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Sagmeister creates special art series for Levi's brand
Mar '09
On the heels of innovative design partnerships with art-world luminaries Damien Hirst and Shepard Fairey, the Levi's brand announces its latest art-based collaboration – a project conceptualized by famed graphic design firm Sagmeister Incorporated (“Sagmeister”).

Celebrated for its work with iconic, legendary musicians including the Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed and former Talking Heads front man David Byrne, Sagmeister has developed a series of designs that explore the jean that started it all – the Levi's Original, Button-Fly 501 jean.

“Levi's Original 501 jeans have served as the uniform of choice for countless influential artists in recent history. The 501 jean captures the creative spirit and pioneering ideals embodied by the world's most celebrated artists and visionaries from Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Jean-Michel Basquiat to Damien Hirst,” said Robert Hanson, President of Levi Strauss Americas. “In keeping with our great history of collaborating with groundbreaking artists like Damien Hirst and Shepard Fairey, we are thrilled to partner with graphic design genius, Sagmeister.”

To commemorate this unique partnership, the Levi's brand is teaming up with the influential Los Angeles-based specialty retailer American Rag, to design and execute an exclusive window installation that debuts in early March. The installation will unveil the first two Sagmeister images from the special art series created for the Levi's brand.

Additional works from the series will be introduced in the coming months. To further mark the occasion, the Levi's brand and American Rag stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco will distribute a limited run of 501 museum-quality, poster reproductions of the Sagmeister images featured in American Rag's windows this March. Highly collectible, these reproductions will be available to Levi's denim collectors and fans as a gift with any Levi's purchase, while supplies last.

The American Rag window installation, featuring the Levi's-inspired posters by Sagmeister, is the latest in a number of creative, visual displays the Levi's brand has designed exclusively for American Rag. Previous installations have spotlighted Levi's Spring 2008 collaboration with the Warhol Foundation for The Visual Arts and Damien Hirst, Levi's high-end, handcrafted Levi's Capital E collection, and most recently a playful take on unisex apparel featuring Levi's Boyfriend 501 jean.

For their work with the Levi's brand, Sagmeister took Levi's Original button-fly 501 and examined its origin and mystique, literally stripping the iconic silhouette down to the raw materials that compose its DNA. “The jeans themselves are iconic, so we decided to go with just a product shot, using nothing more and nothing less than a single pair of 501s,” Stefan explains.

The Levi's brand's work with Sagmeister is the latest in a number of art-world alliances, including co-designed, high-end apparel collections with The Andy Warhol Foundation for The Visual Arts, a collaborative collection of street wear and one-of-a-kind “spin” painted Original 501 jeans and denim pieces co-conceived with British art sensation Damien Hirst, and most recently the announcement of a soon-to-be unveiled, co-developed piece with acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey.

The introduction of this piece marks the Levi's brand's ongoing support of Fairey's career including the sponsorship of his first-ever career retrospective, Shepard Fairey: Supply & Demand, which opened in February 2009 at the ICA Museum in Boston.


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