The spirit of 1953 made a pit stop in Berlin last week, courtesy of Levi’s Vintage Clothing. The retro-denim specialists’ traveling exhibition, a tribute to the hot rod and the culture associated with it, pulled into denim-focused retailer 14 oz. on Friday night to deliver a glimpse of a time when reconditioned roadsters were all the rage and distressed denim a by-product of wear rather than production.
On display were original images from Life magazine showing the rise of the drag race, a short film looking at the day of the drag strip by artist Aaron Rose and a look at the era’s do-it-yourself aesthetic, which promoted customization of cars and clothing. Created especially for the display were a pair of showpiece pants with a battered leather pocket and a vest with Jalopy embroidery and leather trim. A reproduction of a 1957 Fender electric guitar was also on display, antiqued to give it the same look of gritty wear-and-tear.
A vitrine showed 35 custom-made airbrushed sweatshirts by Von Franco, which will be sold in select boutiques after the exhibition has finished its tour. The homage to hot rod is designed to coincide with Levi’s Vintage Clothing’s spring line of archive-influenced looks including jeans, bomber jackets and fitted ringer T-shirts printed with stars or stripes — classic Americana with an edge.
Martin White, European sales director for Levi’s, described Levi’s Vintage Clothing as “reissues” rather than “reproductions” of the brand’s classic looks. The next exhibition will be centered around Detroit 1964 with a focus on early Motown.
With jeans priced at $250 in the U.S., and 249 euros, or about $323 at current exchange, in Europe, the line is selling authenticity to an aware audience. “We let consumers make up their own minds. A lot of denim companies tend to preach a bit,” White explained. His view is that Levi’s has been seen as a blank canvas for creativity and subculture, evident in the customizing craze of the hot rod era currently under the merchandising microscope.
Along with London, Paris, Stockholm and Milan, Berlin is one of Levi’s five European hubs. With progress in Russia, he’s hoping to see Eastern Europe gain traction, too.
The exhibit has already hit Los Angeles, Brooklyn, N.Y., and London and will remain parked in Berlin at 14 oz. until April 6 before heading to the finish line in Tokyo.
Levi’s Vintage Clothing will be back in town this summer for Berlin’s Bread & Butter trade show, exhibiting in the Lock section.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)