Levi’s and Nike have collaborated on new performance denim designed specifically for skateboarders that arrives in stores this week.
It’s the first step in a new push by Levi’s to specifically target the action sports market with dedicated sales reps and product designed for this channel.
The 511 Skateboarding Collection incorporates Nike’s Dri-Fit moisture management system and stretch. In addition, the team edition jean
The Nike x Levi's signature shoe from Omar Salazar.
This global effort includes the 511 Team Edition Jean, which adds a Vectran weave to make the denim stronger and lighter, and a special edition of a signature shoe from Nike team rider Omar Salazar, which will only be available at core stores starting on July 4.
The 511 Skateboarding Jean, a denim trucker jacket and the Nike SB X Levi’s Dunk Low Pro will be available on August 1 at a wider range of retailers.
Joshua Katz, formerly of Quiksilver and now in Global Brand Marketing at Levi’s, answered some questions about this new collection and collaboration, and about Levi’s plans for this market.
Josh Katz: It's funny to talk about "targeting" or "entering" the action market because Levi's has always been there.
Whether it was "White Levi's" in the 50's and 60's, 501's and Orange Tab Levi's in the 70's, or 510's and 511's over the last five to 10 years, Levi's have always been part of this world.
But aside from our Street Wear Collection in Europe and the slimmer and more flexible "Action" jean we made in the late 70's, we haven't really designed products specifically for this audience or sold them in many of the places where they shop.
With the introduction of the 511 Skateboarding Collection, and subsequent programs like it, we are trying to bring the best possible jeans to the people that want them, where they want to buy them.
Because a lot of us come from this world and we feel like it's our obligation to tap into Levi’s 139 years of experience to make better products for the things that we do.
It's similar to the Commuter Collection, a line of products we introduced last year specifically for commuter cycling. We all ride to work and we wanted garments that we could wear on the commute, all day at the office, and then out at night. So we developed the 511 Commuter, a jean that is water resistant, flexible and includes safety features and other cycling specific elements subtly integrated into it.
The 511 Skateboarding Collection follows a similar logic and went through the same sort of design innovation process. We identified a problem and tried to come up with a simple and elegant solution.