Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Levi Strauss Sets Sights on Gap in Pants Market

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Levi Strauss Sets Sights on Gap in Pants Market

Article excerpt

To fill perceived gaps in the men's pants market, Levi Strauss

Co. is introducing two new collections of Dockers khakis _ one for middle-age guys whose corporate casuals aren't casual enough for the weekend, and another for guys in their 20s who use a skosh less room.

Both styles will have more jeans-like tailoring _ with flat fronts, button-fly openings, deep front pockets and stonewashed fabrics _ than Levi's traditional Dockers, which were originally designed for aging baby boomers who were outgrowing their 501s.

At a press conference in New York Monday night, Levi's executives introduced the pants, described as "khakis with a blue jeans soul."

To promote the new lines, the San Francisco-based apparel maker will spend $34 million during the next 18 months _ its biggest marketing blitz ever.

San Francisco ad shop Foote, Cone Belding has produced a national TV advertising campaign that breaks in August. The whimsical 30-second spots, with the tag line "Nice Pants," will be aired during such shows as "Seinfeld" and "The Late Show With David Letterman."

In addition, Levi's and music magazine SPIN will host block parties in September in six U.S. cities, including San Francisco. At the parties, Levi's, using a new technology called Projection Media, will project full-motion images of a khaki-clad man in surreal scenes onto the exteriors of buildings.

Anne Stuhlreyer, vice president of marketing for Dockers, said both new lines are designed to fill a void between blue jeans and the casual clothing that many men are wearing on dress-down days.

"The crisp khakis that men wear to work are perfect for the office and dressier social occasions, but not relaxed enough to wear to a football game, or cool enough to wear to a bar or club," said Stuhlreyer. …

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