In an effort to seize the top-end of the denim market it essentially created, Levi Strauss & Co. has established Levi's XX, encompassing Levi's Made & Crafted and Levi's Vintage Clothing premium labels.
The global initiative, based in Amsterdam, aims to consolidate the plethora of premium lines that fall under the Levi's umbrella overseas into one identifiable group, and pump up its premium presence here in the U.S. in the country's finer retail stores. Levi's reps told WWD the company that holds claim to the invention of the world's most popular pant has "struggled" to capture the high-end market.
Levi's Made & Crafted has been softly launched with a full roll-out bowing in the fall at Barneys, Bloomingdales, Saks, American Rag, Steven Alan and Fred Segal. The premium price range falls between $150-$225 for jeans, and up to $750-$850 for leather duds. The new high-end line seems to be an attempt to compete in the luxury jean market, though it also appears to run counter to the label's rugged-and-midprice brand identity.
Similarly, the existing Levi's Vintage Clothing collection comprises luxury replicas of the brand's classic styles. This year, the line was expanded and sent to a more select group of boutiques that also includes American Rag, as well as Brooklyn Denim Company, Ron Herman and others, for prices between $250-$850 for jeans and leather between $950-$1,200.
An interesting statistic in WWD's report is that the majority of Levi's business is actually menswear -- a whopping 73 percent. As such, the new premium goods are mostly for men, which seems like a strong indication of what men are really willing to spend on: jeans.