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Brief Published: 30 Aug 2018

Levi’s Customisation Pop-Up Predicts Denim Retail’s Future

Levi's Pop-Up

Levi’s is targeting custom-hungry customers at its 10-week, invite-only pop-up in Los Angeles. Shoppers use the brand’s FLX laser-printing system to design their dream jeans in minutes.

The pop-up smartly plays to consumer demand for semi-bespoke products – 70% of US shoppers will pay more for personalised goods (TimeTrade, 2017). Shoppers use an iPad app to arrange their desired design features, such as fading and rips, onto the denim. The FLX laser printer creates the order in minutes, and the jeans are then washed and ready within an hour. 

The process resembles Adidas’ Knit For You pop-up in Berlin, where shoppers worked with designers to create an entirely unique sweater (see blog). But Levi’s limits personalisation to embellishments only, making the technology easier to scale. The denim company hopes to install customisation kiosks in its stores for 2019, and it’s not the only name making such a move. Earlier this year, Danish shoe brand Ecco launched in-store 3D-printing for personalised insoles (see blog).

As highlighted in our report Democratised Design, the introduction of creative technologies, particularly in-store, offers brands unique opportunities for consumer engagement. But by allowing shoppers to design their own jeans, Levi’s also offers a more sustainable product. 

As discussed in the Finishing Salons section of our report Brand Spaces, 2018/19, on-demand personalisation concepts reduce waste by letting consumers determine what they want on an as-needed basis. Laser printing also cuts down on harmful dyes, which account for 31% of emissions in denim production (Levi Strauss, 2018). The denim industry is projected to be worth $87bn by 2023 (PYMNTS, 2018). 

The Los Angeles pop-up runs until October 10 2018. For more inspiration on customisable retail, see Retail’s Spirit of Adventure in our Macro Trend Active Lives.