A well-worn, customised slice of denim is hard to deny and those frantic episodes with the nail scissors as a teenager were an inevitable rite of passage on the path to denim-worship. But would you really risk it with your Levi's these days? Hardly. It's time we all hung up those nail scissors and left it to the professionals as the denim maestros beef up their range of customization services on offer in-store to consumers through Tailor Shop. Inspired by the DIY spirit of the festival season, the tailor shops have launched nationwide and are set to stay all summer long, encouraging people to get creative with their denim with a range of customisations on offer courtesy of in-house tailors. From your trucker jacket to those trusty 501s – the Levi's tailors will be on hand to spice up love-worn threads or make brand new purchases unique to you. We got the multi-talented graphic artist, Ferry Gouw to create 11 limited edition illustrations for embroidery at the Regent Street flagship store. Gouw, a London-based Indonesian illustrator, has long been behind Major Lazer's creative vision
Watch Gouw's animated film of the 11 illustrations and read on as he tells us why denim is still such a classic fabric to rip up and start again with.
What drew you to the project and how did it all come about?
Ferry Gouw: Levi's is the best denim brand. I love the culture of customising pieces of clothing, and I've been designing embroidered patches for Major Lazer so it all just fell into place.
What did you have in mind when you signed on for the project and how did your designs develop/change as you went on?
Ferry Gouw: A friend of mine had recently told me about the history of trucker jackets, so I'd personally been looking into this whole world of denim customisation throughout various counter cultures, punks, hippies, biker gangs, all the way to New York street gangs, hip hop crews, and new contemporary designers referencing '90s patches. All this became the starting point for the designs for this Levi's project. As I worked on these designs, I had to apply all this research into a style that is my own, create my own take on this wealth of material. I think the collection ends up paying homage to this history while still looking distinctively mine.
Which is your favourite design out of the 11 pieces?
Ferry Gouw: Probably 'The Dancers'. It's super fun.
Why do you think denim still holds such an important place in fashion? What is it about the fabric that seems to make it so well-suited to customisation?
Ferry Gouw: Denim is classic, so it never goes out of style. The material itself is tough, it goes with almost anything (including itself, double denim is a sick look), it looks better with wear and tear, so it's highly functional and utilitarian. at the same time all this wear and tear means denim becomes highly personal to its wearer, which lends itself very well to the idea of customisation, putting your own imprint as a sign of ownership and intimacy, as well as cultural allegiance to whatever group you belong to.
What's your favourite way to customise your own denim?
Ferry Gouw: My favourite are probably punk denim jackets, so I'm into patches. A great collection of punk patches on a trucker jacket looks so good, maybe with a massive statement piece replacing the middle panel in the back.
Who's your ultimate denim icon in music?
Ferry Gouw: Bruce Springsteen, The Boss.
Customisation services launched across all UK store on 15 May and will be on offer throughout the summer.
Follow @levis_UK and the hashtag #levistailorshop for more.
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