When we were first approached about being the only bike shop in Manhattan to carry Levi’s soon-to-launch line of jeans and jackets for cyclists, it was tough to keep the excitement under wraps. Teaming up with with Levi’s, an American brand with a rich history of delivering durable products, was a no brainer. Levi’s garments are so stitched into the fabric of our culture and work-a-day life that extending the brand to casual cycling was a no-brainer for us.
A meeting was had one early raining morning at the Levi’s store in the Meatpacking District, with a senior designer for Levi’s garments and the masterminds behind the cycling denim line. The purpose of the meeting was to deliver a thorough introduction to the line and to pass some ideas around about a limited edition Commuter Line jacket for NYC Velo (details coming soon).
In 1853, the California gold rush was in full swing. Shortly after Levi Strauss’s arrival to San Francisco, a prospector wanted to know what Mr. Strauss was selling. When Strauss told him he had rough canvas to use for tents and wagon covers, the prospector said, “You should have brought pants!,” saying he couldn’t find a pair of pants strong enough to last.
Well, times have certainly changed, but the need for pants strong enough to last hasn’t, nor has Levi’s attention to form and function. It seems entirely “fitting” that a company with as much experience and history as Levi’s would have an interest in a functional cycling jean and jacket line.
Building on the fit of their already successful 511 Skinny Jean, Levi’s is utilizing Swiss fabric brand Schoeller Technologies, and their Nano Sphere Technology + 3X dry textile treatment. With this process, Levi’s is creating a happy marriage of their fine fabrics and super tech treatments, making for water resistant, stain resistant, self cleaning (dirt shedding), durable and long lasting garments, with good stretch and range of motion.
Over the past few years, there has been an increasing adoption and acceptance of cycling as an alternative, viable mode of transportation (specifically commuting), with that a growing number of people are embracing cycling as an everyday part of life. This dramatic growth has spurred many an apparel company to release their version of the cycling jean, each with their own sense of design and integration of cycling-specific features, often with a hefty price tag. Levi’s certainly won’t be the last company to put forth a cycling jean, but it’s refreshing to see a company with enough industry juice to launch a pricey and exclusive product opt to go the affordable route, practical without sacrificing quality.
More details to come when the line officially launches in the shop, stay tuned for launch party dates and info!