When a brand outlives the longest living human beings on the planet, attention needs to be paid.
For those of us who eat, sleep and live in our jeans, incorporation of Levi’s is comparable to the beginning of of time. 1873 was the year when Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a US Patent on their design of copper rivets which they had started using on then workmen’s denim pants to reinforce areas prone to wear and tear.
100 years later, jeans entered well into the mainstream culture and more noticeably, sub-cultures most prominent ones being the cowboys, hippies, skinheads, punks and of course, rocknroll. Today over a century and a half later, every one year old to eighty year old has at least one pair of blue jeans in rotation.
Jeans is the one of the greatest democratizing products ever to be made (to the likes of another centenarian brand/product, Coca Cola).
Its forgiving on every body type, sometimes a pair from Wal-mart turns out to be as dependable as one from Diesel and its as tough when its raw as it is laid-back when its distressed. Shapes and washes come and go, but denim remains forever.
To know that we owe a complete lifestyle and many ideologies to this one brand called Levi’s is nothing short of inspiring. Some would argue that the brand has lost its heyday sheen amongst a barrage of fast fashion and contemporary luxury brands, but its the fact that Levi’s still boasts of an identity that is stronger and more distinct than every other denim brand put together is what makes it a force in the fickle-natured fashion industry.
There’s no denying the ingenuity of its classic and historic designs (the whole world equates 501 to Levi’s) but its the marketing along with its product that has made the copper rivets, the Red Tab and the unmistakable signature ‘Batwing’ on the jeans’ back pockets a phenomena. From writing hard-hitting copy lines to capturing attention grabbing imagery, Levi’s has also set the bar high in the field of brand advertising.
Levi’s TV advertisements have brought many an old classic songs from the dead to trending Top Ten Charts. The lifestyle association and strong visuals have minted millions in royalties for the artists while cementing the cult status of the brand itself. The ‘Launderette‘ from 1985 is as just famous as the ‘Live in Levi’s” of 2014.
Levi’s explicitly marketed values of hard work, dignity of labor and youthful energy mixed with an androgynous, sexy vibe gives it a grounded, approachable persona while still retaining the aspirational nature of a fashion denim brand. Although like another great Chanel, its a privately-held family owned business, but the day it does decide to go public, we’ll be the first ones opting in.