Skinny jeans are out and loose denim is in vogue. The world is in a new denim cycle, says Levi’s CEO

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Goodbye skinny jeans, hello mom jeans.

The world may finally be entering the first stages of a new denim cycle. According to Levi’s CEO, skinny pants are suddenly out of fashion and shoppers young and old are flocking to baggy, wide and flared jeans. It is reminiscent of a particularly prolific fashion trend in the 1990s.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this resonate with consumers,” Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., told TBEN Thursday of the looser denim styles. “Cycles come and go. And I think the pandemic has certainly played a big role with consumers looking for more comfortable and relaxing denim.”

Bergh said Levi’s started noticing an increase in sales in these new styles of jeans when he launched two different cuts early last year: a pair of jeans that puffed up at the bottom and one that was high-waisted and ample. connection.

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“They’re definitely taking off, and it’s definitely a new trend,” Bergh said of jeans, for women and men.

Much of this change has been driven by young consumers. Gen Z is everything for so-called mom jeans. Today, the style is everywhere on teen favorite websites including Shein, Princess Polly, Urban Outfitters, and Revolve.

In Piper Sandler’s biannual “Taking Stock with Teens” survey released Wednesday, “mom jeans” ranked as the third fashion trend for teenage clothing. Baggy or dropped pants classified n ° 2, behind the leggings.

A separate note from the UBS retail team earlier this week noted how fashion trends in the denim category are evolving. He recently completed a global Google search analysis that found a significant increase in online browsing in January 2021 compared to January 2020 for new styles of jeans, including ‘wide / wide jeans’ and’ jeans. straight “, while searches for” skinny jeans “” were less robust.

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“Some people have said this is going to create a new cycle of denim, and we think that could very well be true,” Bergh told TBEN. “The last real denim cycle was driven by skinny jeans. And that cycle lasted for about 10 years.”

“I don’t think skinny jeans are ever going to go away completely,” he continued. “But it’s clear that right now we’re seeing a very high demand for these looser cuts, both from the men’s side of the business and from the women’s side of the business.”

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Earlier Thursday, Levi’s reported double-digit sales decline for its fiscal first quarter, as ongoing store closures in Europe and lower pedestrian traffic in the United States due to the Covid pandemic weighed on the results.

But the denim maker has improved its sales and profit outlook for the first half of the year, assuming the global health crisis doesn’t worsen from here. CFO Harmit Singh said in an interview with TBEN that the company expects sales to return to 2019, pre-pandemic levels by the fourth quarter.

Levi’s shares are up nearly 25% year-to-date, as the market closed on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $ 10 billion.

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