There's an interesting article in the International Herald Tribune earlier this month about the Japanese and their jeans.
For style-obsessed Japanese who have the cash, a favorite pair of jeans is ultimately the most important item in a closet, surpassing the Fendi suit or the cashmere sweater from Prada. Brands may come and go but jeans are forever, and they are very, very personal. They will adorn you but they won't disguise you, and they will surely reveal secrets of your innermost soul.
Such are some of the myths that have moved the quest for the perfect pair of jeans to religious heights. To call this search "shopping" would be a grave inaccuracy. The better phrase for these people is more like "mission from god."
Good, informative read.
International Herald Tribune Article