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Levi’s taps onto ERL for an all-American collaboration

Levi’s taps onto ERL for an all-American collaboration

All-American style is difficult to catalogue. Just look at the Met Gala outcomes for 2021 and 2022 — themed “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” and “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” respectively. In construing the theme, Lil Nas X made an appearance in gold armour, Leon Bridges went Western in a fringed Bode number, and Lupita Nyong’o got dolled up in denim. While there are literal interpretations (think stars and stripes) and wider ones like Old Hollywood or nods to the Western, Levi’s and ERL are honing on the region of the West Coast for its collaboration.

All aboard the Cali Express we go. Two Californian brands; both representing a different facet of American traditions, are coming together to deliver a denim-heavy collaboration that typifies American dressing. Levi’s has been around since denim was reserved as a workwear material, having earned credit for the textile’s role in shaping up utilitarian-fashioned, riveted blue jeans. 150 years on, the brand’s portfolio has evolved to encompass everything from blue, orange and silver tab lines. And whereas Levi’s has been venerated into American-fashion-hall-of-fame, burgeoning ERL is expected to soon follow. The Venice Beach label, founded by photographer Eli Russell Linnetz, is known for its retro take on Cali style, as seen on the runway in its prior collaboration with Dior. Collegiate jerseys are mixed in with old-school tartan and retro motif — all super American. And with regard to the Californian aspect; Venice Beach’s skate and surf culture saturates the brand’s identity. Something that has been carried forward for the collaboration’s campaign lookbook.

Aside the obvious red white and blue that make up the campaign, the focus remains solely on denim here. A generous number of cuts and silhouettes provide variety in selection. Going beyond the typical 501 cut, the sun-faded wash is applied to shirts, mini skirts, shearling-lined coats, flares, and dresses. A standout of the collection comes in the cut of the Levi’s x ERL Shorts, a pair of wide-legged cut-offs that align with the burgeoning popularity of the humble jort(s). Speaking on the collaboration, Linnetz says, “It was super exciting to work with the Levi’s team on the design process, because authenticity is the most important thing to me, I really enjoyed going through the Levi’s archives to fully understand the heritage of the brand and see how people throughout the years have customised and made it their own. Our Levi’s x ERL collection has a very grunge, casual, and skater energy. It’s easy to throw on for everyday wear but it’s still identifiable with a clear voice and signature.”

“The new Levi’s x ERL partnership is a dynamic combination of iconic style and heritage,” adds Karyn Hillman, Chief Product Officer at Levi Strauss & Co. “It was amazing working with the ERL team, exploring and crafting new reinterpretations of our denim staples while infusing ERL’s signature point of view – the collection brings together a strong mix of both ERL and Levi’s® authentic and Californian roots.”