Levis studied 60,000 body scans for its latest jeans range

Levi's studied 60,000 body scans for its latest jeans range

Fashion brands are adding the shape of their shoppers to sizing considerations, and Levi's will be hoping the launch of its Curve ID jeans fits the bill.

Levi's new women's jeans range uses a fit system based on curves and follows a study of 60,000 body scans by the company. It signals the growing importance of shape in meeting the requirements of fashion customers.

A spokesperson for Levi Strauss & Co tells just-style: "Finding the perfect fitting pair of jeans is a search that most women dread. More than half of women (54%) try on at least 10 pairs of jeans to find one pair they would buy.

"The Levi’s brand believes that all women deserve to feel beautiful in their jeans. But creating the perfect fitting pair of jeans isn’t as simple as just measuring a woman’s waist. We created three new custom fits that are based on the curves of a woman’s body, not just her waist size."

Levi’s Curve ID jeans are sold in three fits, the Slight Curve, Demi Curve and Bold Curve. While some focus is taken from size to shape, the waistline and leg length are clearly most central to the fitting process.

Ed Gribbin, president of sizing firm AlvaInsight, a division of Alvanon, tells just-style: "Shape is not 'replacing' sizing, but it is increasingly being used to differentiate sizes and allow brands to broaden their appeal. There will always be smaller and larger women, hence the need for sizes; however, more and more brands are realising and acknowledging that at any given size there are a multitude of different body shapes."

Gribbin noted that no brand can accommodate all shapes, at least not cost-effectively, but they can identify and focus on the two or three most prevalent.

There is some hope that the adoption of shape indicators may ease another consumer grumble - that sizing varies from one fashion brand to the next. However, shape is also open to inconsistencies.

Gribbin says: "Even more than sizes, shapes are interpreted differently by different brands. One brand's 'curviest' fit could be another's straightest fit. It all depends on who a brand views as their core or target customer demographic, what the data says about how shapes are distributed in that particular population, and then (importantly) how a brand chooses to differentiate specs to accommodate those different shapes."

However, as an isolated case Levi's new range is expected to speak volumes to the frustrated shoppers that the company surveyed. For instance, it found that 87% of women "wish they could find jeans that fit better than the ones they own", and that 67% believe that jeans are designed for women with “ideal” figures.

Levi's used 3D body scans to work out custom fits for its own shape measurements, based on the difference between the measurement of a woman’s hip and seat. "We believe this new fit system is going to change the way women think about fit and shop for jeans," the company says.

Gribbin agrees that Levi's has done its research. "We think Levi's will have a huge success on their hands with this launch and, yes, others will try to copy or follow their lead. Many already have, in fact, but a common pitfall has been insufficient differentiation between shapes, and consumers can't really tell the difference," he adds.

Therefore, while still in its infancy and far from universal, the issue of shape is growing ever more meaningful.