Opening Ceremony was founded in 2002 by UC Berkeley grads Carol Lim and Humberto Leon and bills itself as “a multifaceted retail environment comprised of shops, showroom and a private label collection.” Levi’s is Levi’s – founded in 1873 and iconic. Denim Geek finally managed to find more info on the eagerly anticipated collaboration over at www.sfgate.com.
Leon and Joshua Katz, senior manager of collaborations at Levi’s, say they’d long been following each other’s work. “We’d talked about doing something together, but it was a matter of finding the right project,” Katz said.
Talk turned into action, and the result is an affordable co-branded collection including updated Levi’s 505 corduroy jeans with a slim-leg 1980s fit, trucker jackets for men and women, a unisex button-down shirt and cutoff shorts, all in undenim colors like teal, fuchsia and curry.
The Levi’s x Opening Ceremony collection premiered Tuesday during New York Fashion Week and will be available from this Monday in hot spots such as Colette in Paris, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and V2K in Istanbul as well as online at www.levi.com.
Q: You’ve collaborated with Wong Kar-Wai, Chloë Sevigny, Spike Jonze, United Arrows and Pendleton, to name just a few people and companies. Why did you want to work with Levi’s?
A: They’ve been always on my radar as a company we wanted to work with. We look at every project in terms of who is expert at what they do. If you look at American denim, and quality denim, there’s Levi’s. They make the classic trucker jacket that James Dean wore. They’ve been around for enough time to be really grounded in a lot of categories. When you think American heritage, Levi’s is the first brand that comes to mind. We wanted to stick with the heritage of Levi’s, their signature items with a hint of Opening Ceremony.
Q: What inspired the collection?
A: It started with the corduroy.
Q: Why not denim if you’re working with Levi’s?
A: My inspiration came from going to upstate New York in summertime with friends. They had incredible short cutoffs they made from corduroy pants. They had a great feeling to them. We’d go swimming in creeks, and their cutoffs took me back to my days of going to Berkeley, where I was always finding corduroys in thrift shops. I’d taper them to make them the right fit. It was a great group of people I was around – Mod kids, riot grrrls – in the ’90s; I was thinking about that when I was doing the collection. It reminds me of how we’d drive down to Stinson Beach, and on our way we’d find these great little beaches and have a bonfire.
Q: Teal, fuchsia and curry aren’t the colors of Stinson Beach or upstate New York, yet they figure strongly in the collection. How did you select your palette?
A: It was based on the great festivals in India where they throw pigment and it stains white garments. The colors evoke the feeling, and it was crossed with the rich vegetables we’d buy at the farmers’ markets – squashes and beets – a beautiful, almost curry color and almost fuchsia.
Q: You have stores in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Why not here?
A: Opening a store in San Francisco is not too far off our radar. We have lots of San Francisco roots we feel really strongly about. We have a kind of daring approach, so I would think there is room for us there.