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Is country music really saving Levi's?

Comparing data

Is country music really saving Levi's? Comparing data

What came first, denim or cowboys? While in Europe the history of jeans dates back to the 1500s (the first pair was born in 1871), in American culture it began to emerge in the twentieth century thanks to miners and farmers, who needed durable clothing, as well as cowboys. Today, the concept of workwear plays a central role in street style, as does the western aesthetic, which, in addition to flared jeans, includes pointed boots, tooled leather belts, and curved hats. Cowboy style periodically comes back into fashion, usually in response to releases by American artists: following this theory, Levi’s, one of the world's largest clothing companies, may thank Beyoncé's new album. According to CBS News, the singer's duet with Post Malone in the single "Levii's Jeans" transformed the album "Cowboy Carter" into a gold mine for the brand. After the project was released, Levi’s stock increased by 20%, a phenomenon said to confirm the so-called "Beyoncé Bump". After the track's release, the company changed its name on Instagram to Levii’s.

It was January of last year when Levi’s noticed a shift in consumer tastes and a decline in sales, in 2021 when it was forced to lay off 15% of its total workforce. In the first quarter of 2024, the company faced the same problem, with revenue decreases of 11% in America and 7% in Europe, for a total loss of $11 million. This year too, Levi’s will have to reduce its workforce by 15%, but recent studies by Newsweek and Statista show that the brand is still America's most trusted according to consumers. According to the "Beyoncé bump", it is possible that the return of the cowboy aesthetic will bring Levi’s back into fashion, although as the latest data on the second-hand industry show, more and more people prefer to buy used. The road to success seems to be a more challenging path than expected for the brand, which meanwhile seems to have already rolled up its sleeves to improve its fortunes. Last summer, it launched the first pair of plant-based jeans, while this spring it inaugurated the exhibition "Icons, Innovations & Firsts. Stories of Heritage and Progress from the Levi’s® Archives" at Mudec in Milan, in an effort to evolve the company's offerings with new technologies and to celebrate its heritage with immersive exhibitions in its own archives. The western aesthetic is back in full swing, but to find out if Levi’s new initiatives and Beyoncé's song will help boost the brand's sales, we'll have to wait.