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Levi’s Drops Second Collection with Denim Tears

Levi’s launches its second collaboration with artist and Denim Tears founder Tremaine Emory this week across various platforms.

The collection will be available on Denim Tears’ website on Tuesday July 26 and will launch on Levi’s website, app and select stores on Thursday July 28. Consumers got first dibs on it earlier this month at popups at Dover Street Market in London and Los Angeles and at Shopify SoHo New York.

For this collection, Emory re-contextualized the history of the Gullah Geechee, descendants of Africans who were enslaved on plantations on the lower U.S. Atlantic coast. Known for its production of indigo, the region had a large slave population during the 18th century mainly due to the British demand for indigo-dyed workwear. At the time, the U.K. was the largest importer of indigo-dyed fabric, Levi’s stated.

Featuring colors and graphic patterns meant to express what Emory calls a “visual mnemonic,” Levi’s said the eight-piece collection examines the story of the Gullah Geechee people by “embracing the culture, history, and experiences of these enduring people.”

One part of the collection features an all-over print of indigo hands on white denim. Each piece is meant to symbolize the way a slave’s hands would turn blue while working with the indigo dye. Along with this, Levi’s said the collection’s color scheme also “offers an homage to the color-coded cues taken from the Kofa Mata Dye pits in Kano, Nigeria, known for its indigo dyeing since the 15th century.”

The print is applied to a signature Denim Tears plantation hat, a Type II Trucker and 501 jeans.

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In the second part of the collection, Emory leans on color and graphics to tell the story of the Gullah people and the broader African Diaspora in America. Each piece features a yellow and green crosshatch color scheme, quilted stitching—a nod to the craftsmanship of the Gullah Geechee—and symbolic graphics like a plantation, the silhouettes of the United States and the African continent, and a woman working over a vat of indigo dye. Pieces include a canvas tote, a plantation hat, a shirt jacket, a Western shirt and 501 jeans.

Co-branded elements include a special Levi’s Red Tab featuring “Tears” on the back, as well as a special Levi’s x Denim Tears back patch combining the classic Two-Horse pull logo along with Denim Tears’ floral print logo. The collection retails for $95-$400.

Emory, who also serves as Supreme’s creative director, was recently named one of 10 individuals reshaping youth culture by Highsnobiety and Lyst.

The collection is a continuation of Levi’s two-year partnership with Emory, which kicked off in 2020 with a collection of vintage denim updated with an all-over screen print of white cotton wreaths. The collection told the story of cotton in the U.S. and a legacy intertwined with slavery. Pieces went on to be exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” exhibition and have been worn by celebrities including Ye and Bella Hadid.