Levi's / Brooks Brothers jeans are a match made in L.A.
The company that gave the world the button-down shirt and the folks who invented the blue jean have joined forces.
That was the news last week when it was announced that two of the most storied brands in the American male wardrobe -- Brooks Brothers and Levi Strauss -- were rolling out a five-pocket denim collaboration. The three different fits and six washes -- based on Levi's familiar 501 (button-fly), 505 (zip-fly) and 514 (a.k.a. the Slim Straight) styles -- went on sale July 29 at Brooks' website and select retail locations (including the Rodeo Drive flagship store), for $148 (more than double the price of regular Levi's, but comparable to other five-pocket jeans sold through Brooks' website).
It's the latest example of the fashion industry's ongoing fascination with collaboration. Brooks Bros., of course, has famously collaborated with designer Thom Browne for its Black Fleece collection. Levi Strauss has been on a blue streak of collaborative ventures over the last year, recently partnering with the likes of Opening Ceremony, Shepard Fairey's Obey label and even the Ace Hotel.
So what exactly does a collective 329 years of experience look like in a pair of pants (besides the cool printed interior pocket bag design that includes both companies' names and logos)? I couldn't quite suss it out from the press materials, so I popped over to Rodeo Drive over the weekend to check them out.
Although I couldn't compare the fit (my size appeared to be M.I.A), aside from a dark leather back waistband patch in place of the more familiar one, the jeans on hand looked a lot like every other pair of Levi's I've ever donned; dark, clean, solid-looking jeans that felt like they were built for the long haul.
But, there is one major difference as the rather unwieldy name "Levi's Jeans, Made in the USA for Brooks Brothers" makes clear, these jeans are crafted in the good old U S of A -- right here in Los Angeles actually (the 501s I'm wearing as I type this were made in Lesotho) -- so even if you're hard pressed, as I was to notice any differences between these and Levi's regular offerings, you might actually stand a little taller knowing you've supported the local economy.
Think of it as voting with your seat.-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: Three styles and six washes of Levi's Jeans, Made in the USA for Brooks Brothers, which retail for $148 each, went on sale in Brooks Brothers retail locations, and at Brooks' website on July 29. The jeans are made in Los Angeles. Credit: Levis Strauss.