Levi’s latest collaboration suits blue bloods and dead heads alike. On Tuesday, the brand released a collection celebrating Grateful Dead’s iconic “Skull & Roses” album, fusing nostalgic fashion and psychedelic music.
The partnership was a natural fit for both San Francisco legends, as generations of Grateful Dead fans notoriously included Levi’s jeans and Trucker jackets in their concert attire. “My jeans were as much a part of my show-going experience as my favorite hat, dancing shoes and of course my lucky tie-dye shirts,” said David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and legacy manager.
The Levi’s x Grateful Dead collection includes T-shirts, fleece and accessories that feature colorful Grateful Dead-inspired tie-dye and graphics, including artwork from the popular album cover. Standout pieces include printed baggy shorts, a colorful, reversible bucket hat and a sling bag featuring the infamous dancing bear.
Denim serves as the foundation, with a high-rise wide-leg style for women and medium wash 501s with Grateful Dead patchwork for men. An acid wash Type III Trucker jacket with patchwork on the front and an oversized screen print logo of “Dead” in the band’s iconic bones typography on the back captures the spirit of the trippy ’60s band.
“We wanted to do something that felt authentically rooted in the Grateful Dead’s incredibly rich and unique history, so we dug deep into some of their more nuanced graphics and storytelling,” said Karyn Hillman, chief product officer, Levi Strauss & Co. “It’s a deep dive into Grateful Dead’s storied narrative and devoted fanbase, only remixed through a contemporary lens. And of course, there’s the San Francisco connection between Levi’s and the Dead that just made this feel like the perfect collaboration.”
The collection lands as maximalism replaces the neutral tones and subdued styles of pandemic fashion. “Retro-Futurism” was on full display in designers’ Spring/Summer 2021 collections, which featured trippy patterns that nod to decades such as the ’70s and ’90s, when tie-dye and psychedelic prints were all the rage.
With products so closely intertwined with pop culture, Levi’s often celebrates iconic artists and genres with special drops. The brand has woven in themes of folk, punk and ’80s music, using each genre’s history as inspiration for new styles, and has paid homage to artists like Bob Dylan and Justin Timberlake.
The range will be available on Levi.com, the Levi’s App, and in select Levi’s stores, and drops the same day that Grateful Dead releases an expanded Skull & Roses album featuring previously unreleased performances from its famous show at San Francisco’s Fillmore West. Prices range from $25-$168.