First-generation Guyanese-American designer Marrisa Wilson NY (MWNY) is lending her eye for bold textiles and soulful details in a new two-piece capsule collection with Levi’s celebrating Women’s History Month.
The collaboration, Levi’s stated, “combines the rich and vibrant stylings of Marrisa Wilson NY with Levi’s heritage of self-expression, innovation, and denim to celebrate and uplift Black women.”
In the collection, Wilson’s favorite female R&B song titles and lyrics are embroidered throughout the interior and exterior of the garments. The embroideries, as well as buttons, a Levi’s tab and the garments’ back patch, are done in an energetic, bright yellow—a color scheme that is used throughout MWNY’s designs.
In addition to the lyrical nods, the collection’s Trucker jacket and ribcage boot-cut jean feature boucle embroidery resembling textured hair. The motif is used to show other women that Black hair is beautiful and speaks to the designer’s own journey of acceptance of hers in its natural state.
Highlighting the beauty and experiences of multicultural women serves as steady inspiration in MWNY’s collections. The brand’s Fall ’21 collection called “To Be Black and Female” is inspired by the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and W.E.B DuBois’ concept of double consciousness.
“To be [Black] in America is to always deal with that two-ness—’two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.’ And to be a [Black] woman is to deal with a certain triple-consciousness—a constant monitoring of our existence that informs how we navigate our lives,” the brand states on its website.
Through color and fabric blocking, printed velvet and high-shine fabrics, the line underscores the power of dressing without seeking approval.
“We are committed to supporting emerging designers, fostering creative opportunity and providing a platform to showcase up and coming talent,” said Jen Sey, Levi Strauss & Co. brand president. “We wanted to partner with Marrisa for Women’s History Month as her work celebrates self-expression and aims to create a diverse and connected global community of women.”
In February for Black History Month, the denim giant partnered with artist, designer and political organizer Fresco Steez for a collection of graphics that pay homage to Black political movements throughout history and those who led the charge. Levi’s is also in the midst of a five-month project that stars 15 artists, actors and change makers in videos highlighting their “paths to greatness” and self-discovery.
“The fashion world is a challenging industry for young and independent designers, especially emerging Black and Brown designers, and we feel it’s important to support those whose work inspires and has a bold point of view,” Sey said.
The Levi’s x Marrisa Wilson NY collection will launch on March 8, International Women’s Day, exclusively on the Levi’s App. The jeans retail for $198 and the jacket is $268.