gender neutrality


Wear What You Love: Gender Neutrality in Levi’s®

Alex Harvey-Gurr, Unzipped Staff
Levi Strauss & Co.
September 11, 2020

Are Levi’s® 501® jeans men’s or women’s jeans? The answer: Both.

Over the decades, they have been worn by men, women and gender non-conforming folks alike even despite products being designed specifically for one gender, like our women’s 501®. The reason? The anti-fit pattern that the franchise is built on, as well as the fit that has stood the test of time.

“Our original 501® portfolio of fits is meant for a variety of bodies, no matter the gender,” explained Karyn Hillman, chief product officer. “The shaping within the pattern through the seat and rise inherently molds to your shape.”

This anti-fit pattern shape isn’t just in the 501® franchise, either. It’s also in several other Levi’s® fits, including the 505, Ribcage Straight, Loose Straight and our new 551Z fit launching next year.

“We’ve seen the rise of young consumers not focusing on whether a product is labeled men’s or women’s and are instead more focused on how they want to wear their style and fit,” Karyn said. “When we’re styling and working with artists, celebrities and influencers, they just pick what they love. A recent example of this is the launch of our Levi’s® XX Chino at the Miami pop-up earlier this year. We saw women wearing the men’s chinos, and men wearing the women’s chino. It was very exciting to see our product adopted in this way.”

Building gender neutrality into our products remains a focus for the teams. Many of our collaborations – including Stranger Things and the upcoming LEGO collection – feature unisex fit, style and sizing on several pieces in the collection. “We work collaboratively as a men’s and women’s team to land the best fit to service different sizes and shapes,” Karyn said. “We will continue this type of work with many of our upcoming collaborations.”