Collaboration / Maison - 10/6/22
Tremaine Emory, the man behind Denim Tears, is a multi-hyphenate talent. Artist, musician, fashion designer, nightlife curator – his creativity knows no boundaries. But while he may travel many lanes in his creative pursuits, at
core he is a storyteller. And for his newest Levi’s® x Denim Tears collaboration – part of a two-year partnership – he’s continuing to viscerally explore America’s checkered past with race and injustice, as well as fashion’s intersection with the history of the African Diaspora in America. And he’s doing it within an artistic framework he’s calling “conceptual conceptualism.”
Featuring colors and graphic patterns meant to express what Emory calls a visual mnemonic, the collection examines the story of the Gullah Geechee people – descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the plantations of the lower American Atlantic coast. Known for its production of indigo, that region had a large slave population during the 18th century thanks mainly to the British demand for indigo-dyed workwear – at the time, the U.K. was the largest importer of indigo-dyed fabric. For this collection, Emory has re-contextualized the history of the Gullah Geechee, creating an 8-piece capsule collection that focuses on embracing the culture, history, and experiences of these enduring people.
The first element of the collection – which includes a signature Denim Tears Plantation Hat, a Levi’s® Type II Trucker, and a Levi’s® 501® Jean – focuses on the unrelenting indigo dyeing process that the Gullah slaves were forced to endure. Featuring an all-over print of indigo hands on white denim, each piece is meant to symbolize the way a slave’s hands would turn blue while working with the indigo dye. Along with this, the color scheme of the collection also offers an homage to the color-coded cues taken from the Kofa Mata Dye pits in Kano, Nigeria, known for its indigo dyeing since the 15th century.
And for the second element of the collection, Emory uses both color and graphics to tell the story of the Gullah people and the broader African Diaspora in America. Each piece – which includes a Canvas Tote, a Plantation Hat, a Levi’s® Shirt Jacket, a Levi’s® Western Shirt, and a Levi’s® 501 jean – features a yellow and green crosshatch color scheme, quilted stitching – meant to celebrate the craftsmanship of the Gullah Geechee – and symbolic graphics like a plantation, the silhouettes of the United States and the African continent, and a woman working over a vat of indigo dye. All are cultural emblems that serve as a talisman for the suffering and endurance of the Gullah Geechee people.
And all help symbolize Tremaine’s blueprint for a new America.
Co-branded elements include a special Red Tab featuring “Tears” on the back of the Tab, with “Levi’s®” stitched in white on the front, as well as a special Levi’s® x Denim Tears backpatch combining the classic Two-Horse pull logo along with “Denim Tears” floral print logo.
The Levi’s® x Denim Tears Season 2 collection ($95-$400) will be available for purchase at the below Levi’s® x Denim Tears pop-up shops, taking place exclusively in London, Los Angeles, and New York. The collection will also be available for purchase online starting July 26th on Denimtears.com and starting July 28th on Levi.com, Levi’s APP, and select Levi’s stores.
● Levi’s® x Denim Tears Pop-Up @ Dover Street Market London – July 9, 2022
● Levi’s® x Denim Tears Pop-Up @ Dover Street Market Los Angeles – July 16, 2022
● Levi’s® x Denim Tears Pop-Up @ Shopify SoHo New York – July 23 & 24, 2022