An exclusive Heath Ledger limited edition t-shirt has been created by Perth based designer, Elana Rosa in conjunction with New York based Photographer, Ben Watts to commemorate five years since Heath’s passing on January 22nd 2008.
This is the first time the Heath Ledger family has authorised the release of a product, which was made in celebration of Heath’s life.
As a huge fan of the late actor and a fellow Perth girl, it is with humbling pride that I announce Style Voyeur’s EXCLUSIVE – the story behind the creation of THE HEATH LEDGER COMMEMORATIVE T-SHIRT.
The t-shirt features an image of the Academy Award winning Actor, as his young self – shot through the skilful lens of Ben Watt’s (brother of Heath’s ex, Naomi Watts) in LA in 2004.
Style Voyeur caught up with Heath’s step-sister and designer, Elana Rosa for all the details on this Ledger family collaboration with Ben..
Style Voyeur: What is the reason you decided to take on this initiative?
Elana Rosa: We were having a family discussion about how to celebrate Heath’s life and the things he loved. We wanted to commemorate him and carry on his legacy and support those charities that he always did.
SV: Can you share with us some details about the shoot Ben and Heath did that day, back in 2004…
“We shot down in the LA river, I wanted to shoot something that Heath could have fun with and not about the fashion or just being good looking….which I knew he would not be so happy with. Heath loved surfing and skating so I knew it would make for great day of pics which Heath would enjoy. We tried free boarding from a truck we took down in the dry river bed …….not a lot of people would be willing to give this a go …. it can be dangerous and we reached some pretty high speeds …… Heath ate it up, even gave us the signal to up the speed! We spent hours down there the time just flew by because he was loving it and so was I ……I think that day (with a bit of good planning and the magic of Heath), we effortlessly made some of the best pics I’ve ever taken.
The sun shone hot that day …..a day I will never forget”.
Visit more of Ben Watts Photography HERE
SV: Where was the photo taken, why was THIS the photo of choice?
ER: These images were shot in the dried up Los Angeles River, 2004. We thought this particular collaboration with an Australian photographer would be beautiful, and there was nothing more fitting than this image by Ben Watts. It is one of the families favourite images of Heath which was gifted to us by Ben in 2008. It was a great day for both Heath and Ben and as Ben says, “with the magic of Heath, we ‘effortlessly’ made some of the best pics I’ve ever taken.”
SV: What was involved in your design process? What fabrics were used?
ER: I had ‘Heath’s t-shirts’ in mind through the design process…I used a high quality cotton jersey, and perfected the print digitally. It is a limited edition t-shirt and we will not be re-producing this style at all.
After Heath’s passing in 2008, a restaurant and bar he had planned on opening in Brooklyn with partner Jud Mongell was left in doubt…Heath’s father Kim came to the party and invested in the business on behalf of Heath and so on September 17th 2008, FIVE LEAVES opened at 18 Bedford Avenue, on a five point intersection near the Greenpoint-Williamsburg boundary in Brooklyn. Rosa has never been to the restaurant but tells me she intends on hanging out there every day when she visits New York this coming June.
I found a wonderful article from the New York Times – A Brooklyn Restaurant In Heath Ledger’s Memory – tracing the evolution of his friendship with business partner, Jud Mongell and Interior Designer/ Tattoo Artist, Scott Campbell, in which the boys share their experiences being friends with the actor and tell the story of how this, now cult New York haunt came to be realised.
The Five Leaves interior is by SCOTT CAMPBELL whom has also collaborated on a collection for Louis Vuitton..
Funds from the sale of the t-shirt will directly benefit charities Heath supported during his successful career, including; TELETHON TRUST PERTH, specifically the Children’s Brain Research Centre within Princess Margaret Hospital and AUSTRALIAN’S IN FILM. The LA based ‘Heath Ledger’ Scholarship fund.
From Wednesday 20th March to purchase your very own Heath Ledger t-shirt…