Every week, we at Highsnobiety take some time to highlight one of our favorite brands through our BOTW (Brand of the Week) series. Last week, we featured crystal-infused brand Advisory Board Crystals, and now we’ve decided to shine a light on a label under the Levi’s umbrella: Levi’s Made & Crafted.
When it comes to denim, one brand is synonymous with the fabric — whether it’s jeans, shirts, or jackets. Having defined the market in a truly holistic way, that brand is Levi’s. But where did it all begin?
The history of the American brand can be traced as far as 1853, during the height of the Gold Rush. That year, Levi Strauss began selling wholesale dry goods in San Francisco, under the name “Levi Strauss & Co”. At that time, jeans were already a popular clothing item among North California miners — but they were far from the denim jeans we know and love today.
Around 1873, local tailor Jacob Davis introduced the idea of using copper rivets to strengthen the jeans’ most delicate points. Strauss immediately fell in love with the idea and decided to work with Davis, before applying for and receiving their patent. Their copper rivets were soon incorporated into new denim overalls and jeans designs.
Shigenori Arizono (AKA @denim_repair) skillfully repairs a pair of vintage Levi's. His passion for denim comes from the belief that "good things are good for a long time. Treat well what others treat well. Things become better and better by treating them well, again and again and again." We'll second that! #levisvintageclothing
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By the 1890s, Strauss launched what soon became the best-selling piece of clothing in the world — the Levi’s 501. The jeans kickstarted the brand’s popularity, and by the 1950s Levi’s had become a fixture of youth subcultures. Needing to meet the growing demand, Levi’s expanded into apparel, and the business grew exponentially by the late ’70s.
Known all over the world, Levi’s refused to sit on its laurels. The American brand soon saw the need to push and elevate its offering by creating a seasonal collection of premium denim, for anyone in the market for more than just a well-fitting pair of jeans.
The result? Levi’s Made & Crafted arrived in 2009. Just like any respectable fashion brand, every collection has a theme and is created in collaboration with some of the best fashion intel across the globe. Dropping in November 2017, its most memorable collaboration to date came with OFF-WHITE c/o Virgil Abloh line, which included a series of denim staples with twists such as color bursts on trucker jackets and jeans.
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While the price-point is surely higher than its parent line, Made & Crafted is still a nod to the brands’ roots, making timeless pieces that will always find a place in anyone’s wardrobe. “Levi’s Made & Crafted has a little more room to play on the fashion side of things,” Levi’s Head of Design Jonathan Cheung told Highsnobiety when we spoke to him back in 2016. “I like to think of it as Levi’s take on luxury. Think luxury with a small ‘L’.”
We particularly love the brand’s latest collaboration with POGGYTHEMAN, which dropped last month. For the uninitiated, POGGYTHEMAN — AKA Motofumi “Poggy” Kogi — is an international style icon and creative director of United Arrows & Sons. The collaborative FW18 capsule combines Levi’s’ craftsmanship and classic workwear with Poggy’s fashion-forward style and streetwear savvy.
For this collection, Poggy trawled though Levi’s archives in San Francisco and found plenty of inspiration from WWII workwear jackets, overalls, button-downs, and hats. The line’s key piece is the McQueen Pant, which features a brand-new tapered fit (with no toke on the back) and a painted bow pattern on the inside of each pocket.
The capsule is still available, and below, we’ve hand-picked some of our favorite pieces to get your hands on — including the McQueen Pant. Take a closer look at each piece here, and click through to cop some elevated Levi’s denim.
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