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OFF THE TICKER

Bargain Jeans at $2,500 a Pair

August 20, 1994| Associated Press

TOKYO — Like so many shoppers, Yo Murata was happy when he found that perfect pair of blue jeans: comfortable yet classic, broken-in but sturdy. And the price was right. Only $2,500.

"I wanted to buy ones like I used to wear as a teen-ager," the 44-year-old fast-food franchise owner explained.

A vintage-jeans craze in Tokyo has given rise to about 100 boutiques catering to connoisseurs of faded denim and old-style copper rivets. Demand has pushed prices up to levels normally associated with haute couture.

Murata's purchase was two years ago, and he regards it as a great buy. These days, a pair of the same vintage jeans--Levi's, circa 1950--fetch about $5,000.

The boom has sent an influx of Japanese buyers to the United States, inflating the price of used jeans around Los Angeles.

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