Levi Strauss & Co. staged a full-on flashback to 1972 on Saturday, staging a music festival on a 40-acre estate in Topanga Canyon that included throwback bands, retro booze, tie-dye and flower-crown stations and lots and lots of slinky, hip-hugging, flare-legged denim.
Dubbed Levi's Party in Your Pants, the daylong affair was the kickoff of the San Francisco-based jeans maker's marketing campaign for its new -- well, old and new -- Orange Tab collection, a painstakingly faithful re-creation of a collection that Levi's introduced in 1969 and made until the late '70s.
There are a whole lot of details about the jeans for denim-heads to sink their (zipper) teeth into (think manufacturing specifics like loom width and the "denim recipe") that we'll be discussing in depth in Sunday's denim-themed Image section, but Saturday was a masterful exercise in giving the relaunched collection an authentic resonance -- for a crowd that was either not yet born or still in denim diapers in 1972.
(In the meantime, the debut collection, which hit stores Friday, can be found at Levi's Vintage Clothing's website.)
Among the flourishes: a denim-appointed AMC Gremlin (part of an actual Levi's marketing campaign back in the day), musical acts such as Jonathan Wilson and Friends (covering the Grateful Dead) and Chevy Metal channeling the Rolling Stones -- with Dave Grohl along for the ride (Chevy Metal's Taylor Hawkins is also a Foo Fighter), and event crew members channeling the Hells Angels security staff of back in the day, decked out in dark denim vests emblazoned with biker-gang insignia (though "Mason's Children Topanga" certainly sounded a lot less ominous).
The marketing efforts behind the collection extend beyond Saturday's event too, and include an online radio station (KLVC) and an entire September 1972 issue of Zipper, a completely faux and totally hilarious rock 'n' roll magazine in the vein of Rolling Stone, spot-on down to the last detail including horoscopes and vintage ads.
Warning: If the folks at Levi Strauss put half the effort into re-creating the collection as they put into re-creating a 1972 vibe for the one-day launch party, slipping into a pair of Orange Tabs may just result in a festival flashback.
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