Black artist Gianni Lee, who collaborated with Levi’s for a limited-edition collection in February, has created a new one-of-a-kind jean that will be sold for charity.
The men’s size 34 pant will benefit Good Black Art, a global platform centered around the most promising emerging Black artists.
The jean was cut and sewn at Lee’s studio in New York and is the first jean he has ever made. The skeleton motif is embossed on the front and back. It was inspired by street art he saw in Paris, London and Bulgaria as well as New York City, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Cuba, Los Angeles, and Los Angeles. It features multi-colored paint splatters on its front left leg, white trim around the waistband, Gianni Lee Studio leather back patches, and a painted ribbon attached to one belt loop.
The jean, which will be priced at $500, will be on sale via NTWRK’s livestream shopping app NTWRK from Dec. 9 to Dec. 9.
The sale is sponsored by American Express and Miami Art Week and includes glassware, a scarf and mixed media pieces by two other artists, Adrian Brandon and Sabrena Khadija. Lee will also offer a $55 aluminum skeleton print card case. Amex and NTWRK have partnered to create this fundraiser.
“The basis of the project was to dive into a medium that [artists] don’t normally dive into. That was fashion and denim production. I never did it on my own and this is my first total deep dive into denim production,” Lee told Rivet. “Working with American Express on this project a lightbulb went off in my head and it was even more serendipitous because when you think of American Express you think of business or finance and, go figure, a business and finance institution pushed me into a creative realm that I usually won’t dive into.”
Lee added that he has always looked up to Nigo of A Bathing Ape and “the denim empires in Japan.”
“What I enjoy about the process in general is the process of creation and trying new things like talking to a production house, a dyer and a sewer. It was a long process to bring the jeans to life,” he said. “Now I’ve learned a new business and industry. You never know what the future holds. Perhaps, I’ll want to work with more brands in the future and get into my own fields and make more jeans. This was an amazing launching pad for me.”
In addition to his Levi’s collaboration that includes customized 501s, Trucker jackets and tote bags, Lee, who is also a musician, sells handpainted Ugg boots and original print “Black Hero” tees and totes on his online store.
Lee was also associated with Levi’s when he performed at a party celebrating the launch of Levi’s XX Chino at Levi’s Haus Miami in January 2020.