AllSaints Relaunches Music Performance Series 'LA SESSIONS': Exclusive
Way past business hours on a rainy Sunday night in Beverly Hills, a fourth of AllSaints’ flagship store has been transformed into a sparse, dimly lit performance space. The clothing brand—a staple for the chic bad-ass—is relaunching their LA Sessions series, where viewers can watch videos of both burgeoning and established acts rock for a song or two.
Tonight British newbie Harlea is parked on a stool with several cameras locked on her, panning from face to shoes. The songstress is singing an acoustic rendition of “Miss Me,” her debut single, while exclusively wearing their apparel. “It has an attitude that I think works with AllSaints,” she later says of the track. "It’s edgy, dark and mysterious.”
Her Fever boots tap to the guitar rhythm. Both her knees are exposed thanks to tears in her Mast blue jeans. Harlea’s Patch Military shirt is partially unbuttoned. And it’s all topped off by a black Tassel Balfern leather biker jacket. It’s front and back fringes dangle as she sways.
Currently, she’s a relative unknown in the U.S., but the poignant showing she turns in should earn Harlea her fair share of new fans. And that’s what AllSaints Brand Ambassador Oliver Trevena is banking on. “We try to be the brand that does take the gamble and believes in the rise of an artist,” he says. “She’s an incredible vocalist with an incredible look and an Arctic Monkeys kind of vibe.”
Out now, fans of the video are able to shop and purchase Harlea’s head-to-toe look. It’s an advanced marketing tactic, considering most clothing labels of their stature are still content with collaborating with artists who only post photos of themselves wearing marquee items on social media platforms like Instagram, which often feels more like a business dealing than a natural relationship between them and the clothes they love. In contrast, Harlea loved AllSaints before she flew stateside to perform for them.
“I got my first leather jacket from AllSaints [when] I was about 13,” she recalls. “It was everything that I am: It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t so far out. It was that perfect balance of cool and edgy and wearable.” And now here she is essentially modeling for them.
“We’re showing you how these clothes can be worn as a lifestyle,” Trevena adds. “I’d prefer to see bands wearing our stuff during a performance over having a band post a picture on [social media saying], ‘Hey, look at my AllSaints jacket!’ That medium is completely saturated. That’s where Sessions comes in.”
Founded in 1994 and based in East London, Trevena mentions that musicians have gravitated towards AllSaints’ rocker-friendly style over the years. “Every week we get an email from an artist or publicist asking if we can dress their artist,” he says. Now with Sessions in their arsenal and series alums like OneRepublic and Cage the Elephant on their resume, it’s become a wish-list item when acts are planning their album promotion rollout.
But don’t expect just anyone with a potential hit single to be in the running for an LA Sessions. With a focus on those who fit AllSaints’ brand identity, Trevena cautions that “we stay away from acts that are too commercial or too poppy. We don’t want it to look inorganic. I’m not going to drop names, but I’m pretty sure you can assume who wouldn’t work in our clothes.”
The goals for Sessions are quite simple: increase foot traffic to AllSaints stores and move product.
“We want to create awareness,” Trevena says. “Since doing Sessions, the amount of people who come into the store because they know it’s on Beverly Drive has risen. And we notice that the pieces [artists] are wearing in the videos start selling more.”
Throughout summer 2017—on the last Friday of each month, acts ranging from duo FRENSHIP to Imagine Dragons, who AllSaints loaned clothes to before they were a Grammy-winning band, will be featured on Sessions. They can all be viewed at us.allsaints.com.
“I’m super excited to be doing a Sessions,” Harlea says. “They have the coolest bands play in them and to be one of them is really amazing to me.” Expect many more to be singing the same tune this year.