Buying “distressed” denim is nothing new, but how much would you be willing to plunk down for a pair of jeans that have been ripped up by a lion or a tiger?

Thanks to a collaborative project between the Kamine Zoo and the World Wildlife Fund, we’ll soon find out how much a few bidders will be willing to pay in order to show off their wild side. The “Zoo Jeans,” as they are being known, is a brain child of a Tokyo ad exec who grew up near the Ibaraki Prefecture zoo and wanted to help support a place where he spent a lot of free time as a child.

As zoo director Nobutaka Namae explained, “we wrapped several pieces of denim around tires and other toys. Once they were thrown into the enclosures, the animals jumped on them.” In order to make the jeans, the torn-up pieces of fabric were patched together. Namae was impressed by how the denim held up under tooth and claw: “The denim was actually much tougher than we had thought, and it turned out nicely destroyed.”

Three pairs of jeans were auctioned off online: two that were “designed” by lions (one for males and one for females), and one “tailored” by a tiger. Bidding closed on the jeans yesterday, and at last look, the “Tiger” model had snagged a bid of ¥121,000 ($1,200). Proceeds from the sale of the jeans will be split between the zoo and the WWF.

Before the jeans make their way on to their lucky new owners, they will be on display along with a pair of jeans made from bear-shredded denim (which weren’t for sale: maybe the bear wants to keep them?) until July 21, if anyone was interested in making the jaunt up to Hitachi City, Ibaraki.

You can catch a “making of” video below:





–Alec Jordan

Images: City of Hitachi

Zoo Jeans, Kamine Zoo, Ibaraki Prefecture