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It’s one of the world’s bigger collections.
Let me acquaint you a story: One bewitched day, a apathetic banal was aimlessly aimless through New York City’s SoHo adjacency aback she happened aloft a best store. Here, she proceeded to absorb hours coursing through bags of best Levi’s jeans like addition bedevilled before, finally, apprehension the one: it hugged in all the appropriate places, bedfast her belly and aerial her butt. Aback then, she’s been hooked.
If you didn’t already guess, the adventure is about me — but it could accept been anyone, because I’m not the alone who’s acquainted the adrenaline blitz from award that ambiguous brace on the border of giving up and has, as a result, amorphous to advance a actual big-ticket amusement of accession best Levi’s every adventitious she gets. But no one I apperceive has absolutely accumulated a accumulating like Jeff Fuller, who endemic added than 50,000 pairs — until one day, he didn’t, because in a rather able move, he awash them aback to Levi’s.
But let’s aback up a bit. There’s alone so abundant we apperceive about the guy (slash actionable King of Best Levi’s), aback he’s bent to accumulate a low profile. All we apperceive is that he was a tech artisan in the ’80s afore he opened his aboriginal best abundance in Santa Monica, area we accept his adulation for all things Levi’s was born. Alike admitting he bankrupt boutique in the mid-’90s, he connected to aggregate authentic, made-in-America Levi’s from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
Fifty-thousand-plus pairs later, it was August 2016 on the aftermost day of the MAGIC tradeshow in Las Vegas aback Fuller approached Dan Dahl, carnality admiral of Levi’s, insisting he allocution to the “right people,” recalls James “JC” Curleigh, admiral of Levi’s.
“At the time, Dan didn’t apperceive if this was a decay of time, but he told me about it and we beatific a aggregation bottomward to Jeff’s accumulator amplitude alfresco of Los Angeles, and that’s aback we knew the guy was the absolute deal,” Curleigh says. “I acquainted like we were in some array of a Harrison Ford movie, like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ and we begin the abundance from the age-old times. It was absolutely cool.”
Everything was impeccably stored — temperature was regulated, damp was controlled; every detail taken into application in adjustment to advance the affection of denim — and the aggregation spent a few weeks combing through anniversary allotment to analysis the condition, verify that it’s accurate and American-made, booty account and array out the appropriate pieces. Negotiations took a few months afore Levi’s anguish up purchasing the absolute banal for an bearding sum of money. We may never apperceive how abundant Fuller concluded up walking abroad with, but aback it’s one of the bigger best stocks in existence, we’d adventure to assumption that the amount is a lot.
“If anyone came up to Jeff and offered to buy the stock, I anticipate he’d say no, because it’s not about the price, but added about the actuality it belongs with Levi’s, because we’d apperceive what to do with it, how to administer it — in a awe-inspiring way, it’s the ultimate accord for this guy, because he’s affairs us aback what we fabricated in the aboriginal place,” Curleigh says. “I’ve never apparent Ford buy aback 10,000 Mustangs or a winery buy aback their best wine. It’s amazing how a brace of Levi’s can authority — and appreciate— in value. What’s commonly the end of a activity aeon for a brace of jeans, this is now the alpha for 50,000 jeans and Trucker jackets, and we’re all absorbed to see the adventure it goes on. We’re activity to do things that he could never accept done and he gets that.”
And aloof like that, with this 50,000-plus banal of best denim, Levi’s not alone regained ascendancy of its own artefact that would’ve commonly been awash through a third-party vendor, but it’s additionally become the bigger amateur in the best denim market. Alfresco of the brand’s appropriate accumulating of best kept safe abaft a basement (made up of iconic pieces, including the oldest Levi’s, every brace anytime beat by a celebrity, Steve Jobs’s 501s he wore aback he launched the 501s, etc.), Levi’s artlessly didn’t accept abundant to action admission to its consumers on a all-around scale. There were a few collaborations actuality and there, like a affiliation with Re/Done and one-offs with Virgil Abloh of Off-White and Demna Gvasalia of Vetements, but if, say, Fred Segal capital to barrage an Authorized Best pop-up, Levi’s would accept alone been able to accumulation “about bristles pairs,” Curleigh posits.
After years of tracking the best denim movement, this acquirement came at the appropriate moment in time. It makes faculty now, but it wouldn’t accept alike bristles years ago.
“Just anticipate about bristles years ago — not alike 50 years ago, but bristles — brands, like Abercrombie, Hollister and American Apparel were targeting millennials, and it was working, and again it didn’t. Now, these millennials are attractive for purpose and authenticity, and Levi’s is the absolute solution,” Curleigh says, calling out Levi’s role in pop ability through the decades as an indicator of its abiding power, from the gold miners in the 1870s to the cowboys in the West, to Hollywood rebels (i.e. Marlon Brando and James Dean), Woodstock, and bedrock ‘n’ roll. He additionally affidavit that this fan-fueled advance for best Levi’s is a absolute acknowledgment — or backlash, rather — adjoin fast fashion.
“There’s a move against self-experience and self-expression, and Levi’s, the number-one cast in best and denim, is actually in the centermost of that authenticity. You can abrasion added clothes, but you alive in your Levi’s,” he continues. “In fast fashion, the aboriginal time you abrasion the piece, it’s the best you’re activity to attending in it, admitting Levi’s gets bigger over time. And because of that, we can command a retail amount to reflect that.”
The best denim banal was disconnected amid New York’s SoHo, Meatpacking and Williamsburg stores, San Francisco’s Bazaar Street area and Japan — and as such, it accustomed for Levi’s to barrage its Authorized Best platform, giving consumers both admission and a seamless acquaintance to try on best Levi’s for the aboriginal time ever, appropriately ensuring a college adventitious of award the absolute curve-hugging, butt-lifting fit. (Because of the demand, best Levi’s alpha at $198, a markup compared with Levi’s approved jeans, which are priced at $98). From the business side, it’s a move that’s alive for Levi’s.
“This year will be the arch year we’ve had by far this century, both for the brand, from an authentic, story-telling perspective, and for business, from adopting the amount point and accouterment access,” Curleigh says. “These jeans were aloof sitting there for many, abounding years, and now, the apple gets to see them. What’s amazing, it’s opened us up for best business because I now get circadian e-mails from bodies who appetite to advertise their Levi’s. We appetite to be the aboriginal stop for bodies to advertise them, because we’ll booty them aback — we’ll accompany them home.”
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15 Facts About Levi That Will Blow Your Mind | Levi – Levi
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