Friday, October 30, 2009

Shepard Fairey's Obey & Levi's Times Square Flagship Store Event

via the press release

Special installation commemorates the launch of Obey x Levi's(R), a limited-edition clothing collection jointly designed by Fairey, OBEY Clothing and the Levi's(R) Brand

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- To commemorate the launch of the new, limited-edition Obey x Levi's® apparel collection -- a line of street-inspired menswear styles, co-designed by street artist, Shepard Fairey, his OBEY Clothing collection and the Levi's® Brand -- the artist unveiled a special, public art installation last night in front of the Levi's® Store in Times Square. Executed on Military Island, in the heart of one of the world's busiest intersections, this special event offered the public a rare, inside view of the acclaimed street artist's unique process. The finished piece is a layered collage of varying imagery, simultaneously addressing issues that range from global warming to the power of propaganda to influence. To further mark the occasion, Fairey also created a series of four new poster designs and immediately following the mural's unveiling, the artist signed museum-quality reproductions of these new works for fans who had eagerly lined up outside the denim leader's Times Square store. The publicly-executed mural unveiled last night was later affixed to the outside facade of the neighboring Levi's® Store location and measures approximately 7.5 feet high x 24 feet wide. This work is a part of a much larger Fairey-developed mural adorning the Times Square store's exterior that is 68 feet in total length and wraps around the corner of Broadway onto 44th Street. The work will be displayed outside of the Levi's® Store in Times Square through November 5, at which point it will be dismantled and removed from public view.

On teaming with Levi's® Jeanswear and the newly introduced poster series, Fairey offered, "I've always felt that keeping my art bold, simple and refined was a way to cut through the clutter, and it's a formula that Levi's® has been using for decades that keeps them accessible and populist yet stylish and relevant. The posters I created for Levi's® are returns to the roots of my style: one side with an industrial propaganda poster feel that connects with the heritage of Levi's® as a brand for workers, and the reverse side reflecting my other biggest influence, punk rock, and the connection of Levi's® to punk and rock in general."

"Shepard Fairey is a groundbreaking innovator who has changed the way art is perceived and consumed in our world today. His revolutionary work uniquely reflects the optimistic, pioneering spirit of the Levi's® brand, making Obey x Levi's® a truly authentic collaboration," said Doug Sweeny, vice president of Marketing for the Levi's® brand. "As fans and loyal supporters of Shepard's pioneering art, we are proud to introduce this special clothing collection rooted in Shepard's favorite Levi's® styles."

A graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Shepard Fairey was catapulted to super stardom last year when his "Hope" poster became the predominant image of President Obama's successful campaign. But it was Fairey's "Obey" guerilla art campaign that first gained mass attention nearly a decade ago. His now infamous "Obey" images of Worldwide Wrestling Federation star Andre the Giant continue to appear on public canvases worldwide today and inspired Fairey to create OBEY Clothing - a collection of street and skate-inspired apparel he introduced in 2001.

Fairey's unique art and view of the world captured the attention of many fans at Levi's® and in 2002, the brand proudly sponsored Authentik - one of Fairey's first art shows. The show, which was held at the Levi's® Vortex Gallery in the San Francisco Levi's® Store, marked the beginning of the relationship between Fairey and his favorite denim brand. Since then, there have been several collaborative projects including a series of one-of-a-kind "Obey" 501® jean art pieces, a timeline portrait collection of punk and rap music trailblazers, a silk-screened image of Levi Strauss that Fairey created to pay homage to Levi's® jeans' founder and the sponsorship of Fairey's first-ever, career retrospective museum exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

The launch of the Obey x Levi's® collection is the latest result of the ongoing collaborative relationship between Levi's® and Fairey. The line consists of a tightly-edited assortment of eight essential menswear pieces that showcase fits, finishes, rips, patches and design details selected by Fairey and inspired by his personal collection of Levi's® denim. Each piece is a hand-customized original that is worn-in to evoke the look and feel of one's favorite pair of jeans. Punctuated by "spray paint" drip details, stenciled art imagery, pins and "wear and repair" finishing touches, the collection is replete with exclusive branding details including an "Obey" Giant tab-device that lives alongside the iconic Levi's® Red Tab and a "Two-Horse" rear waistband patch that also includes a stylized "Obey" Giant face.

The highly-collectible Obey x Levi's® capsule collection is carried exclusively at select Levi's® Store locations in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Santa Monica and at A limited number of pieces are also available at Now on sale, the collection ranges in price from $34.50 to $148. The series of four limited-edition Shepard Fairey posters will be given away as a free gift, while supplies last, with the purchase of any item from the Obey x Levi's® collection in the following Levi's® Store locations: Times Square and Soho in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, Santa Monica and Chicago. The front side of each of the four double-sided posters features artwork that exists as a stand-alone piece. The reverse side of each poster also includes one piece of an oversized mural image specially designed by Fairey. When all four posters are reversed and laid out together, the larger mural image is then fully revealed.

Media coverage of the event:

Wire Image
Getty Images

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