If there is a clothing brand that dispenses introductions of any kind, that brand is Levi’s. With an established reputation not only for denim lovers worldwide but with an esteem that ranks highly by the sartorial collective unconscious across the world, Levi’s has successfully developed and reinterpreted clothing, footwear and accessories for decades. This summer, Levi’s has confirmed why its social status is to remain timelessly iconic by reviving its Orange Tab though the Levi’s Vintage Clothing division.
Levi’s first used the Orange Tab in the 1960s and 70s on a line of jeans, jackets and shirts designed for young American consumers. Mirroring the social and aesthetical values of the Flower Power movement of that period as a reaction against the perils of nuclear power and capitalist greed, the Orange Tab garments featured a simpler design and less complex manufacturing processes that made them affordable while not compromising on quality. In addition, its innovative cut and fabrics made them appreciated by hipsters and students across the US and subsequently across the globe in a way that Levi’s saw fit to be re-examined by a new generation four decades later.
To celebrate the revival of the Orange Tab with light-hearted ingenuity, Levi’s Vintage Clothing travelled back in time to the early 1970s in the form of three activities that took Los Angeles by storm as their creative epicentre: the launch of the August 1972 issue of the fictitious music magazine Zipper (a publication with invented content that can be found in print in Levi’s Vintage Clothing Shops, online and as an iPad app); the experience of listening to, and interacting with the KLVC Orange Tab Radio (whose programming is based on American popular music from the 1960s and early 70s by in-character DJ hosts, with talk segments, a hotline, commercials and station announcements broadcast online and in Levi’s Vintage Clothing stores and events throughout the US), and a one-day music festival named ‘Party in your Pants’ (the official launch party for Levi’s Vintage Clothing’s Orange Tab Collection, which was held on 17 August in the hills of Topanga Canyon, outside Los Angeles, and featuring contemporary musicians paying tribute to the sounds of the early 1970s).
The first step towards the resurrection of the Levi’s Orange Tab included the launch of a capsule collection of just a few pieces. On the jeans front, the Orange Tab garments feature discreetly stylish characteristics that distinguish them from their Red Tab line counterparts such as slim-fitting shapes, square hip tailoring, a zipped fly, absence of rivets and more structured, sturdier denim fabrics. Underpinned by a subdued appreciation for quality and design, there is little doubt that Levi’s Orange Tab clothes will appeal to current consumers and will prove to be yet another successful (and well-deserved) venture for Levi’s.