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Introduction

Welcome to SPOKE A zine publication about cycling in Manchesters Northern Quarter. Made by the notorious design collective; Gangster Squad including: Andrew Werdna, Edward Shrewsbury, Gabriella Wilkins, Hannah Southwell, Jess Pollard, Ling Tang, Matt Smith & Mia Geczy. We hope you enjoy it.


“YOU GROW UP, YOU CAN’T RIDE A BMX, YOU CAN’T RIDE A SKATEBOARD, SO YOU JUST FIND THE NEXT STUPID THING YOUR MOTHER DOESN’T APPROVE OF” - BÖIKZMÖIND


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SPOKE gives levis commuters a solid 4 out of 5 stars for design, effiencey, and innovation.


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WHY ARE CYCLISTS GOING CRAZY FOR LEVIʼS COMMUTER JEANS?

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AN INTERVIEW WITH JEWON YU, THE COMMUTER HEAD DESIGNER

What is the direction and concept behind Leviʼs Commuter? Commuter was the answer in San Francisco and within the company to a pair of jeans that could withstand the wear and tear of daily commutes on bikes as well as the weather changes one might encounter here in SF. For instance, for most of the country, itʼs sunny in the summer but here in San Francisco, for example, itʼs drizzling lightly and overcast. Commuters were already wearing our jeans; we just wanted to offer them a little something extra to our already iconic pieces. But as an obvious global movement we realized there was the potential to reach more people and meet their needs as well. From a price point perspective, it is affordable performance. What are your thoughts on the viability of performance to the masses? Consumers want more for less. Thereʼs definitely a shift in the expectations and demands of everyday things and I think clothes are no exception. Most people canʼt afford whatʼs currently out there and we didnʼt think that was acceptable. Being an accessible, all inclusive brand is what has sustained Leviʼs all these years and we will continue to challenge the notion that innovation has to come at a price. How does the research begin and end for a project like this? Starting this project was easy since everyone could relate and it seemed like a no-brainer; however, this project will never really end as long as there is a need and people continue to change their lifestyles. We will continue to challenge what is expected from the brand and explore all the options in fabric innovation. What are some of the difficulties youʼve encountered? Probably one of the greatest hurdles was adding the performance aspects to the denim, which is nearly impossible and very hard to do. Many people were skeptical but we were fortunate to have some very talented people at the company and access to resources that made this possible. How do you maintain the legacy of Leviʼs while pushing forward? Context is everything. We donʼt mess with whatʼs worked for the past 150 years but what we can do is get the consumer to think of our products in a different way. We will continue to innovate without changing what the consumers already love. The addition of extra hidden reinforcements, subtle changes to construction and performance benefits are just a bonus. Thereʼs always a careful balance of the iconic and newness we consider and want to offer. Social context is important as well and we see this as a big global movement as more and more people opt for the two-wheeler instead of the four as a means of transportation.



Spoke Issue 1