Levi’s latest collection merges art, denim and Black beauty. The heritage denim brand tapped multi-hyphenated Philadelphia-based artist Gianni Lee to turn key Levi’s pieces into works of art.
Driven to transform the brand’s classic 501 jeans and Trucker Type III jackets into an “art gallery,” the artist added two brightly colored patchwork murals celebrating the Black body to white and light-wash indigo styles. Graphics are stitched onto jeans’ front and back panels and jackets’ sleeves. A dark-wash tote bag also got an artistic upgrade, with one of the vibrant illustrations stitched onto the front panel.
To create the two bold graphics, Lee called upon his African lineage, as well as his affinity for Egyptian drawings.
“Denim is one of the timeless fabrics of our generation, and Levi’s is a timeless brand,” Lee said. “From the richest person to the poorest person, all have owned Levi’s. It’s so beautiful to see Levi’s being able to step into the next generation of what fashion and art is.”
This is not the first time the heritage denim label worked with the artist. In 2020, Lee performed at a party celebrating the launch of Levi’s XX Chino at Levi’s Haus Miami.
The Levi’s x Gianni Lee campaign was shot by fellow Philadelphia native Quil Lemons and modeled by Debra Shaw. The collection ranges from $80 for the tote to $298 for the jacket. All items are made of 100 percent cotton, and will be available exclusively on the Levi’s App beginning Feb. 28.
The brand often offers special promotions and collections through its app to gain customer loyalty and engagement. Previously, it offered app users exclusive access to its ultra-limited-edition collection with San Francisco-born rapper 24kGoldn—a 24-piece collection that quickly sold out despite a $218 price tag—in November.
Lee’s capsule collection follows through on Levi Strauss & Co.’s pledge to honor Black culture and heritage throughout Black History Month in February. Through Project Onyx, its Black Employee Resource Group, the company has educated its employees on workplace equity and made a $25k donation to Black Futures Lab and Live Free, two nonprofits that support the Black community.
In 2021, 51 percent of the organizations LS&Co. supported were BIPOC-led and 53 percent of the company’s donations were related to advancing racial equity.