“There was a loose story of a swamp and a woodsy feral girl,” smiles Barbie Ferreira of the mysterious and unearthly campaign images that accompany her multi-piece capsule collection for Levi’s. When the American actress and I speak over Zoom, it’s morning in LA and a bleak and blustery evening where I am in the UK, but Ferreira feels far more affinity with London’s less than dry forecast. “I wanted to do the shoot at night, in the wet!” she says, laughing.
The New York native – who was a face of Levi’s 501 Originals in 2021 – says she spent her high school years in a Canadian tuxedo, and enjoyed teenage dalliances with light wash cotton, skinny and boot cut jeans. But for her Levi’s capsule collection, available in a joyfully inclusive range of sizes, the Euphoria star was keen to design the “silhouettes I’ve dreamed of”.
There’s an imaginative sense of narrative to Ferreira’s style. Back in 2022, when she curated 7 Days 7 Looks for Vogue, her eclectic ensembles included pieces by Miaou, Collina Strada and Mirror Palais, inspired by a “bratty schoolgirl look” or, “Renaissance fair, but in a cute way”. Her Levi’s get-ups for this grungy dreamscape? There’s a “not too short” pleated and distressed chartreuse skirt, a slouchy sweeping coat in washed black denim, a lace-up corset with smocking details “to get snatched” in, and a pair of bleach splattered 501’s that reflect Ferreira’s love of things that “look chewed up”.
When Ferreira went to meet the Levi’s team at the brand’s San Francisco HQ, she arrived armed with an iPad full of initial collection doodles. “I’m by no means an artist, I do the stupidest sketches just for funsies,” she laughs. Continuing that hand-honed theme, the pieces also feature a cartoonish “demon bunny” graphic, which glows in the dark on an oversized black tee, inspired by one of Ferreira’s own tattoos and designed by the artist – and her best friend – Ben Evans.
For Ferreira, designing a line that wasn’t just normatively sized or “plus-sized” was paramount. “I tried on all of the pieces and we tried them on different fit models and different body types,” she explains. “The collection isn’t just for women – it’s for everyone to play around with.”
Working on it also proved to be something of a creative reunion, with Ferreira tapping artist Petra Collins – who has shot for Gucci and Blumarine, directed numerous music videos for Selena Gomez and Olivia Rodrigo, and shot an erotic book of fairy tales with another Euphoria star, Alexa Demie – to photograph the campaign. Ferreira first began working with Collins as a teen model, and they have now been collaborating for over a decade. “She was the first person to photograph me when we were kids!” says Barbie. “It’s so nice to work together like a big family.”
This article was originally published on British Vogue.