Trends

Levi’s gets its groove back




Last week I blogged about the heritage of Dr Martens. This week, the heritage baton gets passed to Levi’s. I was treated to a pre-opening store tour of the refurbed Regent Street flagship a couple of weeks ago and the main message seems to be… Levi’s is keepin’ it real.

From its industrial factory-replica refit to its new name for its denim experts – ‘drapers’ and ‘artisans’, Levi’s has realised that its customers respect its roots and is capitalising on that. OK, the ‘artisans’ moniker is a wee bit pretentious but I’m prepared to let that go. For a while, Levi’s was guilty of trying too hard to compete with the Diesels of this world but – guess what? – Levi’s isn’t about ‘sexy’, it’s about utilitarianism and authenticity. Thankfully, it is now properly embracing its workwear heritage and amen to that. A particular highlight of the flagship store (along with the visible warehouse dedicated to 501s) is a 90-something-year-old pair of Levi’s on display in the basement. Unearthed from a mine in the Mojave Desert, I ask you, how many other denim brands can boast one of these?

When I previewed the SS10 collection six months ago, I was overjoyed to see so many old favourites. Hello classic denim jacket sans faux-faded patches! Hello western plaid shirt! Hello straight-out-of-CBGBs leather biker jacket! The Guardian recently reported that Levi’s will never be cool again but I disagree. Acne may be popular with fashionistas and Uniqlo with the downtown hipster set but Levi’s has its incredible heritage and that makes it relevant again (BTW, ‘relevance’, like ‘heritage’ is a key word being bandied about right now). Its latest campaign is also a bit of a looker. As a lifelong supporter I may be biased, but I think Levi’s is ready to have it’s moment once more.

Levi’s SS10






Industrial storage
The 501s-only warehouse visible from the shop floor

Unisex fitting rooms and utilitarian seating
THOSE 100-year-old jeans


AW10 trend report: Melissa shoes



Melissa’s wonderful rubber shoes just keep surpassing expectations, particularly Vivienne Westwood’s contributions. For next season, the button boots come in metallic sparkles as do these Mary Janes. I am also loving the cherries on the slingbacks – so very poptastic.




And to all those people mourning the demise of seven inch whore heels (guess who has just finished a 1000 word report on the

subject?). What are you moaning about when you have these sexy-but-user-friendly beauties to tantalise you?


Equipment: The ultimate boyfriend shirt part II




Back in November, following a month of press days, I posted this story on Equipment, the classic shirt line originated by Christian ‘partner of Carine’ Roitfeld. I had spotted the relaunched line during my rounds and thought nothing of sharing the few pictures I had taken. Unbeknown to me, my story was linked via a few different blogs including Fashionologie.

A couple of weeks later, the PR emailed me to say that my post had caused her problems as the Equipment relaunch story had been promised as an exclusive to a major international publication in March. I could have been uncooperative but the PR was so nice and apologetic that I was happy to comply and took the post down. Yesterday, I bought March US Vogue and there was the story. Whoops, sorry Anna!

Now the story is ‘out there’ I have been given the green light to put the post back up. The update is that when Carine Roitfeld took the Paris Vogue job, Christian Roitfeld decided to step down from Equipment. But fast forward a few years and his good friend Serge Azria has decided to relaunch it. Serge (brother of Max) also owns Current/Elliot and JOIE so has excellent credentials. Restoin remains connected to the brand which is jolly handy considering he still has all 3,500 original Equipment designs in his archive. According to Vogue, the ‘just shirts’ essence of the brand will stay the same but there are plans for more directional things too.