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.
The 501s-only warehouse visible from the shop floor
There are boyfriend shirts and there are boyfriend shirts. On the one hand, you get the girl who throws on her boyfriend’s old Gap plaid shirt, half-tucked into her Current Elliots, with sleeves rolled up for Sunday afternoon slouching. On the other you have Carine Roitfeld.
The editor of French Vogue brings a whole new meaning to boyfriend shirt as she can literally wear her boyfriend’s shirts. Her boyfriend is Christian Restoin, the original creator of Equipment shirts (trademark style – loose cut, soft fabric, patch pockets) and soon we can wear Carine’s boyfriend’s shirts too as Equipment has now been relaunched for SS10.
Here’s a sneak peak of what to expect…
Equipment sheer blue leopard-print
Equipment workaday cotton stripes
Equipment day-to-night lace
What do we think…is Carine wearing an Equipment shirt here?*
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Equipment shirts
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here
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