Produced in collaboration with photographer and creative director Mark Seliger and styled by Arianne Phillips, the Lee Originals campaign aims to reaffirm the 130-year-old brand as “one driven by celebrating the originality in all of us.”
The concept is inspired by “those who don’t just stand the test of time, but define it,” Lee said.
Set to Tinnesz’s song aptly entitled “New Wave,” a short film features scenes that capture Lee’s celebration of individuals who approach small and big moments of their lives with boldness and optimism.
“We love a great story and this season’s cast of Originals has plenty of tales to tell,” said Brigid Stevens, Lee VP global brand marketing. “Tai Verdes started working at a mobile phone retailer and now is performing on stages around the nation; Yuka Mannami was discovered as a model while working as a nurse and now walks runways around the globe. These are just a couple examples of how our cast has carved their own path and done the unexpected.”
The cast also includes actor Deaken Bluman, body positivity model and singer Natalie Nootenboom, dancer Vinson Fraley, artist Mell, and activist and snowboarder Cherokee Jack.
Casting was especially important to Seliger as he wanted to spotlight multi-faceted individuals who may be well known but feel very familiar and real.
“This campaign embraces those moments where denim and self-expression merge,” he said. “We created a storyline for each character and gave them the space to put their stamp on the film and incorporated their personalities by using some of their own personal items. The result showcases that as they wear Lee they remain true to themselves and original.”
It is the second iteration of the campaign, which launched in 2021 with athletes and activists celebrating their differences while demonstrating how they share a common thread.
The digital component of the new campaign launched on Lee’s social media channels on TikTok, Meta and SnapChat as well as streaming video via OTT, and on YouTube and Twitch. A curated out-of-home experience in collaboration with creative agency Noble People will target specific creative neighborhoods in New York City including SoHo, Meatpacking and Bushwick, as well as select locations in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.