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Levi’s Turns to Global Surf Culture for Latest Made & Crafted Collection

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

Levi’s is culling inspiration from global surf culture and re-imagining denim staples for its Spring-Summer Made & Crafted collection.

The collection, which brings together Australian Aboriginal tribal culture and Japanese craftsmanship, celebrates each culture’s relationship to the sea with ancient indigo dyeing techniques, bold patterns and woven textures.

Following a trip to Australia and Japan, the Levi’s Made & Crafted design team developed the collection’s “Voodoo Surf” concept, a mashup of indigo surf culture and contemporary Aboriginal expression that leverages heritage, quality and individual style statements for each consumer.

“We traveled from Byron Bay, Australia, to Chiba, Japan, discovering the eclectic organic nature of one region and the immaculately curated nature of the other. One of the standout expressions in the collection is the Shibori folding and dying techniques, which we played with across T-shirts, trucker jackets and jeans to create bold, expressive and beautiful patterns,” Nicolle Arbour, women’s wear design director for Levi’s Made & Crafted, said. “This was inspired by the deep-rooted indigo culture we met in Japan.”

Shibori, which dates back to the 8th century, has been used by Japanese denim houses for years. The ancient process involves folding, tying, stitching, twisting or binding fabrics and dip dyeing them to create patterns that fade from dark to light on denim apparel. Levi’s used the ancient dyeing technique for items in its Made & Crafted denim apparel line, including trucker jackets, tops and bottoms.

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The indigo Shibori Boxy Trucker, the Tribal Trucker and the Beaded Trucker lead Made & Crafted women’s styles. Bottoms and tops were dyed with Shibori techniques and feature design elements, including split seams, distressed knees and cut out embroidery that resonate with global surf culture and warm weather fashion.

For men’s styles, the Type III Trucker and the cotton Kimono jacket also reflect Shibori craftsmanship. Made in Japan, the Type III Trucker uses Shibori indigo patchwork and destructed denim to create an outerwear option for warm climates. Influenced by a classic Japanese silhouette, the cotton Kimono jacket also nods to global surf culture with its breathable fabric. Similar to women’s styles, men’s bottoms and tops also were developed with Shibori treatments and feature uneven indigo patterns for seamless wardrobe pairing.

Consumers can buy men’s and women’s garments from the collection—which retails from $88 to $698—online and at select Levi’s stores worldwide.