Taking a path that's more Saville Row than mallrat, Levi's is offering up a few new ways to make your jeans fit your genes.
With a customization area at the Levi's flagship store in San Francisco and "Original Spin" kiosks across the country, designing a customized pair of denims is a snap.
Rhinestone hearts, hippy embroidery, tie-dyed jeans...step into the Levi's shop in the city by the bay, and your jeans fantasies can be fulfilled.
"We have everything — to ribbon trims to fringe trims to beads to sequins, rhinestones, nail heads, a lot of embroideries," says the San Francisco store's Karen Burbano.
Wait, nail heads?
"Nail heads are a little like the rivet on jeans," she explains. "Little metal bits we add to the jeans." Some jeans enthusiasts go for stars studding their back pockets, others place nailheads up and down the seams, to "bring attention to the length of the leg," she says.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg for the customization area, where you can turn your jeans into art for as little as $2.
The embroidery designs include dragons, floral motifs, Asian characters, buddhas and more. Customers select thread color, size and placement, and even fonts for names scrawled in "the gas-station attendant look." "We did some garments for (singer) D'Angelo," Burbano says. "And we embrodiered his name or "D" in Japanese characters."
And it's not just for kids. "An older lady mentioned that she was getting it for her husband, who must have been in his 70s," says Burbano. "She was getting an Asian character embroidered on the back leg portion of his jeans."
And if add-ons aren't to your taste, why not take something off? A laser machine etches the indigo off jeans or jean jackets, leaving behind a tattoo imprint.
The service is currently only available at Levi's flagship store in San Francisco, although a customization van is currently making the rounds around the country and will stop at different retail stores and concert venues.
Turnaround time varies from 10 minutes to half an hour to half a day. The average price for customization is $20.
The Perfect Fit
And if you're just looking for a pair of jeans that actually fit you, not a size model, head to your neighborhood jeans store to get yourself sized up for a pair of "Original Spin" jeans.
With the help of a little interactive kiosk and the measuring-tape-wielding salesperson, you can select a basic jeans model — classic, low-cut or relaxed — then go hog wild with the details. Color, fly style, leg style, to go carpenter or not ... they're all up to you. And forget about getting those new jeans hemmed: you can choose inseam measurements by half-inch increments.
Original Spin jeans start at $45, with some additional charges for certain looks. You won't get into your jeans right away, however — orders take two to three weeks for shipping. Check out the Levi's Web site for participating stores.