This September, the Levi’s® brand is debuting a first-of-its-kind showcase of archival garments at the Queer Britain Museum. Titled as a nod to Queer Britain’s colourful community, the exhibition From the Levi’s® Archives: Icons in Denim – A Queer Perspective draws its inspiration from the passion fans have for Levi’s®, the symbolic place Levi’s® holds among the Queer community, and the extraordinary ways that Levi’s® jeans and jackets have been personalized by them.
Celebrating a longstanding partnership between Levi’s® and Queer Britain, the exhibition hosts Levi’s® products from the Levi Strauss & Co. archives displayed together for the first time outside of the U.S. From artists to rock legends to movie stars, every facet of the queer community has donned Levi’s® in their own unique way and the curation captures their authentic self-expression.
Queer Britain is the UK’s first and only LGBTQIA+ museum and the eleven looks compliment the work Queer Britain maintains: to preserve queer people’s stories and objects to inspire, celebrate and educate all communities about queer culture. Levi Strauss & Co., parent company of Levi’s®, has a long history of supporting and uplifting the LGBTQIA+ community and have been advocating their rights for over three decades, standing up for equality and non-discrimination. The brand’s products have been worn as symbols of protest, solidarity, and identity.
A first for the soon-to-open South Gallery within the Queer Britain Museum, guests will be guided through the product-led timeline. All showcased products were hand selected from the Levi’s Archives, and tell stories of hope, creativity, and resilience.
Highlights from the exhibition include:
- Levi’s ® 501® Jeans worn by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. 1980.
- Levi Strauss Signature Jeans and T-Shirt worn by Jake Gyllenhaal in multi-Oscar winning film Brokeback Mountain. 2005
- Levi’s® ‘Empress’ Jacket, inspired by a kimono, the Levi’s® jacket was created for a DIFFA event. The denim is dyed yellow and is signed by Beauregard, Beau Black, Stephen Dunn. 1994.
- Levi’s® Sir Elton John Jacket, customized for and signed by Sir Elton John for a DIFFA charity sale event. April 1994.
- Levi’s® Protest Jacket, custom painted by artist Serge Gay, Jr. to reflect his concerns as a Black gay transgender man. 2020.
- Levi’s® 501® Jeans and T-Shirt owned and worn by California’s first openly gay elected official Harvey Milk. 1970s.
The exhibition opens on Friday 29th September for two weeks, concluding on Friday 13th October. Selected items will move to the main gallery space for 2 months before returning to the LS&Co. Archives in the Levi’s® brand’s hometown of San Francisco.
Address: 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4BH
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12.00-18.00