In terms of dynamic duos, it’s hard to imagine a more natural one than Levi’s® and Grateful Dead. In a new collection coming out this Summer, Levi’s® and Grateful Dead come together, but actually, we were never apart. Generations of Dead Heads—the band’s ever-growing community—have used Levi’s® as a canvas for self-expression, customizing their jeans, t-shirts and Trucker Jackets. Wearing them to concerts. Envisioning the future.
The Levi’s® x Grateful Dead capsule collection includes a lineup of Levi’s® tees, fleece, denim, and accessories that all feature Dead graphics and colorful Dead-inspired tie-dye. To honor the legacy of the band, and to capture the joy their music has brought so many people over the last half century, the collection serves as unique way to tell their legendary story.
A big part of the collection celebrates Grateful Dead’s live album known as “Skull & Roses” that was released in 1971 and has been blowing minds ever since. The release of the album introduced the iconic “Skull & Roses” art for the first time, and to honor that, the collection includes several pieces that feature the iconic graphic art, but with a Levi’s® twist on the original colors.
Another notable piece in the collection includes a green tie-dye T-shirt with graphics taken from a flyer of the Dead’s famous 1977 show at Barton Hall, Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Pretty much every Dead Head will agree, you have to listen to that concert from their ’77 Spring tour. Some even claim it’s one of their greatest shows of all time. Re-colored and set against a non-traditional tie-dye, it’s a perfect example of how the collection serves both hardcore Dead Heads and casual fans alike.
“We wanted to do something that felt authentically rooted in the Grateful Dead’s incredibly rich and unique history, so we dug deep into some of their more nuanced graphics and storytelling. It’s a deep dive into Grateful Dead’s storied narrative and devoted fanbase, only remixed through a contemporary lens. And of course, there’s the San Francisco connection between Levi’s® and the Dead that just made this feel like the perfect collaboration.”—Karyn Hillman, Chief Product Officer at Levi Strauss & Co.
Other pieces include a long sleeve tie-dye T-shirt with Grateful Dead written in type taken from an obscure ‘80s bumper sticker and printed baggy shorts with Dead graphics inspired by the band’s legendary bootleg culture. There’s also a denim Levi’s® 501® and Type III Trucker, both which feature an oversized screen print logo of “DEAD” in the band’s iconic bones type, as well as a range of other graphic tie-dyed tees, fleece, and accessories. Last but not least, there’s tie-dyed graphic bandanas, a multi-color reversible bucket hat and multi-color sling bag featuring the infamous dancing bear, and a range of embroidered patches to place as you please.
“I was fortunate to see the Grateful Dead over 100 times in concert and I wore Levi’s® 531’s exclusively to all of those shows, with the exception of warm-weather outdoor shows at which shorts were required. I danced hard at the shows, even those I taped, and was always free to move as wildly as the music took me, with full range of mobility thanks to my 531s. Plus, they lasted forever! My jeans were as much a part of my show-going experience as my favorite hat, dancing shoes, and of course my lucky tie-dye shirts. I’m excited to check out the Levi’s® x Grateful Dead collaboration and rock out with it when I get back to seeing shows.” –David Lemieux, Grateful Dead Archivist and Legacy Manager.