Besides the obvious ones, of course.
“If the consumer says, ‘It’s super stylish but it’s not comfortable,’ what you remember is, it’s not comfortable,” Jen, vice president of both brands, said. “If you say, ‘This DENIZEN jean is super stylish and it’s comfortable’ – then you’re coming back for it, you’re telling your friends about it.”
The relative new kids on the block in the Levi Strauss & Co. family are driving double-digit growth – as they have been over the last two years. Jen credits a lot of that success to the product itself.
Like their older sibling, the Levi’s® brand, both brands are in the jeans game. But they are going after another segment of the market – consumers seeking quality denim at a value price point.
“DENIZEN consumers are looking for great style at a value price. They are savvy shoppers who don’t want to spend too much money,” Jen said. “Signature customers are on a budget, but still want innovative, stylish, quality products.”
To make sure they are giving customers what they want, Jen’s team of merchants and designers take inspiration from the ways real people move through the real world. That means frequenting football games, Little League games, concerts, and Disneyland to take note of what people are wearing and how they’re wearing it. “And then you start thinking, if we can create something that makes this person’s life better, makes things easier while also making them look amazing, then we would actually be bringing them something new, something they must have.”
Stretch is a good example of that. Denim was losing ground to athleisure, and designers wondered, would people come back to jeans if they could get the comfort from stretch fabrics in the style of jeans? The answer was yes, and DENIZEN® was the first brand in the LS&Co. family to go super high-stretch, high-recovery – which Jen credits with propelling the business to where it is today.
Today, both brands boast fits designed to flex with the whole family. These product attributes have been pivotal to the growth of both brands in the last five years and will continue to be essential to their future success.
Another design insight driven by practical concerns: the hidden pocket. When cargo pants went out of style, men didn’t have handbags to fall back on. So, designers started incorporating hidden pockets in pant legs – making sure they were big enough for the phones of the moment (hello, iPhone 7 Plus), and hit the leg in just the right place.
That involves a lot of hands-on playing with the product, Jen said. “We wear test every fit, fabric and style in our line to ensure the consumer will love how it performs.
“Even with our maternity line, every woman on the team had to put the baby bump on while wear testing the jeans to understand how the product fit on a pregnant body,” Jen said. “You have to lead with empathy and put yourself in your consumer’s experience to truly deliver a product line they will fall in love with.”
Visit DENIZEN® from Levi’s® and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ to see what else the designers have in store.