We pivoted our long-standing partnership with Levi’s into a new and exciting direction last spring // summer. After 7 executions, 212 guests, and 5 months, we can certainly say that our Urban Garden series was a successful turnout!
We transformed a 15 x 20 meter outdoor space into a vibrant garden located in the heart of Friedrichshain, Berlin. The Urban Garden serves as a tucked away haven of nature just a few steps away from the bustling urban streets.
In alignment with Levi’s sustainability approach, we reused materials and furniture from our past retail installations, packaged all products in sustainable recycled paper, and produced all graphics out of reboard. For each event, we developed the creative concept in accordance with the given theme and handled the production and execution.
These events were primarily catered towards influencers to whom the new Levi’s collections were presented. They were able to try on the various styles and walk around, socialize, and be photographed in them.
Buy Better. Wear Longer. marked our very first influencer event, where we transformed the Urban Garden into a sustainable marketplace. We separated the space into two distinct narratives: 1. Buy Better, which detailed Levi’s sustainable production methods (Waterless, Cottonized Hemp and Tencel); 2. Wear Longer, about Consumer Care, Repair + Reimagine and Recycling.
The first station, accompanied by a sign titled ‘Buy Better - Waterless,’ indicated that Levi’s “Water<Less process can reduce up to 96% of the water normally used in denim finishing.” 80% of their products are produced with this technique. Levi’s has saved 3.5 billion liters of water and recycled another 5.76 billion liters since introducing Water<Less in 2011. Here, the influencers learned about the water consumption in the lifecycle of a pair of jeans, and how to care for them after their purchase. The second part of Buy Better educated the influencers about Levi’s sustainable material using cottonized hemp for their products. On the Waste Less section of the installation, this station was linked to the Repair & Reimagine station, where the influencers learned how to repair and customize their products.
The final combination of the two stations was Buy Better - Tencel and Wear Longer - Recycling. Tencel is a sustainable fabric that Levi’s uses in their products. Under Recycling, the influencers learned about the recycled materials Levi’s offers - such as the sling bags (made of 100% recycled nylon) and backpacks (made of 100% recycled polyester).
2 weeks later, we celebrated Global 501 Day by developing a creative concept that brought Levi’s most iconic jeans to life. The main objective was to create a customer journey of the evolution of the epic denim style; this involved an interactive exhibition detailing the beginning, development, and current concept of the 501. Adhering to Levi’s sustainable ethos, we reused an abundance of materials from previous installations to create a massive pedestal including two changing rooms, three photo stations (with the help of Silk Relations), a clothesline, and a 10 meter interactive wall. We built a separate area for content creation, with a photoshoot set-up where guests could experiment with styling and build a personal connection to the iconic 501s. Three different settings (Cowboy, Retro, and Nowadays) gave the guests the opportunity to shoot the jeans and show the variety and endurance of this fit.
Throughout June, across 7 different nights, 2-4 influencers at a time visited Urban Garden to enjoy a delicious 3-course menu by a chef while dressed head to toe in Levi’s denim.
We installed a stage to facilitate a pride discussion panel with 6 guests from the LGBTQ+ community, who also performed song and voguing acts. These participants included singer Jade Pearl Baker, guest speaker Sara Moshiri, host and comedian Jurassica Parka, host Jacky-Oh Weinhaus, and vogueing star Crystal Saint Laurent. The event was filmed and posted as a YouTube Series “Paillette noch schlimmer” at the Levi’s Diversity Garden.
At the end of June, we designed and hosted the first ‘real’ event after the lockdown, where 30 guests were invited (of course, following corona protocol) and dressed in Levi’s ‘Shorts & Dresses.’ The theme was Midsommar, a Scandinavian festival celebrating the summer solstice. We completely transformed the Urban Garden into a cozy, floral, bohemian set-up. We built two workshop areas, two lounge areas with cushions on the floor boho-style, a swing, and a DJ booth. The guests were invited to have dinner and listen to German pop singer Luca Vasta perform.
The following month, Levi’s hosted an informative pride panel discussion titled ‘All Pronouns. All Love.’ 5 guest speakers were invited to host the talk. The discussion included a thoughtful combination of inspirational and educational storytelling, exploring the changing cultural dialogue surrounding pronouns, the personal experiences as LGBTQ+ members, and ally resources. PIONEERS conducted the set up of the panel talk and the installation to showcase the Pride Collection. For Pride 2021, Levi’s donated 100% of the net proceeds from the Pride Collection to OutRight Action International, an organisation that works alongside LGBTIQ activists and organisations, diplomats and policymakers, and other key partners to advance community-focused solutions to create lasting legal and social transformation.
We ended our Urban Garden series with a big bang. The final event, on 1st September, premiered the launch of the flattering and iconic 70s High / So High jeans. We divided the space into two areas: one half showcased the new fit and allowed guests to try on their favourite styles – So-High Slim, So-High Boot, ‘70s High Flare, ‘70s High Slim Straight, and ‘70s High Micro Mini. The jeans all come in both non-stretch denim Tencel and stretch organic cotton denim. Tencel is a highly sustainable and extremely soft fabric made from recycled wood pulp and wood from managed eucalyptus and spruce forests. “One of the best features of the ‘70s High fits is the instant attitude they give to any outfit,” says Jill Guenza, VP Global Women’s Design at Levi’s.
The other half of the space was a customization station, where guests could tie dye accessories – ranging from socks to bucket hats to upcycled pieces of denim – of their choice, which they styled with their new jeans afterwards. We conducted multiple workshops on traditional Japanese suminagashi, or ‘floating ink,’ the process of marbling plain paper/fabric with water and ink to transform it into something vibrant and colorful. This technique was used in psychedelic patterns in the ‘70s, where floating wavy lines are brought across to fabric.