Lee Union Alls 100th Anniversary x Easy Pack Creation Union

Lee Union-Alls collection is symbolic of the workwears and an important milestone in the history of denim history, encouraging the American workers to live the American dream with their sweat and blood since 1913. To celebrate its 100th Anniversary this year, Lee collaborates with local creative unit, the Easy Pack Creative Union, inviting 10 of their creative members to re-design a unique edition of “Lee Union-Alls 100th Anniversary” overalls. The creative art pieces will be exhibited in Lee’s flagship store in Causeway Bay, to carry on its mission of promoting the union spirit. 
As the industrial development in America in the early 20’s grew massively, workers form different unions to bond themselves in fighting for their own future. The Lee Union-Alls introduced in 1913 were designed with practical details that catered for workers’ smallest needs, thus receiving the recognition of United Garment Workers of America on its design and quality, soon gaining its popularity among worker unions. 
What inspired the Lee Union-Alls actually came from the workers’ working needs. In 1913, a truck driver at Lee complained to Henry David Lee (H.D.Lee), the Founder of Lee, that his uniform was rolled up every time at truck maintenance, causing his clothes underneath to be stained by hard-to-remove dirt from the truck. Promptly inspired, H.D.Lee quickly rushed back to his workshop and sewed the uniform jacket and pants together, giving birth to the first Coverall in history. He named the collection Lee Union-Alls, unveiling the development of Lee workwear designs. Made to tackle the different needs of workers, Lee Union-Alls came up with designs like multiple pockets, Bib Overall for easy access and holding of workers’ tools, the protective Coveralls and the Loco Jacket specially designed for rail workers etc. From the garage, construction sites, railways and lumbering sites, workers are all well covered by Lee Union-Alls, a new synonym for workwear.
Such design details are intentionally kept in the overalls used for the 100th Anniversary collaboration, including the chest pocket and a tools pocket on the side, a reminiscence of the workers’ spirit and diligence. A limited quantity of 100 pairs of overalls is produced; each with a unique number assigned, which are not intended for sale.
“The members of Easy Pack have one thing in common, that is they all believe in the beauty of handicrafts, like the leather craftsmen at Butcher Lab; The Cave who recreated furniture out of unwanted wood and the trio at KaCaMa that produces lightings using recycled materials. This very belief glues together all independent creative studios to the craftsmanship-oriented Creative Union, just like the work union in the past,” said Aidan, the founder of Easy Pack Creative Union. He also thinks that the modern day people emphasize too much on time efficiency, ignoring the fun of working as a group. “Redefining the overalls for Lee not only celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Lee Union-Alls, but also records our fun and satisfaction in the process of hand-making, and reminds us the sweat and blood of the American workers’ lives decades ago. It’s important to keep its original details while we re-create the overalls in order to preserve and highlight the 100 years of workers’ history. As modern craftsmen, our mission is to re-express the work union’s spirit while at the same time attaching our passion on handicrafts in the overalls. We tried to achieve this by working on small details,” explained Aidan, which also echoed the spirit of Lee’s attention to details.
Starting from 10 June 2013, the 10 hand-crafted overalls and other works of each creative team are displayed at the Lee flagship store in Causeway Bay. Snap a photo of the overall that you like and post it on Instagram before 14 July 2013. Make sure you include a hashtag #leejeanshk, as you may be able to bring home the very overall if your photo gained the highest number of Like’s! Details, check out Lee Jeans Hong Kong Facebook fan page.

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