From Yahoo News: SHANGHAI – Jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. launched a new global brand in China on Wednesday, joining a growing list of companies that hope to crack this fast-growing and youthful market by tailoring their products to Chinese tastes.
Models at the launch were wearing sneakers and high-heeled sandals: not a cowboy hat or boot in sight. The new brand is aimed at young consumers in emerging markets, starting with China, Singapore and South Korea.
From Nissan sedans to watches and Hermes luxury goods, global companies increasingly are designing products and brands with the Chinese market in mind as incomes rise amid rapid economic growth.
The newest incarnation of Levis will aim at a broader segment of Chinese consumers than traditional Levis, which sell for over $100 in the upscale malls along Shanghai’s tony Nanjing Rd. shopping strip.
“In the last few years we seen a new group of consumers,” said Aaron Boey, president for Levi Strauss’s Asia-Pacific division. “Many of them want stylish clothes but at accessible prices,” he said. Levi is calling the new brand “dENIZEN.”
The Levis brand enjoys an avid following in China, among a relatively limited number well-off younger shoppers, some of whom are collectors.
“Some people favor the classics, such as No. 501; others look for different designs and some are obsessed with Levis’ cowboy spirit or the history behind the brand,” said Christina Wong, managing editor of INSTYLE magazine in Shanghai.
San Francisco, California-based Levi Strauss is keen to expand its base in one of the world’s biggest consumer markets, where sales of apparel and footwear hit $169 billion last year, according to a report by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, and growing at a healthy double-digit pace.
Already, sales of garments and shoes in China have outpaced pricey Japan, accounting for more than a third for all of Asia, and increasingly, fashion-conscious Shanghai is viewed as a foothold for the region.
A slew of retailers have crowded into the city’s department stores and malls, from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton to more affordable labels like Esprit and H&M. In May, Japan’s Fast Retailing opened a mammoth flagship Uniqlo outlet on Nanjing Rd., where crowds lined up for weeks to check out its latest line of China fashions.
From beverages to shampoos, global companies are finding ways to appeal to local consumers with made-for-China brands.
On a more upscale note, Hermes International’s new China brand of clothing and other products, Shang Xia, will debut with the opening of its first store next month in Shanghai.
Levi Strauss, which retreated from the China market for a time in the mid-1990s citing concerns over labor rights, now has hundreds of outlets in China and plans to open up to 1,000 by 2015.
The company, which also sells Dockers pants and Signature brand products, is honing its focus on China’s emerging middle class — a popular strategy in the recession-stricken age of less-is-more in more mature Western markets.
The new label Levis jeans will sell for the equivalent of $40 to $60 — a range likely to suit the relatively young 20-40 age range that dominates China’s spending on clothing and accessories.
The first dENIZEN shop will open later this month in Shanghai.
With Lee, Diesel and other big brands coming on strong, there is plenty of competition.
“If Levis doesn’t move quickly, it might lose market share,” said Wong.
Many Chinese consumers are keen on a local, or “nationalistic” identity for the products they buy and companies are matching this, even if products are destined for the global market.
Nissan Motor Co.’s Teana sedan, for example, has a full-size back seat, conservative looks and a reasonable price. It is sold globally, though it was designed with Chinese buyers in mind.
“We have not seen this before to the extent we are seeing this in China. We are dealing with 1 billion people with income per capita growing exponentially,” said Max Magni, a partner with consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
“Chinese consumers are not brand loyal, but they are brand conscious. They are trying something new all the time,” Magni said.
At the same time, consumers are becoming more pragmatic and looking for extra value, and having a brand that caters to their tastes can provide some of that extra appeal, he says.
Images and article from Yahoo News.
Lisa Linde wore Urban Renewal Levi’s cutoff shorts to the Nylon + Express August Denim Issue Party. Lisa used to play Ali McIntyre on Days of our Lives and is also James Marsden’s wife. They have been married for 10 years now!
Lisa sure knows how to show off her gams in these shorts! I don’t care what anyone says, Levi’s are still awesome and a very “in” brand!
Images Courtesy of Wireimage
Levi’s has announced the launch of their newest fit, Curve ID, which will launch September 2nd.
The new line has been a long time coming. For the past 1.5 years, Levi’s has been studying women around the world. The company studied and conducted body scans on over 60,000 women in 13 different countries. From this, they concluded, that women dislike shopping for jeans.
Curve ID, aims to make denim shopping a more pleasant experience, by acknowledging that different women have different body types. “The fits that we’re launching will account for 80% of the women’s body shapes in the world,” commented Levi’s president, Robert Hanson.
The brand will feature 3 distinct styles, One, for women who find the fit in the hips and thighs good but are too tight in the waist, a demi curve (if your jeans “usually fit in the waist but don’t flatter the figure”) and a bold curve (if jeans “fit in the hips and thighs, but gap in the back”). There will be a fourth style launched later in the year, and the company estimates it will then have 96% of body types accommodated.
For example, the photo below illustrates 3 women, each with a 27″ waist but with different curves. Levi’s Curve ID aims to accommodate these curves through their offerings of different styles.
So far these celebs have stopped by the LA showroom to pick up the jeans; Emma Roberts, Eva Amurri, Kat Dennings, Amber Heard, Julia Jones (Twilight) and Rutina Wesley. Katherine Heigl is also wearing several different cuts in her new movie ONE FOR THE MONEY.
The line will feature waist sizes from 22-34, in straight leg, boot cut and skinny styles. They will also come in a variety of different washes, with prices ranging from $64-$148.
Although the line officially releases September 2nd, it is available in some stores as well as at Levi’s.com.
Images and article from Levi’s and LAtimes.com
Looking to relax for a bit, Mischa Barton was spotted on board a luxurious yacht of the coast of St. Tropez, France wearing a pair of Levi’s cutoff shorts that have the back pocket patched. I wonder if these are WGACA (What Goes Around Comes Around) shorts, but I can’t find these exact ones online so it’s hard to tell for sure, but they are definitely vintage Levi’s!
Mischa certainly looks relaxed as she smoked a suspicious-looking cigarette and spent time with her boyfriend DJ Ali Love. They were rumored to be picking up some “adult stuff” from the Coco De Mer erotic boutique before making their way back to Mischa’s swanky hotel room. Sex, drugs and rock and roll anyone? hehe.