Levi’s Introduces New Premium Line

Since the days of Earnest Sewn and Paper Denim & Cloth, Levi’s has been trying to crack the premium denim market with little luck. Now, Levi’s is introducing a new premium line. Called Levi’s XX, headquarters for the line are based in Amsterdam, which means this expansion definitely has its eyes set on the European market. “Established a year ago, the division soft-launched a new premium denim and sportswear label globally last spring, called Levi’s Made & Crafted, with a full rollout coming for fall,” says Women’s Wear Daily. “Additionally, the existing Levi’s Vintage Clothing label, which offers high-end replica designs from the company’s archives, was expanded into a more comprehensive collection this year.”

Jeans will run in the $150-$225 range, while leathers will run upward of $850. “The label will be in 62 North American men’s accounts and 178 men’s doors this fall, including Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, American Rag, Sharon Segal at Fred Segal Santa Monica, Scoop and Steven Alan,” says WWD. As for its women’s line, proliferation will be about a third as that of the men’s market (73 percent of Levi Strauss & Co. business was in men’s last year). The move is no doubt in sync with fashion’s collective emphasis on Americana and brand history. (Or, why everything old is new again.) Whether the market has recovered enough from the recession to embrace high-priced denim again remains to be seen.

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