashion students each year through my denim-making workshops, workshops on construction, historical workshops, and mentorship programs. At the end of my lectures, many students and lecturers ask if I have a book about the samples I show each year. “Surprisingly, not yet” has been my answer. So creating an ENDRIME® ARCHIVE book series was in the back of my mind for many years. Its mostly created for my students.

LJ: Can you share a bit of the process behind the book? 

I create several denim collections each year for clients, and often book out studio time to photograph various samples I create with flat photography. More than always, we have 30 or 45 mins left after each studio session is finished. So, in the past 7 to 8 years I’ve always started to slowly bring in ENDRIME® ARCHIVE pieces to capture professionally at the end of big shoots. I have collected well over 3,000 pieces now and show many to my students. So this first ENDRIME® ARCHIVE book is help them to be honestly. I’ve actually lost track of many samples I’ve collected.

Once I got to about 200 pieces photographed. I decided I would knock out and publish the first book. Our company ENDRIME® publish many books each season for many clients.

Check out a selection of books here: https://issuu.com/endrime

endrime

endrime

LJ: How long did you work on it to get it ready?

So creating a book (for us) was a simple process. As the garments had already been photographed, colour corrected on a white background. In between two other collections I was designing, I somehow found the time to edit the book and wrote about each piece and is historical reference. As I have been working towards this first book for a few years, I also spoke to CONE DENIM® and got permission to use images from their ‘found collection’ (which I saw in a trip to Greensboro in 2005) and was lucky to visit the Levi’s Archive in 2022 few years ago, so I was lucky to photograph a few amazing pieces there.

The real reason I was allowed to photograph others collections was I’m working on a complete construction book from 1860 ~ 1920 on denim garments which is the another BIG mega book I’m more than half way through. Extra big thanks to Steve Maggard, President at CONE DENIM®, and the wonderful Tracey Panek, Levi’s Archivist. We have a few more surprises in the first book and I’ve also added over 14 more pages since the April Kingpins first edition.

mohsin sajid

LJ: How is the book divided into chapters? Is it only about denim, or is there more to discover?

I’ve tried to keep it a simple. We start with denim jackets, which some of the earliest ones then we move to overalls / coveralls then 5 pocket jeans and then a few others items like Boro vintage pieces at the end. I would say it’s 95% a denim book. I’ve also collected a number of 1930s and 1940s British denim Army pieces so I’ve added them in too. And a number of 1870s to 1920s French workwear pieces, which have many links to 1870s denim overall. There is a lot of cross pollination from USA and Europe. I find it interesting researching the 1860s – 1900 period more, as not much is documented. New discoveries are happening every few months.

This ENDRIME® ARCHIVE Book series is really just a start. I could have had half the book about denim banners and memorabilia / denim signage. And denim scraps with historical references. I plan to also professionally photograph other important denim archives from other collectors and add to the overall series.

There is so many important archives which are hidden behind closed doors.

My plan is never to be out of print of this ARCHIVE series, mostly for the hundreds of students who attend my classes to keep up to date. Plus most of the pieces I’ve seen and collected are museum pieces, which need to be seen, as there is so much other younger designers need to see, and the stories behind the collections. I saw a few pieces in the Levi’s Archive, which they had just acquired, which will feature in my upcoming construction book. I think I might be the only non-Levi’s designer to be allowed access like that.

mohsin sajid

mohsin sajid

LJ: Your archive is huge, with more than 3,000 unique pieces. How did you make the selection that is featured in the book?

In past years, I’ve had interns visit our ENDRIME® studio in West-Sussex. I’ve tried to log and catalogue our ARCHIVE. Honestly, we have started and stopped many times. The selection I photographed for Vol. 1 of the ENDRIME® ARCHIVE is based on samples I teach in workshops and show to my hundreds of students. I noticed I’ve missed a few important dozen pieces, so I might still add them in Vol. 1 edition, in our second edition we are printing in a few weeks.

LJ: With so many pieces in your archive, how do you store them? Do you have a special room or way to preserve them the best?

I keep most of the ARCHIVE in a room in our denim studio. Mostly on shelves as I don’t hang, it takes up too much room. Most pieces I have are very old, so I keep them folded. Very important pieces I keep in plastic, but I will be in future crate a larger room with a photographic studio in the middle of the space. I also keep a number of collections in suitcases, as I teach every few months my historical workshops, but I rotate samples out depending on what I’m teaching. I also have a huge archive on military garments, but to photograph those are at the end of a long list.

mohsin sajid

mohsin sajid

LJ: You as a designer have seen probably so many unique and rare items during your career, is there one specific item in the book that is the dearest to you? And why?

I’m lucky to have designed the first Levi’s laser collection for Levi’s Japan around 2002/3. I have all the prototypes, which have not been professionally photographed yet, but I included a Levi’s Japan LVC sample 702. This features a special design I designed. In early 2002, laser finishing was beginning. It was something very very new and very exciting at the same time. I remember a factory based in Macau, China which made production for Levi’s and had one of the first laser machines in China. Back then laser was limited only a few shades. I ended up making two collections with laser. This was actually Levi’s first laser collection, my claim to fame is working on the first Levi’s laser garments. I created the graphics on illustrator.

The prototype collection was very very special as each piece was pattern cut by me and the laser graphics matched the shape of the pockets and yoke. I will document these for Vol. 2.

mohsin sajid

mohsin sajid

LJ: Do you have a holy grail piece that you would like to own one day? And do you think you can get your hands on it?

There are so many things I’ve had access to buy over the years. One jean that I regret is not buying a FRISKO JEENS by Can’t Bust ‘Em during a Japan trip with my brother in 2015.

mohsin sajid

LJ: As this is your first book, can we expect a follow-up, like volume 2?

We have a number of books in the works. Yes, Vol. 2 will be coming with another 200 styles. I’ve already photographed a lot, maybe it might come out in October 2024, but more likely April 2025.

We have a denim making / construction book coming out, which I started along time ago. This is a technical booklet, it will include patterns too. I’m still working out on the layout. There have been a few denim construction books I’ve seen written by non-denim people or they are just marketing coffee table books, and only show the cheap Primark way to make a pair of jeans. I’m exciting for mine to finally be out soon. It’s delayed as I’m going to be recording footage of sewing each step this Summer. Step by step, and the many variations I know, so this will be an exciting book, covering construction from 1860s to 1920s. Basically every method I teach in my own denim masterclass workshops. It covers types of sewing machines also, domestic and industrial.

mohsin sajid

mohsin sajid

LJ: When, where, and how can people order the book?

Endrime.com is the best place and look out for updates on upcoming collections and books on our Instagram channels. We hope to also start selling historical correct samples also, so block and patterns, so there is a huge focus on really making our DENIM HISTORY platform a place for everything.

mohsin sajid

All images in the article are provided by Mohsin Sajid / ENDRIME®.

www.endrime.com

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.