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Friday, February 23, 2024

Levi’s had a great 2023 making denim a part of everyone’s life

Levi’s is a household name, a brand so familiar to the entire planet that it’s practically become the genericization of “denim” or “jeans.”  Levi’s had a solid 2023 and remained a class of its own. It is challenging to gasp just how massive its year was.

 Levi’s is keeping things conservative on the financial side — it reported a modestly underwhelming full-year forecast for 2023, expecting  $1.51 billion in revenue instead of the expected $1.54 billion.

However, on the style side, in terms of coolness and taste, Levi’s is hitting peaks unheard of for a heritage label. There aren’t many other centuries-old companies capable of doing what Levi’s is doing now.

Levi’s began 2023 by collaborating with a handful of inarguably excellent companies: UNDERCOVER, AMBUSH, Junya Watanabe MAN, and effervescent streetwear brand Stüssy. Heck, Levi’s and Stüssy are so close that they dropped two collaborations this year alone.

It proved its stylistic chops by partnering with luxury labels like KENZO — separate from a standalone NIGO team-up released several months prior — and edgy fashion wavemakers like ERL and Slam Jam. Levi’s also flexed its insider-y chops by linking with cultish imprints like JJJJound and Bornxraised.

“Denim is a part of everyone’s life and a must-have in anyone’s wardrobe. [In particular,] Levi’s is a staple — it’s all my father wears today,” founder Justin Saunders told media. For the most part, the 501 is an icon that doesn’t need to be changed whatsoever, he added.

501, Levi’s signature pair of pants turned 150 in 2023. Its special drops for the year included eco-friendly pants, Japanese-made jeans, and one pair of $900 dungarees that hearken back to the good ol’ days of miners wearing their Levi’s ’til they collapse.

Levi’s hit niche markets with a Studio Ghibli collab and a campaign starring K-Pop phenom NewJeans — was there ever a better group of blue jeans pitchwomen? Then there’s Levi’s footwear, which ranges from a surprisingly excellent New Balance 580 collab to an even more surprising and excellent debut team-up with Crocs, which birthed a pair of handsome denim-flavored clogs.

And that’s not touching on Levi’s Vintage Clothing, the in-house high-end Levi’s line responsible for those $900 miner jeans and an expectedly strong selection of heritage-minded classics. Levi’s Made and Crafted is quietly improving season-on-season, and the reintroduction of Levi’s Silvertab was long overdue, bringing baggy ’90s goodness to the Y2K-crazed consumer.

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