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Brand World

Icône de la mode

13/04/2015 - par Mark Tungate

Entre Levi's et notre chroniqueur anglais Mark Tungate, c'est une histoire qui remonte à 1987 sur King's Road et vient de connaître un nouveau chapitre sur les Champs-Elysées. Il est question de jeans, bien sûr, mais pas seulement.

I bought my first pair of Levi’s 501s in 1987, I think, from a shop on the King’s Road called American Classics. The trend those days was to buy them second hand (the term “vintage” had yet to be invented). Mine had clearly belonged to a decorator: they were splashed with white paint and holed at the knee. I thought they were the coolest leg wear ever.
I’ve been wearing 501s ever since, although I defected recently to the slimmer 525. No point in wearing vintage now that I am, actually, vintage. But apparently I wasn’t the only one, because Levi’s has just re-launched its iconic jean in a skinnier version called the 501 CT (customised and tapered). Call me a victim of advertising, but I rushed to the store on the Champs-Elysées to buy a pair.


One of the many great things about the store is that they alter your jeans the same day. Mine are always too short (yes, reader, I am afraid you are dealing with a non-tall person). I was told to come back after lunch and pick them up. One croque monsieur and two glasses of rosé later, I returned, hopefully with my waist size intact. The only person in the alterations area was Mariama, who happened to be the Levi’s PR coordinator. She gave me a bit of background on the re-launch. “In fact we learned that our customers often tailored their 501s to give them a slimmer look, so we decided to launch a model inspired by them.” Good customer service is one thing, but changing the design of a legendary item of clothing would seem to go beyond the call of duty. In fact, the design of the 501 has subtly evolved since its launch 140 years ago, and the pre-CT version is still available.


I stepped out into the sunshine with that slightly light-headed feeling you have when you make a new purchase. Just down the road, glossy and beautiful horses were filing into the Grand Palais for the Saut Hermès, reminding me that denim was first designed for riders, especially cowboys. I may have found the hidden link between Hermès and Levi’s. Apart from the fact that they are both classic and utterly reliable. Fortunately, my jeans are a little more affordable.

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