“Did you bring your mom?” Kyle Renner asked earnestly when I arrived at the Georgetown Levi’s store Friday night. My friend had been planning to take her mother along, but it hadn’t worked out. “Okay,” he said. “I just wanted to make her comfortable, if she came, let her know she’s totally welcome.”
Anyone’s mom would have felt comfortable at the party George Washington students threw at Levi’s Friday night. No one was getting sloshed, or even sugar-high: the only drink on tap was Perrier. In one corner, a band (Once Okay Twice, who would like everyone to know that Jon Voight came to one of their concerts) played bland covers of Weezer and Marvin Gaye. As parties go, this one was oddly tame.
Last fall, two GW students were selected to be part of a Levi’s ad campaign. They won a trip to New York for the photo shoot, and last Friday Levi’s threw them a party at the Georgetown store to celebrate their modeling debut. Kyle Renner, a graduate student at the Elliot School, and sophomore Sarah Piscitelli each invited 20 friends to the event.
One of Renner’s guests was Fred Siegel, Associate Vice President & Dean of Freshmen. Renner got to know Siegel when he was on the soccer team: the field is right outside the dean’s Mount Vernon office. Siegel and his wife would act as surrogate parents at games-Renner’s real parents are in Alaska.
“He looks like a Levi’s guy,” Siegel said. “And it’s nice for GW to have a winner at anything.” He was a little disappointed that Renner’s photograph was not up in the store yet. He wasn’t a Levi’s fan himself: he says he asked Renner if he should wear the brand to the event and was told nothing would fit him. Elliot School professor Edward W. Gnehm, Jr. was also invited by Renner.
“I live in New Jersey, so going to New York wasn’t that exciting,” Piscitelli said. “But I had never stayed in a hotel there before, and that was really cool.” Her favorite part of the shoot was talking to the people behind the camera: “I talked to the producer and he offered me an internship.” As for the photos themselves, “they look really good, considering none of us are models.”
Renner said getting to know the other models was the highlight of his trip. He was more excited than Piscitelli to see New York, where he had only been a couple of times. “We got to ride around in this sweet stretch Hummer limo,” he said. “We drove past the U.N. during the day and through Times Square at night, waving our arms out of the hatch and people were like, ‘Who they hell are they?’ They must have thought we were famous, but then they saw we were just a bunch of college students.”
Piscitelli and Renner weren’t the only winners. During the event, Levi’s raffled off three pairs of jeans; anyone who tried on a pair could enter. Soon the party looked more like a shopping spree, with people balancing dessert plates in one hand and denim in the other. After the raffle, assistant store manager John Woodland concluded the event with an unveiling of the pair’s ad. The picture will be seen around the area and in The Hatchet. An ad featuring all eight winners will be produced nationwide.
“I’m totally stoked,” said jeans winner Amanda Powers. “I’m going for the super expensive ones.” As for the party itself, “It would have been better if there was alcohol.”