Levi Strauss & Co. is a worldwide corporation organized into three geographic divisions: Levi Strauss Americas (LSA), based in the San Francisco headquarters; Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East and Africa (LSEMA), based in Brussels; and Asia Pacific Division (APD), based in Singapore. The company employs a staff of approximately 10,500 people worldwide. The core Levi’s was founded in 1873 in San Francisco, specializing in riveted denim jeans and different lines of casual and street fashion.
From the early 1960s through the mid-1970s, Levi Strauss experienced significant growth in its business as the more casual look of the 1960s and 1970s ushered in the “blue jeans craze” and served as a catalyst for the brand. Levi’s, under the leadership of Walter Haas Jr., Peter Haas, Ed Combs, and Mel Bacharach, expanded the firm’s clothing line by adding new fashions and models, including stone-washed jeans through the acquisition of Great Western Garment Co. (GWG), a Canadian clothing manufacturer, and introducing Permanent Press trousers under the Sta-prest name.
The company experienced rapid expansion of its manufacturing capacity from 16 plants to more than 63 plants in the United States from 1964 to 1974 and 25 overseas. They used of “pay for performance” manufacturing at the sewing machine operator level up.
2004 saw a sharp decline of GWG in the face of global outsourcing, so the company was closed and the Edmonton manufacturing plant shut down. The Dockers brand, launched in 1986 which is sold largely through department store chains, helped the company grow through the mid-1990s, as denim sales began to fade. Dockers were introduced into Europe in 1993. Levi Strauss attempted to sell the Dockers division in 2004 to relieve part of the company’s $2 billion outstanding debt.
Launched in 2003, Levi Strauss Signature features jeanswear and casualwear. In November 2007, Levi’s released a mobile phone in co-operation with ModeLabs. Many of the phone’s cosmetic attributes are customisable at the point of purchase.
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