It's mid-price jeans that may be on the cutting edge of an economic recovery that, at the moment, is meager at best. On Monday, an ad campaign (take a peek above) will break for Lee Premium Select, a line of men's jeans that will sell for around $42 a pair. That price point is between basic jeans and designer jeans.
The time seems to be right for mid-price jeans, as shoppers search for quality products that represent value. Lee Premium Select joins other mid-price jeans in the category, including Dickies, 1969 (sold by Gap), and Levi's.
The celeb endorsing the new Lee Premium Select line is Mike Rowe, who has been a veritable commercial powerhouse lately. Rowe, star of the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs television show, is the spokesperson in a series of ads for Ford. He also pitches Caterpillar, W. W. Grainger, and Motorola.
Rowe is something of a blue collar hero. His Mike Rowe Works Foundation helps workers in skilled trades. Rowe tells the New York Times that he's looking for commercial partners who are interested in "reinvigorating the trades. It's something the country ought to be talking about. We've got to fall back in love with making things."
Rowe will appear in television and print ads and be featured on a microsite called Shopphobia. Primarily, he'll pitch Lee's good value and good looks. In one ad, he says, "A hundred bucks for a pair of jeans? Give me a break." He says Lee Premium Select costs "less than 50 bucks" and they make "my butt look good." The overall tagline for the campaign is, "Getting comfortable never looked so good."
Butts in jeans are also the focus of Curve ID, a new line of women's jeans being introduced in September by Levi's. A campaign for the Levi's redesigned women's jeans boldly states, "All asses were not created equal." The line includes three different cuts, Slight Curve, Demi Curve and Bold Curve.
Levi's president, Robert Hanson, told the Los Angeles Times, "The fits that we're launching with account for 80% of the women's body shapes in the world. And when we launch the fourth one — our most extreme curve — at the end of this year or early next year, then we'll have 96% of women covered."
Levi's is also partnering with Filson, a Seattle-based apparel-maker, on mid-ranged "workwear"-inspired denim, a continuation of its work-inspired summer campaign.
If Curve ID is not quite customized enough for consumers, they'll get a lift and a laugh out of Old Navy's latest gimmick. The retailer is suggesting that women take photos of their butts and feed them into its new "Booty Reader" microsite to find a pair of jeans that fits just right.
And skinny jean-wearing moms who feel like their kids are being left out have nothing to worry about, either. Skinny jeans are all the rage for toddlers and kids.
Gap, for example, makes skinny jeans from zero to three months. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that 40% of the retailer's baby girl jeans, and 70% of its girls jeans, are skinny styles.
At least babies will have some stylish denim options when it gets too cold to strut around in denim diapers.