How much would you pay for a truly one-of-a-kind pair of jeans featuring an abstract pattern of scratches and bite arks designed by lions at a Japanese zoo? Only ten pairs will be available this year, so you’d better be ready to break the piggy bank.
Zoo Jeans are part of a revitalization campaign for Japn’s Tohoku region, and were originally thought up at Sendai City’s Tohoku Gakuin University. The first pairs were originally launched in 2014, when lions, tigers and bears were given a series of toys wrapped in denim and allowed to literally leave their mark on the fabric. The toys were then retrieved and the denim was passed over to jeans makers who made sure the placement of claw and bite marks on the pants was just right. Although very pricey, Zoo Jeans proved extremely popular, so this year, the Tohoku Gakuin University is selling another 10 pairs designed by lions, via online auction.
The two resident designers for 2016-edition Zoo Jeans are Curtis, a 19-year-old male lion, and O’Neal, a 16-year-old female. On June 25th, they had their favorite playthings wrapped in denim and left to work their magic on them. The material was then sent to Momotaro and Japan Blue, two of the country’s top jeans manufacturers to create 10 unique pairs of jeans out of it.
This year’s Zoo Jeans will be sold online on August 1st, with auctions starting at 98,000 yen (US$957.55), plus tax, per pair. Proceeds will be donated to Yagiyama Zoological Park to be used for their animal environment preservation activities.
Here is a presentation video for the 2014 Zoo Jeans campaign: