The Biker, Oil and Leather

Levi Strauss & Co.
November 16, 2012

Levi’s® Vintage Clothing digs deep into the Levi’s® archives to capture and reproduce iconic garments from bygone eras. For Fall 2012, they’re paying tribute to the rebellious spirit and renegade style of the American biker.

The era? Think early 1950s, when the term “biker” became associated with a two-wheeled lifestyle. The fashion? White t-shirt, black leather jacket and the 501® jean.

As part of its tribute, Levi’s® Vintage Clothing invited artists and illustrators from around the world to customize black leather motorcycle jackets from its seasonal collection.

The brief was simple: Using oil paints, create something beautiful in your own hand that you feel would look great on this amazing leather jacket.

The result? An exhibition — Oil and Leather – which not only illustrates artistic creativity, but also showcases another way Levi’s® has been a part of our collective culture and history. It came to life last night at the Levi’s® Union Squre store in San Francisco.

Alongside the contemporary, oil and leather collaborations, Levi’s® Vintage Clothing traced the cultural impact of Danny Lyon’s historic 1968 photo-documentary, The Bikeriders. Lyons’ documentation of the biker lifestyle helped solidify the leather biker jacket as a timeless style icon. Through a collection of publications, photographs, outtakes and private correspondence from Lyon’s archive, this exhibition offers an insider’s look back to the golden age of motorcycle culture.

Here’s a look at last night’s event and some of the artists’ jackets. The exhibition continues through Nov. 25.

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Davie Jacket (1)

Desa Jacket (1)

Jones Jacket (1)

Malt Jacket (1)

Salvation Jacket (1)