Levi Strauss & Co. is expected to report its second quarter earnings Friday. The legendary company is facing a sagging market for its signature product: jeans. Denim sales have been dropping for years, especially among women.
Levi’s made its first women’s jeans more than 80 years ago. Since then, we’ve seen bellbottoms, acid-wash, skinny jeans, low-rise, high-rise, super-pricey designer jeans ... the list goes on. But lately the innovation has slowed down, says Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association.
“There’s nothing new in the world of jean fashion,” she says. “There’s no reason for you to buy another pair of jeans.”
Levi’s is aiming to change that with a new collection of women’s jeans launched this week, promoted by the singer Alicia Keys. The line features new stretchier fabrics to compete with the “athleisure” trend (think yoga pants) that has cut into denim sales.