Come summer, particularly in the middle of a heat wave, the last thing we want to think about is what to wear. We want to find an ice cold microbrew before we jump into the nearest body of water. We want the shadiest section of the baseball field. We want the emptiest road to cruise down on our motorcycles—or in our Subaru’s with the windows down.
At MDG, what is our summer no-brainer? Indigo. It’s a neutral that can stand on its own, and it has for centuries. Steeped in tradition, indigo swings east and west. One method of indigo dyeing has shown up in history for four thousand years and was used in Ancient Egypt and India. Some types of indigo dyeing have been found in China in the first century AD and others in Japan since the 10 century AD. As one would guess, methods have changed and craftsmen have become fewer in number, their nails and hands permanently dyed a smooth deep blue up to their wrists.
Moving west, indigo surged in popularity around the time of the Industrial Revolution, with the help of Levi Strauss blue jeans. They became the mark of the American cowboy, of Marlon Brando and James Dean. When the war took troops overseas the boys took their jeans, wearing them proudly to let people know where they came from. Naturally, with the increased demand, the lengthy and pricey natural plant-based dyeing methods couldn’t keep up with the industry. Synthetic methods were sought after and utilized. Recently, the ecological effects of synthetic methods have become a concern. Alternative methods are being researched and imitation indigo dyeing has also been in use.
No matter where you come from, indigo in all its forms is universally desired and effortlessly cool.