Designer Robert Geller has created a cobranded denim collection with Levi’s that will hit stores next month. The 11-piece capsule range will be sold in 12 Bloomingdale’s units, on bloomingdales.com and in seven Levi’s stores in New York, San Francisco, Miami Beach, Beverly Hills and Bucktown, Ill., beginning Sept. 10. The collection will be celebrated with a party at Bloomingdale’s Manhattan flagship on Sept. 9, and is featured in the September issue of GQ.The project comes after Geller’s win in GQ’s Best New Menswear Designer in America competition in February. “The most important thing I tried to do was to get to the source of what I think makes Levi’s so cool, while bringing to that my own ideas that might make the garments more modern and nice for my customers,” Geller said. In that vein, Geller took historic Levi’s archive pieces and evolved them toward his own sensibilities. The 606 Super Slim jean from the line was developed from a Sixties model, while a chambray shirt was given a salt wash, and Geller’s signature armhole pleat was added. Military taping was applied to a denim work jacket’s sleeve placket, and a denim parka was given a swallowtail hem, another signature Geller flourish. Geller worked closely on the project with Carl Chiara, director of men’s and women’s brand concepts at Levi’s Americas, during the design process. “Robert was especially inspired by vintage constructions and workwear styling and wanted to address that aspect of our history through his voice,” Chiara said. “We pulled work coats from the 1910s to the 1950s and worked off the functional yet minimal approach to purposeful, rational design and put it in a new context.” Prices for the collection range from $95 for the 1853 sun-bleached T-shirt to $575 for the hooded parka with blanket lining. The jeans in the collection are $275 and the shirts range from $195 to $265. This is the second year Levi’s, GQ and Bloomingdale’s have partnered for the men’s design competition.Engineered Garments won last year. “[GQ creative director] Jim Moore and his team have brought a great level of excitement to this endeavor, and it’s projects like these that keep department stores vibrant,” said Kevin Harter, vice president of fashion direction for men’s, home and young world at Bloomingdale’s. Geller, who received a $50,000 cash prize, is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a former partner in the now-shuttered men’s label Cloak. He launched the Robert Geller collection in fall 2007. It is sold in about 60 top specialty stores, including Odin, Confederacy, American Rag, Lane Crawford and Isetan.
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