Skinny jeans aren’t dead. Actually, they’re Levi’s top seller.
- Skinny jeans were Levi’s top seller during the fourth quarter, CEO Chip Bergh said.
- That’s despite trend forecasters and Gen Z heralding the end of skinny jeans for nearly two years.
- Still, looser fits are selling well, Bergh said, as are mid-rise and lower-rise jeans.
Skinny jeans aren’t dead yet — in fact, they’re Levi’s top seller.
The denim brand revealed during its fourth-quarter earnings call Wednesday that customers are still flocking to its tapered styles, despite months of trend reports forecasting the demise of the skinny jean. The top-selling women’s items during the quarter were Levi’s 311 and 721 styles, both of which are skinny jeans, CEO Chip Bergh said during the call with analysts.
“As Mark Twain once said, ‘the news of my death has been greatly exaggerated,'” Bergh said. “I’ve been known to say skinny jeans will never die.”
Stylists and trend forecasters have heralded the end of skinny jeans for the past two years. Cause of death? Gen Z. Unlike their millennial predecessors, teens had started opting for straight-leg styles, boyfriend fits, and so-called mom jeans, and declared skinny pants canceled. Even retail executives have hinted that skinny jean-wearers were a little behind the times.
“I wouldn’t say the skinny is completely dead,” Daniel Kulle, CEO of fast-fashion retailer Forever 21, told the Washington Post in late 2021. “We still have late adopters buying them. But the fashionistas are going for ‘the mom’ and the flare.”
And according to Levi’s, those looser fits are selling well — Bergh said Wednesday that half of Levi’s revenues on bottoms this past quarter came from looser, baggier fits. Still, he said: “The skinny jean is not going anywhere anytime soon.”
But before millennials get too excited, Bergh did note that high-rise denim may be cycling out of trend, much to the horror of anyone who lived through Y2K. Levi’s offers several ultra-high-rise denim styles, including the Ribcage fit, which launched about 18 months ago. But the tide is starting to turn.
“Rises are now coming down,” he said. “We’re not quite to hip-hugger territory yet, but the mid-rise jean is kind of the hottest item right now. I think we’re going to continue to see this shift from high- to mid- and maybe even mid- to lower-rises as we go forward.”