The iconic American denim brand said it's helping facilitate the switch from skinny to baggy.
"I think we're kind of leading this trend to some extent," Levi Strauss (LEVI) CEO Chip Bergh told analysts Wednesday on a call discussing the company's fourth-quarter results. "The line that we launched [is] a loose-fit line this past season. It's in our stores now [for] both men and women. It's sort of a loose, straight fit, and it's off to a very, very fast start."
Bergh also called out the "trend towards more casual, looser fitting clothes in general."
That change in style still hasn't been enough to lift sales. Levi's on Wednesday reported fourth quarter sales, which included the year-end holiday shopping season, of $1.39 million for the period ended Nov. 29, down 12% from the same period a year ago.
As with most retailers, Levi's attributed the decline primarily to pandemic-triggered store closures and a drop in customer traffic in its own stores and other outlets that carry its branded denimwear. Levi's (LEVI) stock was down 8% Thursday.
Looking forward to what factors will drive demand for jeans in 2021, Bergh said the need for "casualization" will be a prominent.
Levi's isn't the only one seeing baggy jeans take off. Los Angeles-based JNCO, known for its wide-leg styles in the 1990s, relaunched its jeans in 2019. The jeans range from about $130 to $200 in price, and some pairs feature embroidery and distinctive stitching.
"While the pandemic overall has been a negative for many brands, it has lifted our sales," said Camilla Revah, JNCO's vice president of sales and marketing.
"Our jeans are iconic, they are comfortable and it's what people are looking for right now.