When one thinks of Nintendo video games of the 80s, one character in particular comes to mind: Super Mario. The hero in the blue overalls became Nintendo’s most famous video game character, prompting the Japanese game maker to turn him into their mascot. Now, Super Mario is appearing again, this time in a special capsule collection for US denim brand Levi's, available from 1st April 2020.
Super Mario is many things - plumber, sportsman, doctor, gentleman kart racer - although you'd be hard pressed to call him a fashion icon. That said, not many of us can pull off denim dungarees like he does and it seems that clothing company Levi's is a fan of the Mushroom Kingdom resident's no-nonsense, workmanlike approach to dress sense. Yes, assuming you've collected the requisite number of coins, you'll be able to wear the latest crossover featuring Nintendo's mascot.
Levi's has launched a handmade denim accessories collection in partnership with Cooperative Porto Alegre, a non-profit organization that provides job training for vulnerable people, including the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers. The Levi’s x Coop Porto Alegre capsule collection, which will be available to purchase in selected Levi’s stores and on its website, comprises a selection of tote bags, large pouches and pencil cases made from excess Levi’s denim and fabrics repurposed in Porto Alegre workshops.All net proceeds from the collection will be donated directly back to Porto Alegre to further support the organisation’s work.
Founded in 2001, Porto Alegre is a social cooperative based in Rovigo, Italy, that works to support the most vulnerable members of society, including the homeless, people with health issues, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The partnership is part of a programme established by Levi Strauss & Co over the past three years to support organisations that are providing critical services and assistance to refugees. The programme, which is focused largely in Europe, works with refugees at many different stages, from displacement and disruption to resettlement and longer-term community integration.
The US denim maker’s partnership with the Porto Alegre centres in the tailoring and dress-making workshop founded by fashion designer Rita Cassetta. The workshop will provide pre-professional training for refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom have worked as tailors and dressmakers in their countries of origin. Adele Ballotta, senior director ecommerce, site merchandising and operations at Levi Strauss & Co Europe, said: “At Levi Strauss & Co, we’ve always believed that how we make our products is just as important as what we make. The Levi’s x Porto Alegre collection is an example of that belief and of our commitment to being a force for positive change in our communities.
“For Levi's, working with Nintendo's Super Mario fit like a glove. Ever since Levi Strauss patented his first studded jeans in 1873, the brand from California has stood for outstanding design. The inventor of Super Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto, is also one of the most successful designers in the history of video games. Mario has appeared in over 200 games since 1981, making him a globally recognised icon, just like Levi's," commented the company in a press release on Tuesday.
The Levi’s x Super Mario capsule collection cultivates a street style feeling and offers rich, bright colours and graphics and combines youthful energy and creativity with nostalgia. Popular characters like Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Princess Peach appear prominently on t-shirts, hoodies, jackets and jeans, but also as Super Mario details such as small gold coins, mushrooms and stars. There are also Levi's tabs in special colours and buttons in red, blue, green and yellow. The 501 '93 Straight Jeans features a special 'Power Up' selvedge and a Mario print around the waist.
Tote bags, banana slings, bandanas and wallets with Super Mario all-over print and baseball caps, denim truckers, shorts and overalls with Super Mario print complete the collection. The prices of the individual items have not yet been announced.
The Levi’s x Super Mario capsule collection will be available in Levi’s stores worldwide from 1st April 2020 as well as via levi.com. This certainly isn't the first clothing crossover featuring Nintendo's finest, but these items look pleasingly high-quality and Levi's have a reputation for being resilient and hard wearing - the perfect match for the plucky plumber. Let's hope they come at a sensible price.
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