The tagline for the PRPS Noir collection is “It’s not for everybody”. Just starting with a motto so blatantly selective demonstrates what you should expect from any pair of jeans in this limited edition line from PRPS. Previously I looked at another limited edition jean from PRPS, the PRPS Atrium exclusive jeans, but I promise you the brand does more than just limited runs. In any case, what I expected with the PRPS Noir jeans was to see the individual style from Donwan Harrell (the founder and designer for PRPS). Knowing from the start that the Noir collection is going to be geared toward a select group, Donwan can do basically whatever he wants and chalk it up as a success. There is no pressure or need to follow the current trend, be conservative or limited the vision for the jeans. You can call it a “pet-project”.
Aside from being designed by Donwan in the US, every other aspect of these jeans is born in Japan. The fabric is from Japan, they are constructed in Japan and finally washed and treated in Japan. And, since Japan has long been the leaders in selvage denim, you know that the quality will be hard to match. Looking closely at the jeans, it all comes down to the subtle and not so subtle details that made me feel the Noir collection was more than just the claim of being handcrafted. The wash on this particular pair of PRPS Noir jeans is a very mild dry wash with some heavy pigment effect that creates a “rusty tone”. If this type of treatment was done on a more mass produced pair of jeans it would come out looking cheap and overdone, but with the PRPS jeans, it is subtle enough to pick up just a hint of something different. From far away this spray effect is not obvious because it seems to blend in to the whiskering and fading around the thighs and knees. Which bring me to the overall fades that are present in all the right places (once again). The back pockets are faded at the bottoms, the legs show slight stacking fades, the knees have just the right amount of wear marks and even the front pockets have fading close to wear an actual phone would be held. Of course, each pair from the Noir collection varies since they are all done by hand, but overall the fading is spot-on.
Some other details that I really admire in the PRPS Noir jeans come down to subtlety. Looking at the rivets on all the pockets, I found that each one was covered by and orange brown thread woven completely around so the copper was hidden. The inside of the back pockets have an extra lining at the bottom to help reinforce the fabric for long term wear. This is one of those details that disappoints me with many other brands. Other brands tend to put extra stitching along the back pockets to make it appear they are reinforced, but it’s always for show and never for function. With the PRPS Noir jeans, there is actually a reason the stitching line runs along the back pockets. Sticking with the pockets, the front pocket bags are heavier than your standard pocket showing that quality is considered inside and out. Lastly, regarding the detail, the inside yoke is lined with a really attractive tonal blue paisley fabric so these jeans look just as good off as they do on.
Aside from seemingly gushing about the wash details, allow me to elaborate on the fit. Straight off I can say that the size I was given was my normal size of 32”. However, I did have a little trouble getting the top button closed for the first wear or two. Now I have missed a few days at the gym but come on man. Now I know how women tend to feel when having to lay on the bed to button up their favorite pair of jeans. So I did the next best thing, I took them off, put a hanger inside the waistband and buttoned them up to hang for a few days. I thought this would stretch them out the extra half inch or inch I needed. Behold, a few days later, I was able to slip them on and button them up with very little resistance….and no, I didn’t fast for five days (it did cross my mind but I decided I love food more). So once they were buttoned and on, the fit actually proved to be quite comfortable. The waist will definitely take some additional breaking in but the fit isn’t tight enough to give me a huge muffin top. Although the rise is closer to a low-rise jean, the longer back yoke give the illusion of a mid-rise. Which I like because I always prefer the pockets to sit a lower on my ass than high around the waist. The legs are slim at the thighs but straight past the knee down to the ankles to keep with the rustic traditional look and feel of the jeans.
Now all of these handcrafted touches don’t come without some repercussions. Which of course comes in the price tag, a majority of which fall into the +$600 range. Again, “it’s not for everybody”. But if you could afford it and you want something really special, this is a great place to start and end.
Bottom line: PRPS shows once again how they are at the top of the game in terms of wash details and handcrafted limited edition jeans. The PRPS Noir jeans are premium denim in every sense of the word. If you are going to be part of the exclusive Noir club, go true to size but be prepared to stretch them out before regular use. I wouldn’t go a size larger because then the legs would be on the baggy side, which no one should be sporting now….no one. Check out the full PRPS Noir collection here.
Feel free to check out my other reviews here.
Until the next pair,