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The claw, the tooth ... and the jeans

Jeans cut by designers with long teeth: a few sets of claws have given birth to a limited series which brought lions, tigers and bears together in an artistic quest for a fashion happening of the strangest kind.

Scratch, bite, there will always be something...

In the heart of summer 2014 in the city of Hitachi in Japan, an unprecedented event made headlines in the small world that links fashion and great beasts. Among the residents of the city's Kamine Zoo, tigers, bears and lions feature prominently, and these animals, among other things they have in common, love getting the claws and teeth into old tires or large rubber balls, since they are deprived of their liberty and therefore the natural joys of hunting. This behavioral detail did not escape some members of the staff and of Mineko Club, a voluntary group which supports the activities of the zoo. The usual toys of our predatory friends were covered with denim, the legendary fabric that makes up the equally legendary blue jeans, and it is not difficult to guess what fate had in store for this canvas once exposed to the playful enthusiasm of the hairy residents. That was exactly the intention: far from being mindlessly destroyed, or rubbed with gravel by designers keen to make new jeans seem vintage, why not contract out that work to the instinct and spontaneous imagination of wild designers naturally equipped through millions of years of evolution with tools of mass destruction. Once the raw material has been skilfully shredded, all that remains is to sew the surviving pieces together to make a pair of jeans.

Destruction makes perfect

Once duly assembled—sewn together by man-made machines—four pairs of jeans emerged looking perfectly destroyed and, stamped with the Zoo Jeans logo to keep them close to the clawed designers and their teeth, were put up for auction on the internet. Clothing made from denim 'worked' by the tigers has been particularly successful in terms of random trashing of textile fibres, and has realised the tidy sum of 121,000 yen, or a little more than $1,000, which isn't bad for a slain garment formed by complete beginners in the field of fashion for homo—so-called—sapiens! The operation was intended to fund some equipment from the zoo, and the balance has been paid to the WWF. Some will no doubt say that the advertising side of the project far outweighs any concern for the artistic performance of a protected species who would no doubt far prefer to frolic in their natural habitat rather than in a pen, and they would probably be right. If there is a moral to this tale, it might be that, for once, there are humans who are dressed for the winter by animals. Although ... it is also what one can say when we steal their fur...

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