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Levi's to integrate community involvement with retailing
Jul '10
Since its inception in 1873 as one of the original purveyors of American workwear, the Levi's brand has been the uniform of choice for great American pioneers. Levi's jeans have been worn by the craftsmen, laborers and artisans who helped define the cultural landscape in America and have shaped the energy and events of our times.

This week, the Levi's brand celebrates a new generation of pioneers and creative communities across the country with the launch of Levi's Workshops. Taking a new, innovative approach to integrating community involvement with retailing, the first Levi's Workshop debuts this week in San Francisco followed by a second expression of the program later this fall in New York City. The Levi's Workshops will be multi-use spaces, featuring a functional workshop, community event space and retail storefront. Each Workshop is designed to focus on a specific craft including printmaking in the San Francisco Workshop and photography in the New York City shop.

The Levi's Workshops will serve as community-based extensions of the brand's Go Forth marketing campaign, paying homage to the principles of hard work and civic engagement. Central to the Workshop program will be collaborations with recognized pioneers from each community. For eight weeks, each Levi's Workshop will open its doors to the general public and host a range of interactive demonstrations, educational programming and events.

The first of the Levi's Workshops will open to the public this week in San Francisco's Mission district, just down the street from one of Levi's original factories. Located at 580-582 Valencia Street, the Workshop will feature letterpress, silkscreen and photocopy equipment for local artists and designers to create their own print-based artwork. Community groups and non-profit organizations will also be invited to access these resources and work with the Workshop staff. The space will also offer Levi's denim and workwear product that embodies the spirit and craft of print design.

To leverage the energy of the Levi's Workshops, the brand has invited local pioneers to execute printmaking-based collaborations including:

Alice Waters - chef, author and proprietor of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. Waters is also the Vice President of Slow Food International and a leader of the culinary philosophy based on using only the freshest organic products served in season. Waters' commitment to education led to the creation of The Edible Schoolyard, a one-acre garden and adjacent kitchen classroom at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School which has grown into a national program. For her collaboration with the Levi's Workshops, Waters is working with a longtime design collaborator to create an educational poster for the Edible Schoolyard. "Levi's is bringing together art, food and the local community," said Alice Waters. "This is what Chez Panisse has always been about and what excites me most about the Levi's Workshops."

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