We are excited to share that Alternative is the exclusive US partner to launch Levi’s new California Collection! The menswear capsule will be available exclusively at our Abbot Kinney and Hayes Valley locations and our online store.
Originally inspired by The Californians, a light-hearted, adventurous Levi’s collection created in the 60’s to celebrate the Cali lifestyle, this latest iteration will recreate this spirit in modern menswear, while maintaining the nod to heritage that the brand is known for.
Global Design Director Nick Rendic is the brain behind the brilliance. We got him to spill his guts on this special collection and what California style means to the OG California brand.
Tell us about these Cali-inspired collections, then and now.
In the 60’s, The Californians was about everything non-denim; less workwear, more sportswear, more trend-relevant and smarter in aesthetic. We partnered with Pendleton and developed the classic Bedford Corduroy. In the new collection, we’re focusing on wovens and outerwear – unusual elements for Levi’s – using the fabrications from the 60’s but updating the design architecture and aesthetic.
How does this evolution manifest?
The idea of evolving Levi’s iconography infiltrates even the smallest details. The back patch on five-pocket pants is white and marked with Levi’s California, but when examined closely, reveals the classic patch underneath. All sundries featured in the collection are white – buttons, snaps, zips, tags – to represent modernity and youthfulness. We snuck in a bit of 60’s patterning, paisleys and color pops, inside plackets, and use the iconic Bedford Cord mixed with new fabrications (including Byrd Cloth, a densely constructed cotton poplin) and interesting shades of denim.
Why were you inspired to launch a new California Collection?
California style has been a big stagnant. We view this collection as a natural evolution to change this perception, and for this, Alternative is a natural partner. We share a casual modern design aesthetic, not to mention launching the collection at the SF and LA locales is a perfect fit!
What does California style mean to Levi’s?
At Levi’s we are constantly harkening back to heritage and making it relevant for the modern market. So in terms of California style, we look at the heyday of the modernist movement, driven by architecture, artists, designers and a sense of freedom and openmindedness that didn’t exist in the rest of the country. Eames, prefab architecture, all took shape in California. We incorporate these ideals into the way our garments are constructed – making everything the same way (same stitch, zips, snaps) and using materials are available to build a line that’s more uniform.
The California Collection will be available online and at select Alternative locations.
Written by Emily Michaels
Photos by Andrew Lee