Levi's® 20th Anniversary
2014 marked an important milestone for Levi’s® in South Africa with the brand celebrating its’ 20th anniversary of operating in the country following the democratic election in 1994.
To celebrate this landmark, Levi’s® approached ANDPEOPLE with the challenge of creating a unique experience to honour both the people and the stories that have shaped the business over the last 20 years. Two decades of brand stories were translated into one experience that honoured the respective people and stories authentically, and brought them to life in a way that would best represent the brand.
Drawing inspiration from San Francisco, the birthplace of Levi Strauss & Co., we conceptualised ‘Legacy Street’ – a set based on a classic San Franciscan street. The objective of the ‘street’ set was to create an immersive and interactive environment that would be both familiar and unfamiliar to guests, prompting them to explore the space and giving us opportunity to share the brand’s stories to an active and highly present audience.
Relevant ‘street’ experiences would best share our brand stories, as well as making them memorable through surprising and delighting our audience. Leading up spatial design and art direction for the project, my involvement was to design the experience from start to finish, starting with the floor plan and each of the unique capsule’s identities, signage and functions as below:
- A Travel Agent window told the brand’s success story across the African continent.
- A Tailor Shop was used to profile some of South Africa’s most important product innovations.
- A Gallery exhibition honoured the 16 people that been with the brand in South Africa since day one.
- A Peep Show invited guests to step behind the curtain to experience the brand’s new 'Live In Levi’s®' campaign in a novel way.
- A closed Record Store showcased the important role Levi’s® had played in the local music scene through flyers, posters and artwork from the past 20 years.
- A Levi’s® Store window showcased the 2015 season product highlights through a live multi-media fashion show featuring human mannequins.
- A Deli told the story of the brand’s Icon products in a unique environment that reiterated their status as daily essentials.
- And a Monument honoured the names of every person that had worked at Levi’s® over the past 20 years. All 1875 of them.
Each of these concepts were custom designed from branding to the physical experience. And each played an important role in telling the story of Levi’s® 20 years in South Africa.
To host the event, we found an old jeans factory in the centre of Cape Town, an unused venue that offered both a relevant canvas and unique space to bring the concept to life.
Yielding hammers and drills and working with the set builders over a course of 10 days; Legacy Street was built, transforming the +400sqm of empty factory to a unique experience that reflected both the roots of the brand and its history in South Africa.
To drive interaction and engagement on the night, we:
• Created 10min documentary with film maker Richard Gregory on the history of Levi’s® in South Africa.
• Gave each guest a 'Legacy Street Passport' and incentivised them to fully explore the space through a stamp mechanic in each experience.
• Trained and placed brand ‘actors’ throughout Legacy Street to host guests and communicate important information on the night.
Legacy Street was brought to life on the 19th and 20th of November 2014. Levi’s® customers, friends of the brand, media and staff were hosted on the first night, and consumers invited to be a part of the experience on night two. Each night featured relevant live music line-ups to the audience as well as a curated food and drinks menu.
The 20th anniversary received best practice reviews from Levi’s® Global and Local Leadership, as well as media, brand customers and consumers. Both nights hosted a capacity audience.
Director: Michael Leslie
Spatial Design & Art Direction: Kim Terri Smith
Project Management: Kone Ndlovu
Photos: Tyrone Bradley