• Connubia Reef by Leviís

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Photography: Leonardo Male 
16 / 09 / 2022
With a limited edition of just 100 pieces, the "Connubia Reef by Levi's®" armchair is the outcome of the irreverent spirit seen in both the brands, combining tradition and innovation while creating timeless and contemporary products. 
Designed by Michele Menescardi in keeping with a sustainable approach, it is entirely made from post-consumer recycled fabrics. Presented at Milan Design Week, we took the opportunity to find out more about this partnership with Diana Dimitian, Levi's® general manager for Southern Europe and North Africa.

What prompted this collaboration with the Italian brand Connubia? And the launch of this armchair in Milan? From the very outset, and particularly in recent years, the company has aimed at positioning itself at the centre of culture. Doing so during such a culturally relevant moment as Milan Design Week made perfect sense. Both Connubia – the youngest brand in the Calligaris Group – and Levi's® share identical values when it comes to innovation and design, as well as in their sense of commitment and responsibility. In Italy, Levi's® enjoys a significant and vigorously expanding market, attracting many fans and followers to this event. Our presence at this event, coinciding with the inauguration of a new pop-up shop at no. 1 Via Capelli, took on a special meaning.

What do you like most and what would you highlight about this piece? I am passionate about interior design and, first and foremost, I really like its shape. Then there is the comfort, the complexity involved in its execution and the choice of material itself – Candiani denim, a premium denim produced locally in Italy. The dyeing process is done using the indigo juice technique – giving it a unique appearance, ensuring it ages well – offering substantial savings with water and using cotton from sustainable sources. I also appreciate how versatile it is, adapting easily to different environments, and that it is a limited edition, with numbered pieces, just like a work of art. All in all, I believe this combination is capable of grabbing the attention of any interior enthusiast.

Levi’s® is constantly reinventing its heritage, with refreshing and contemporary approaches. How does the brand manage to achieve this? I think that it happens, for instance, through moments like this: innovative moments, that are culturally relevant and meaningful to current times and current consumers. Nowadays one of the areas of major growth is youth, other area of major development are women collections, so it is essential to be innovative enough to capture the consumers, to inspire them through your products and your brand strategies. Also, I think today a lot of what motivates people to stay with brands, to go back to brands or to discover new brands is what the brands stands for from a value standpoint. Purpose becomes more of a question. I do believe that one of the main aspects that contributes to Levi’s® being so relevant is its ability to innovate at times like this, namely through collaborations like this. Yes, the product is innovative, a sense of responsibility and good sustainable practices are part of the company’s DNA, but there are elements beyond that, such as what the brand represents. Then as the consumer digs in and see what Levi’s® is doing overall as a company, than there is a greater confidence that leads the public to follow it. I think Levi’s® is, above all, a loved brand – people either are falling in love with the brand again, because they used to wear it when they where younger, or they are either connecting with the brand for the first time. And then that’s what creates a following, it’s that conversation with the consumer after they fall in love and how brands keep true to their message. These types of collaboration usually resonate relevancy and, in this case, it’s a fun armchair, a fun concept. Also, it is a nice time to do it as well as people are getting back to life after the pandemic times, and this initiative is a good way to celebrate those moments.

We know that Levi's® concern with sustainability is not recent, integrating more and more practices and techniques in this matter, not only in the production processes. Can you give us some examples of this commitment? Yes, it is beyond just the manufacturing process of the denim, how we produce and where we produce. I can highlight one of the biggest initiatives we have done in recent years, the “Buy Better, Wear Longer” campaign. The message from Levi’s® to the consumers with this campaign is a call to action, a way to say ”Hey, this a great quality product, it will last longer in your wardrobe than maybe the fast fashion choices that you make”. It started in 2021 and it has been quite successful, featuring all these youthful icons (actors, soccer players, among others) that Levi’s® has an affinity towards. It’s a humble yet strong message, aligned with what we can control. Of course we know clothing and everything we produce is wasteful but it is as wasteful as you want to make it, right? In the sense of reuse and longevity that we want to give to our items. Those where the values that resonated with the consumer when it comes with this campaign and I think they can also resonate with the Reef armchair: it will age well and it is made to last, it is a contemporary chair and it can fit in many different environments.

What are the company’s main plans right now? Last week we met in New York with the group's investors, a meeting where the company announced its intention to reach 9 to 10 billion euros by 2027. Currently, last year, we surpassed 5.8 billion, in other words, it's a very ambitious and aggressive plan, with the Levi's® brand concentrating the biggest slice of this pie, followed by Dockers (another brand we have) and Beyond Yoga, a yoga and athleisure brand we've just acquired.
An area of great importance to us, as I mentioned above, is the women's range – we still have a lot to do among female consumers, namely when it comes to tops. Then there are other categories, such as footwear or accessories, which we will continue to develop and see grow. We are currently leaders in denim, but also in belts (most people don't know that) but how much more can we do? Can you imagine that we can also lead in other categories, whether in the women's wardrobe or in footwear, for example? This is an exciting opportunity for the brand, no doubt.
Regarding near plans, I can focus on one, the biggest so far, that I think will resonate globally: next year the epical and original jeans 501 will become 150 years old. There will be moments, worldwide, where we will celebrate that, specially in key cities. I’m sure this will be a big project and a big moment. And the consumer will see it because we are working on it, even this year, with a lot of events that will scale into next year. Finally, we will also continue to explore new and ever-evolving store concepts. 
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
  • Connubia Reef by Leviís
For more information, visit Levi's and Connubia website.
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