The Levi’s California Collection Returns

The Levi's California collection

The Levi’s California collection

A look from the Levi's California Collection

A look from the Levi’s California Collection

Back in the 1960’s, Levi Strauss introduced a short-lived collection, Levi’s California. It was an under-the-radar line that garnered little fanfare, but is sought after by denim heads and collectors even to this day. But the brand is getting new life this year thanks to a collaboration between Levi’s and Alternative Apparel, the Los Angeles-based line of basics.

Nic Rendic, Levi’s global design director, re-introduced the line last Spring with a small collection, but it wasn’t until he brought on Alternative Apparel’s Orondava Mumford, Alternative’s design director, and Erik Joule, the label’s brand president and chief merchandising officer, that a whole collection came together. And you can call it a homecoming of sorts, too, since the three worked together at Levi’s five years ago. 

During that time, Rendic and Mumford would create pieces that would never actually see the sales floor. Levi’s suits, for instance, which the two designed, never made it into production, though it was that collaborative spirit that brought about the revival of Levi’s California, a name that has remained nascent since the ’60s.

Details from the Levi's California collection

Details from the Levi’s California collection

The latest collection, which will be available exclusively at Alternative Apparel stores (two in L.A., plus the locations in San Francisco and NY) and online at the brand’s website as well as the retailer Beams in Japan, was inspired by a mashup of California locales. Venice Beach, where Alternative has a flagship, and the High Sierras, which bring together the heritage of outdoorsmanship and workwear that Levi’s built its brand on.

The collection also includes fabrics from heritage label Pendleton, adding a bit of grit to the collection as well as fabrics that take inspiration from ’40s military pieces. The line fits in the with the mix of basics sold at Alternative, rounding out the offering to include outerwear, shorts and sweatshirts in a mix of rugged colors and layering pieces that are sure to satisfy Levi’s die-hards and Alternative’s growing legion of loyal fans alike.

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.