Jason Denham is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of DENHAM the Jeanmaker, an Amsterdam-based denim brand.
Born and raised in Newcastle, England, Denham's passion for design began as a teenager. While studying Fashion Design and Business at the University of Manchester, he "experimented with fashion in a big way" and "tailor-made every project into a denim project."
Upon graduation in 1992 he won a competition to intern for renowned English designer Joe Casely-Hayford, who at the time was making jeans for the Irish band U2 to wear on stage. "I would spend the whole night nailing rivets in the jeans; it was a great lesson," Denham recalls. He earned his stripes as an intern and went on to work with numerous brands to learn all the elements of jean making.
In 1996 Denham was hired by Pepe Jeans in London as a denim product manager and was soon relocated to Amsterdam. He quickly fell in love with the city and its obsession for denim, combined with a laidback aesthetic. "People in Amsterdam wear jeans all day, every day," Denham says. "It's really become a jeans capital, and there's a great denim community here."
In 1998 he established a denim agency, Clinic+, in Amsterdam, through which he consulted for various brands including LVMH, Kenzo, Levi's and Ben Sherman. Four years later, he founded the Blue Blood brand, which was an immediate hit in the Netherlands. "It was a great experience, but I always had a dream to create a label using my own family name," Denham says.
In 2008, he founded DENHAM the Jeanmaker. It is rooted in an obsession for premium quality products, which balances innovation with respect for tradition and attention to detail. Denham is hugely influenced by Japanese culture, retail practices and passion for product, and Asia remains a significant area of investment and inspiration for the brand.
Today, DENHAM is sold in more than 20 countries globally. It is headquartered in Amsterdam, with satellite offices in Dusseldorf, Tokyo and Shanghai, and over 200 employees worldwide. Denham lives in Amsterdam's Jordaan neighbourhood with his wife and daughter.
"My dream is to follow in the footsteps of the denim legends - the godfathers of our industry who have inspired me thus far. Adriano Goldschmied, Renzo Rosso, François Girbaud, Nigel Cabourn and Karl-Heinz Müller are the kings of the jeans and have inspired, directed and lead the trends for the last 30 years."
Welcome to DENHAM's Amsterdam Head Office. Have a look around!
Our head office in Amsterdam is located in a refurbished carpentry factory in the north part of Amsterdam. The two-story space has been completely renovated and houses our design studio, photo and showrooms as well as our head office staff. With plenty of room for a relaxed open floor plan, it also houses a bar, lunchroom and more.
In the centre of it all is Jason’s office, where all the denim magic happens, so to speak. A meeting room, space for free thinking and homage to vintage geniuses, it is the heart of DENHAM.
Want to have a look inside our headquarters? Use the interactive tour guide below and have a look for yourself!
Take a look inside of DENHAM's head office.
Things you'll find in Jason Denham's office
‘This is the oldest pair we have in our collection – it’s a French master tailor’s scissor,’ says Jason. ‘We think they’re from about 1550; in those days, scissors were operated by two people. Every star on the scissor tells you how qualified the tailor was.’ Made from heavy forged steel, the large central pin was held by an assistant who balanced the weight, while the master tailor worked the shears.
Jason witnessed these scissors being made, in person, on a trip to Tokyo. They were crafted by hand in a fire by Mr. Okawara, the last artisan who makes scissors using this traditional method. ‘He hammered them from one piece of steel, then hand-painted them in blue in white for DENHAM’s colours,’ Jason recalls. ‘They are also super, super sharp!’
Spin me around!
Jason received this spooky skull as a gift from Kidrobot. It was a limited-edition piece, made in 2010 with Russ Karablin of streetwear label SSUR. Look around Jason’s office and you might spot a few other pieces from Kidrobot.
Japanese Lucky Charm
The DENHAM Japan team sent this Japanese collectable to Jason when his daughter was born. ‘They said it would bring her eternal happiness,’ Jason recalls.