This aint’ exactly news, but we’ve been reading this and spreading the link amongst friends over the weekend and thought it was worth a re-post. If you need to brush up on the history of denim, check out this documentary posted at Rawr Denim, Levi’s As America: A Riveting Icon Part 1. You’ll also find links to other watch-ables throughout the post. Here’s to getting to know your jeans!
Welcome to your morning dose of denim news, links, sales, and everything else we couldn’t help but share. Check out what’s happening (and totally not happening) in the world of denim now. Got a tip you think we should include, a sale you want to share, or a style you just saw and can’t live without? Email us!
1. Check out The Twilight Saga‘s Kellan Lutz monkey-ing around in J Brand jeans for Nylon Guys.
2. Got nothing to wear? Kill City can relate.
3. Time for a history lesson! How much do you know about denim founding father Levi Strauss? This video series runs the whole gamut if you need to catch up.
4. The FROM BLUE TO GREEN organization is giving us another reason to donate our used denim—even the unwearables. They convert denim into insulation to be used in homes. This program will run through October 18th, so get on it!
5. Volcom’s “Give Jeans A Chance” campaign provides clothing to the homeless. October 7th was “International Give Jeans A Chance Day”, but you can still donate all month long.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: charity, from blue to green, give jeans a chance, J Brand Jeans, kellan lutz, Kill City, Levi Strauss, Twilight Saga, volcom
We just had the awesome opportunity to speak with Maurizio Donadi, Global Senior Vice President of Levi’sXX. Levi’s XX is an independent creative division of Levi Strauss & Co, which houses two exclusive brands, Levi’s Vintage Clothing and Levis Made & Crafted. He granted us this exclusive interview, discussing the amazing brand that stems from the household name we all know to be synonymous with denim.
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning.
Levi’s Made & Crafted: First of all, I am not a designer. What was interesting and inspiring for me in the beginning was the opportunity to work on a project so deeply rooted in history (with the Levi’s® Vintage Clothing line) and on bringing a sense of modernity and true innovation into the Levi’s world with the Levi’s® Made & Crafted™ line. Both brands are about high quality, fanatical attention to details and serious craftsmanship. It is indeed a unique project.
DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
Levi’s M&C: Our brands are both product and lifestyle driven instead of category-driven. For example, we design the shirt, sweater, jacket, chinos and jeans all at the same time within a story, a concept narrative. For us, we set very high standards and look at brands, companies and projects in the market that are not necessarily fashion/apparel related.
DT: Does your team have any pre-designing rituals?
Levi’s M&C: We are all engaged in the design process together from design and merchandising to product development and production. We as a team have an exercise internally called: The Creative Week. This ritual is more about developing the origin together until we each set off to get it done!
DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer – the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
Levi’s M&C: We typically design into what the brands’ foundation is – not necessarily for a customer. The definition of customer is debatable. Fundamentally we have a dialogue with those that have a deep respect for the history of denim and most often for Levi’s®. And that is who we are. However, we are lucky that we are capturing a new type of audience who is intrigued about our point of view so we have an opportunity to educate them about what it is/who we are in new ways. With Levi’s® Made & Crafted™, we focus on quality, details and functional relevance to modern needs like travel and work, in a city or small town. The flexibility encourages mixing of our pieces with others because in the end, we want our personalities to show through, not just the clothes. All of that is for us very innovative, subtle and elevated. This creative positive tension between heritage and innovation is a magnetic story. It is also a story about testing, experimenting and finding new solutions.
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
Levi’s M&C: Every retailer is free to buy what they think is the best assortment for their clientele. So if one shops at: Fred Segal in Santa Monica; Barney’s New York; Liberty in London; Fred Segal Melrose; Present in east London; American Rag LA; Brooklyn Denim; Isetan Tokyo; Antonia in Milan; Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter and LNCC online; and many others around the world, one will find a very personalized selection and depth. What’s next from us will not be necessarily a trend but nothing else than a strong point of view on fits and finishes. We design with longevity in mind, not for a quick seasonal trend. However I think that our Made IN USA assortment for both brands is quite remarkable in terms of quality, the natural aging of fabrics and original fits selection.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
Levi’s M&C: With Levi Strauss himself! Therefore, no plans for the future.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favourites, and how would you style them:
Levi’s M&C: Levi’s® Made & Crafted™ has an amazing selection of classic chinos in a range of fits and finishes. The Sander Cinch, for example is a modern interpretation of the Levi’s® Spring Bottom pant, a style Levi’s® started producing 1880. For women, the Pins Skinny is a deep blue coloured classic skinny fit jean. It has hand sponged ageing that gives it a natural worn feel.
DT: Do you have any favourite/least favourite denim trends right now?
Levi’s M&C: Everything that is truly authentic, simple, well made and fun is a good trend to me.
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high-end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
Levi’s M&C: The galaxy of blogs is an interesting one. And as in a real galaxy you can find stars/blogs that are exploding, imploding, disoriented and gone mad. Some of them are a case study, some are fascinating and some are truly rubbish. We look at them with a telescope …… from a safe distance. Different matter is the inspiration that comes from the Street. Generally speaking, people utilize inventive spirit in order to make a statement about their personality and characters. Clothing creates an interesting way of showing up publicly and is quite different from person to person. The beauty of being humans is that we can really add a twist on every expression of self. It is the Circus of the Human Condition. Therefore a good show to go see.
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
Levi’s M&C: Enough – it runs the gamut from vintage collector pieces to the one pair that I wear almost everyday and get mended every time I go to San Francisco’s Levi’s® Tailor Shop.
DT: Favourite celeb wearing your brand?
Levi’s M&C: In our own world we are all celebrities. With and without clothes on!
You can visit their website to see more styles from the Made & Crafted Collection.
Tags: american rag, Barneys New York, Fred Segal, fred segal santa monica, Levi Strauss, Levi's, levi's made and crafted, levi's xx, lncc, Made in USA, Maurizio Donadi, Mr Porter, Net-A-Porter, net-a-porter.com, skinny jean, vintage denim
When I think of denim, I obviously picture a great fitting skinny jean or jacket . Well, how about insulation? Renzo Piano, Italian maestro of architecture, designed the new California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Since the opening in Fall 2008, it has proven to be the vanguard of sustainability, orchestrating the perfect harmony of art, engineering and architecture.
How more befitting than to follow the history of denim in the bay area, denim was pioneered in San Francisco by Levi Strauss & Co. during the mid-1800s. Levi Strauss donated 216,000 pairs of jeans that was used to insulate the museum. In addition, a foundation created by Levi Strauss descendant and former company president Walter Haas and his wife, Evelyn, have underwritten the cost of the aquarium??™s Northern California Coast exhibit as well.
Wait, it doesn’t end there, the founders of Gap Inc., the Fishers, have underwritten the academy??™s new Fisher Family Center for Marine Science.
The Academy is now the largest public Platinum-rated building in the world, and also the world??™s greenest museum. The Academy earned the platinum rating (highest rating possible) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It is a single structure that contains multiple venues, including an aquarium, planetarium, the natural history museum and the 4-story rain forest. In addition, there is a new 3D theater, a lecture hall, Naturalist Center, two restaurants, an adjacent garden and aviary, a roof terrace, and an Academy store. Everything from the facilities radiant sub-floor heating to the bike racks outside follow their commitment to sustainability.
I guess the set designers of the Teletubbies were true visionaries as well.
The California Academy of Sciences
So, next time you scratch your head wondering how to recycle your denim, think about the vast possibilities and put them into good green use. If you are in the bay area, it is a must see! And wear your jeans as a salute to the museum’s pioneering vision.
For more info, go to: http://www.calacademy.org
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: Gap Inc. The California Academy of Sciences, Levi Strauss
APC Opens Third Hong Kong Outpost
From WWD ISSUE 06/18/2009
APC??™s Wyndham Street store (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
HONG KONG ??” French fashion house APC has opened its third store in the heart of the Central shopping and entertainment district here.
The 500-square-foot unit on pedestrian-heavy Wyndham Street here features a contemporary blend of exposed and shabby concrete beams, pale timbers, well-lit mirrors and a rectangular black aluminum and glass facade. It was designed by architect Laurent Deroo, who also did APC??™s stores in Tokyo??™s Harajuku area and Los Angeles.
Jean Touitou, APC??™s founder and owner, flew in to attend an opening party featuring a performance by French rock band Housse de Racquet and visit his other stores in the region.
Hong Kong has hit the radar for this recent expansion, but Japan, where Touitou made his first Asian foray with APC, is no longer a focus for growth. In recent years, APC has closed some stores there and intends to focus more on Paris than Tokyo.
???There used to be about 20 stores [in Japan], but we now have about 15,??? said Touitou, sipping tea in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel here, adding that his focus is shifting to his home turf, partly because the economic environment is not conducive to doing both.
Click here for the full story
Levi Strauss Launches Global Division
From WWD ISSUE 06/18/2009
Maurizio Donadi (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
The division will be based in Amsterdam and the firm has tapped Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.??™s Maurizio Donadi as its senior vice president, in charge of some 30 people. The team, to which further outside talent may be recruited, will develop handcrafted styles from Levi??™s archives plus premium contemporary jeans and casual clothing, using the best materials on the market, according to Armin Broger, president of Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
???We wanted to offer all those who love the Levi??™s brand an opportunity to experience the highest expression of our design and craftsmanship,??? Broger told WWD. ???People today crave authenticity, honesty and simplicity in all aspects of their lives. I believe that in our industry, there is no brand with greater authenticity, truer passion or deeper expertise than Levi??™s.???
Targeting selected retailers, the first designs will hit the market in 2010 and part of the collection will be made in the U.S. The division??™s name, XX, is an abbreviation for ???extra, extra strong,??? an expression coined to refer to the quality of the denim Levi??™s used to make the world??™s first pair of jeans in 1873.
Donadi, who took up his role this week, is described by Broger as ???highly competent and absolutely passionate about denim.???
Click here for the full story
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: A.P.C., Levi Strauss