Levi’s – Fashion Brand or Denim Icon?

Denim icon. There are a multitude of fashion brands in the market, especially in the jeans market, however none achieve the iconic status and brand salience as Levi’s. The fortified and unique image of the Levi’s brand allows them to not only be the most recognised but dominate the jeans market from markedly more expensive competitors. Levi’s can be mentioned in the same breath as Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Evisu, and in certain parts of the world they are considered a luxury brand; in southern Europe and parts of Asia and South America they are regularly preferred to designer labels.

An icon imbues legendary, revolutionary, original and unique qualities that are fully recognised and accepted by a large audience. An icon is a revered figurehead that is truly respected and regarded as a leader of their element. An icon that effuses a heritage of innovation and originality through 150 years of social and economic change and still remains at the vanguard of its field becomes a personality and a part of one’s life.

On a global scale people look to Levi’s for authenticity, originality and dependability, in other words they see it as the ‘real deal’. Worldwide Levi’s is accepted as an American icon, an idea furthered by creative images of ‘the jeans that built America’ and the global audience put their trust into the Levi’s ‘institution’ that embodies history, innovation and expertise.

As one would expect from a leader, Levi’s justifies its iconic image by their hand in consistently setting new trends, re-designing the marketplace and raising the benchmark for quality and satisfying consumers’ needs. Respect is not earned cheaply, and an icon is nothing without it. Levi’s through their values in integrity, empathy and courage have ventured and developed a high ethical conduct and social responsibility; observed from the 1960 Levi’s integrated southern plant, the positive representation in their advertising of older, disabled, black and ethnic people, through to the Community Involvement Teams and the Levi Strauss Foundation. These initiatives are not overlooked by the socially and ethically aware audience that now exists and thus the worldwide respect and trust put into Levi’s is regularly consolidated.

Another fact that confirms Levi’s iconic status is its longevity in remaining the most popular and respected denim brand that people want to be associated with. The history illustrates this: the 1950s Hollywood movies depicting the ‘biker boys’ cool image, the 70s Levi’s wearing ‘Saturday Night Fever Culture’, clothing the U.S Olympic team and the ‘Blues 501’ popularity in the 80s, and the cutting-edge unforgettable communications of the 90s up to the current day. Original creative ideas like ‘Laundrette’, ‘Flat Eric’, ‘Clayman’, ‘Twist’ and ‘Odyssey’ represent milestones in solidifying the global Levi’s appeal and raising its position up on a pedestal, akin to the status of an icon.

Endorsed by history and consolidated by the unique encapsulating imagery and communication by the advertising medium, Levi’s has ceased to be a mere fashion brand and has become an international symbol of continuous innovation, quality and dependability. Henceforth considering the range of appeal, from cowboys to skaters, and the depth of its global status, it remains very difficult not to accept Levi’s as the denim icon.