A lengthy article at Quartz discusses Levi’s decision to add stretch to it’s 501 jeans and WHAT IT ALL MEANS. They call it an existential crisis, a case of nerves stemming from the ongoing, increasing popularity of yoga pants.
I call it Levi’s ongoing quest to be everything to everyone. It’s a big enough company that they need to appeal to masses of customers—not just selvedge fanatics, not just soccer moms, not just fashion mavens. They’re targeting everyone, but they still need to feel like they’re targeting someone. There will always be another innovation with the goal of keeping or increasing its enormous customer base.
Earlier this year, they announced a rework of the 505’s (no stretch, zip fly), which was a rock-star favorite in the ’70s and ’80s. The brand unveiled a collab with Supreme to appeal to the urban skater set. It also recently announced a collab with Off-White for the fashion forward.
This is why I love Levi’s. It somehow manages to stay relevant and a brand I come back to again and again while accomplishing the impossible: being everything to everyone.