Coca-Cola, Lee Jeans: Celebrating a connection that stretches back more than 80 years
Celebrating a connection that stretches back more than 80 years, Coca-Cola® and Lee Jeans are launching a new fashion collaboration, inspired by the official Coca-Cola Bottler uniforms which Lee created in the 1930’s.
This collection is being supported by an integrated campaign that will run across Asia Pacific. Themed “Real Buddies”, the campaign is a salute to the long and lasting friendship between two brands that have an authentic connection. The work takes a refreshingly retro approach to fashion advertising that defies category conventions. Inspired by vintage Coca-Cola and Lee Jeans posters from the 1940’s and 1950’s, the campaign features modern day moments captured using vintage illustration techniques instead of fashion photography.
Titled “Real Buddies Since 1930”, the four painted images evoke the classic nature of the two brands, showing moments between buddies that reflect the close nature of Coca-Cola and Lee’s relationship. Each of the four images is a classic homage to their shared cultural history, showing iconic moments of friendship – girlfriends dancing in front of their townhouse at a block party, riding down Ocean Drive in sunny L.A. with a BFF, an idyllic afternoon at the county fair, and creating shared memories with a group of friends at a music festival. While the images have an authentically vintage vibe to them, hidden elements in each scene hint that this is not some lost moment from long ago, but a timeless moment that could be happening now.
The integrated campaign includes print, event, in-store, social, digital, and public relations. In a surprising twist, these vintage visuals were brought to life to create video content, giving their old-world charm a modern interpretation that echoes Lee’s long history of innovation and reinvention. Social activations and content celebrate real world “Real Buddies”, drawing people into the story. These are supported by on-ground events such as flash mobs featuring Coke® X Lee Bottlers reminiscent of the original 1930’s bottlers, challenging friends on the street to demonstrate their “Real Buddiness”.
The campaign launches XX December.
Inspired by the official uniforms for employees of bottlers of Coca-Cola which Lee created in the 1930’s, this year’s Coke X Lee collaboration takes work-wear and gives it a modern fashion twist, celebrating Lee’s 130 years of purposeful craftsmanship and innovation in creating practical-and-durable yet classy-and-fashionable creations. Back in the 1930’s, Lee’s uniforms for bottlers of Coca-Cola were neat and smart with head to toe stripes. The uniforms proved so popular that Lee made identically-dressed limited edition Buddy Lee figurines, cementing their iconic identity in popular culture.
The current collection takes cues from the two brands’ most iconic elements throughout history: stitching reflecting Coca-Cola’s Dynamic Ribbon and Lee’s Lazy S, the Spencerian script, the contour bottle, Lee’s spade-shaped back pocket and others.
Based on the original purchase order for uniforms found in Coke’s archives, Lee has created a modern interpretation of this classic piece of work-wear. Available in a unisex style with iconic head to toe stripes, the pants, jacket and cap all follow the original fabric specs, but are cut for a much more modern and fashion forward fit, with iconic Coke and Lee embroidery realized in the finest detail.
Elongated rider jackets and carpenter jeans with Coke embroidery give a rugged casual/utilitarian look, while cropped hoodies with classic brand graphics keep it real and authentic. Both looks take classic work-wear utility and give it a fashionably modern aesthetic twist.
If you want to get real and authentic but with a dash of character, a union-all based on historic Lee work-wear keeps it light with a touch of Coke branding, while washed black oversized rider jackets contrast with a classic Coke red tee for a signature look for both Coke and Lee.
Whether it’s built from Lee’s classic 91J work coat, a Coke red rider jacket with contrasting white stitching, or a Coke bottle evolution tee, the two brands’ history and authenticity are proudly on display.