Blue jeans are increasingly going out of style, and even industry heavyweights like Levi’s and Gap are taking notice.
Teens are now buying more gear from Nike and Lululemon over denim classics from brands like Abercrombie, according to a recent Piper Jaffray survey on teen spending.
Levi’s CEO has admitted that the company is threatened by the athleisure trend of wearing yoga pants, Bloomberg reports.
“We’re scrambling,” Bloomberg notes CEO Chip Bergh told analysts last year. “I mean, there is a big difference between the product that we’ve got on the floor today and what the consumer is looking for. And we just flat-out missed it.”
Bloomberg reports that Levi’s, which is the world’s most iconic denim company, stuck to its core product instead of adapting to consumer trends.
As a result, this has cost the company. Bloomberg notes sales have dipped from over $7 billion to $4.8 billion over the years.
“As we saw ‘casualization’ continue even further, the customer basically told us that they had enough denim until something really unique and innovative came along,'” NPD analyst Marshal Cohen told Bloomberg. “We really saw the denim industry and denim retailers basically turn their nose up on the customer and say, ‘We don’t care what you really want, we’re going to tell you what you want.'”
And longtime industry leader Gap isn’t all about jeans anymore.
The company is investing heavily in its Athleta activewear business, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed.
“My generation grew up wearing jeans – jeans are just a part of our life, and it still is, Athleta executive Nancy Green told Buzzfeed. “But this generation is growing up in yoga pants and activewear. So I think it’s just going to be bigger and bigger and bigger for the future.”
Athleta has more than 100 stores and is expanding fast. The brand is seen as Lululemon’s biggest competitor.
Gap’s namesake and Old Navy brands are also including more leggings and jogger pants.
As young consumers grow up, it’s likely they’ll continue to wear leggings and activewear instead of jeans.