Deconstructing the Ex-Girlfriend

Levi Strauss & Co.
January 6, 2014

Editor’s note: After finding out about the new Levi’s® brand jean, the Ex-Girlfriend, we had to hear “the back story” from the designers themselves. Here it is, from Casey Egan and JeWon Yu, pictured above:

We were backstage at an SXSW concert in Austin — styling an edgy rock band. As the front man looked at the choices we had, he zeroed in on a pair of girl’s floral-print skinny jeans. He was hooked.

That was the moment we both knew we had to make the Ex-Girlfriend jean.

Levi's Ex-Girlfriend Jean on ModelIt has never been a secret in the denim design world that guys looking to make a statement with an extra-skinny pair of jeans…go straight to the girl’s section.

We’d been thinking about creating a pair of jeans with a rock ‘n roll aesthetic for some time. Watching 75 percent of the guys at SXSW perform in these super-tight jeans only validated our idea.

We thought – hey, we can make a pair of women’s jeans for men with a tailored and proper fit.

So, we designed this outrageous pair of skinny jeans using women’s denim and finishing.

When these guys had been wearing low-rise girl’s jeans, they tended to slouch them low on their hips, so we made the top block a bit higher.

We also left a little more room through the hip and thigh, so the jean wasn’t saran-wrap tight.  It’s not a corset for men.

The fit is masculine and man-appropriate.

The name, Ex-Girlfriend, is a playful take on the gender ‘talk’ popular in fashion today. Women have been dressing in Boyfriend blazers and Boyfriend 501®jeans for quite some time.

The name also appeals to men seeking that severely skinny silhouette who are currently shopping in the women’s section.

The Ex-Girlfriend jean is a style we really believe in, and we wanted to push the design to the extreme.

Even the hang tags were fun to make. They say, “These jeans are tight.”

Levi's Ex-Girlfriend Tag