A Downstroke On the Backbeat

By 1962, Jamaica had shrugged off colonial rule, but that political independence is just gift wrapping over the island’s deep cultural underpinnings - a collective creativity and self-determination so influential that the styles and sounds of Jamaica still reverberate around the world.

Jamaicans traveling to America in the late 50’s through the 70’s rounded up R&B, soul, and jazz records and the threads of juke joint youths. Returning home, musicians reinterpreted American music into Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae - sounds of a lifestyle that continues to be a potent cultural export.

Chronicled in the iconic 1978 Jamaican movie Rockers, Levi’s Vintage Clothing head designer Paul O’Neill pulls from the archives some classic clothes made personal by rude boys. Blending workwear, sportswear, and tailored clothing, FW ‘18 explores how those American clothes became a distinct style worn for hardscrabble living and dancehall release.

Featuring washed denim, bold patterns, and relaxed layers, the fall collection is hold-steady and hang-out ready - tailor made to feel good when out and about and showing teeth.

It’s a collection that continues that exploration off the stacks and into the streets - the evolution of how things are worn and how they create their own rhythms to life’s winding two-step dip and bounce.