• Future Finish offers consumers a new way to customise denim using laser-powered technology.
  • The personalisation technology lets shoppers customise denim with one-of-a-kind details, from rips to fades, patterns to patches.
Shoppers can choose from more than 3,400 possible permutations

Shoppers can choose from more than 3,400 possible permutations

US jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co has introduced a new online customisation platform that uses the laser-powered technology developed through its Project FLX initiative to digitise the design and development of denim finishing.

Future Finish, which is currently only available in the US, allows consumers to select a pair of Levi Strauss jeans – 501 Original and 502 Taper for men; 501 Short and 721 Skinny for women – in a lighter or darker denim wash, select from three different tints (midnight, black or rose), six patterns (natural worn, bandana, logo, camo or leopard), and add wear (rips or distressing).

Shoppers also have the choice of six different colour options for the leather back patch – blue, yellow, orange, pink, green or traditional leather – enabling more than 3,400 possible permutations.

Once an order is completed, it is sent to the Levi Strauss Sky Harbor facility in Nevada where the jeans are finished – using far fewer chemicals than traditional finishing methods use, and 100% recycled water – before getting shipped in specially marked packaging.

"Levi's fans have been customising our jeans for decades," says Jennifer Sey, CMO Levi Strauss & Co global brands. "They sat in bathtubs to shrink them to fit, they patched and repaired them, they sanded them down for the perfect worn in finish. Now, with Future Finish, we're making it easy to create a one of a kind custom pair of Levi's, which are sure to be your most coveted, favourite item of clothing."

First unveiled in February of last year, Project FLX (or Future-Led Execution) was built in-house at Levi Strauss's Eureka Innovation Lab by a team of designers, developers, chemists and engineers, with support from denim finishing technology specialist Jeanologia. The roll-out of the digital platform is due to be fully scaled in 2020.

The goal of the new digital operating model is to allow the jeans giant to slash time-to-market, bring final product decisions closer to the consumer, and strengthen sustainability. Specifically, it will replace manual techniques and automate the time-consuming, labour-intensive and chemical- reliant process of hand-finishing; create "photo-real" finished garments digitally; take advantage of on-demand and even hyper-local production capabilities; and eliminate thousands of chemical formulations from the supply chain.

"We are the first major apparel retailer to offer online jean customisation," says Gregory Themelis, director of global DTC omnichannel.

"Over the past three years, we have undergone a transformation online and in our stores to provide our consumers with the most inspiring, seamless and frictionless experience we can," adds Gregory Themelis, director of global direct-to-consumer (DTC) omnichannel for Levi Strauss.

"We are the first major apparel retailer to offer online jean customisation, but that's not the only way in which this is innovative. We are always striving to push the envelope and Future Finish is a revolution in both 'what' and 'how' we are creating a unique digital customisation experience for our consumers."

Marc Rosen, executive vice president and president of DTC for Levi Strauss, concurs. "It takes our relationship with the consumer to the next level – helping them personalise, understanding what they've made, understanding what inspires them, and understanding what they might want to make next. It deepens our connection with the consumer, and it deepens their connection with the brand. It's now our denim and it's their design."

Levi Strauss took to Twitter to announce Future Finish.

Click here to read just-style's recent interview with Michael Kobori, vice president of social and environmental sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co.