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Levi’s® and Denim Tears Examine African American Conceptual Conceptualism for Summer 2022

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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 colours 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 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 colour scheme of the collection also offers a homage to the colour-coded cues taken from the Kofa Mata Dye pits in Kano, Nigeria, known for its indigo dyeing since the 15th century.

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 is available for purchase exclusively on Levi.com.sg now.  

About Post Author

Surabhi Pandey

A journalist by training, Surabhi is a writer and content consultant currently based in Singapore. She has over seven years of experience in journalistic and business writing, qualitative research, proofreading, copyediting and SEO. Working in different capacities as a freelancer, she produces both print and digital content and leads campaigns for a wide range of brands and organisations – covering topics ranging from technology to education and travel to lifestyle with a keen focus on the APAC region.
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