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Levi to enable customers to 'design' their own jeans

Customers of Levi will soon be able to design their own Levi jeans through the use of new laser technology developed by the company.


Levi to enable customers to 'design' their own jeans

Customers of Levi will soon be able to design their own Levi jeans through the use of new laser technology developed by the company.

Shoppers will be able to decide what colour they would like their jeans to be, and for lovers of distressed jeans, the “level of destruction” or wear and tear.

Marc Rosen, Levi’s president of direct to consumer, told delegates at the World Retail Congress in Amsterdam that the service will launch online in the US in the autumn.

He said: “The consumer is changing faster than ever, and technology is evolving faster than ever, It’s up to us to find the intersection points and seize the opportunities.”

The inspiration for the service came after a two-year quest by the company to reduce the amount of chemicals and water used in manufacturing its classic blue jeans and denim jackets. This then led to the development of new laser technology which can be used to fade and finish the jeans in a fraction of the time. 

Rosen said it had cut a labour-intensive process of 18 to 20 steps that took up to 12 minutes per pair of jeans, to a three-step method done in 90 seconds. It is also more environmentally friendly.

He added: “It’s a change in our business model from selling what we make to making what we sell. In product model it’s a shift from producing finished goods to producing a blank canvas. Consumers will then be able to decide what colour they want their jeans to be, what level of destruction they want and where they want that placed on the product.”

Rosen suggested that the customisation could eventually be done in local distribution centres instead of far-off factories and that stores will shift from being a product showroom to become a collaboration studio. 

He added: “If you think about a traditional store, the consumer comes in and sees stacks of finished goods that we finished earlier in the process and made the decision about what they might like.

“Here they’re able to come in and take a blank canvas and design their own product. That elevates the role of our stylists and our tailors. They’re some of the best at customising our product but now they get to share that experience with consumers.”

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