If you’ve been living anywhere but under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ve likely heard way too much about the ongoing “transgender” conversation in the US. While it’s controversial, to be sure, I think it’s safe to say that most Americans don’t really agree with it. So why do companies keep acting as if we do?
Levi’s, it seems, is the latest to do so.
While speaking at an Axios BFD event in San Francisco recently, Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh announced that the denim clothing brand was going to be “building out” its “gender-neutral” collection.
Yes, Levi’s has what has been called a gender-neutral or gender-fluid line. Up until now, it’s been fairly small. But according to Bergh, it’s about to get quite a bit larger.
According to the UK Daily Mail, he said, “We know that some women buy some men’s products and some men buy women’s products. We know that that goes on. We’ve got the research and the data to show it.” And he added, “That’s great.”
But now, with the topic of “transgender” and being gender fluid just about everywhere, he believes there is more of a “consumer appetite” for it. So, their unisex line will be expanded.
Now, you’d think, with all the backlash companies like Bud Light have received in recent days for making similar moves and connecting themselves to the transgender movement, that Levi’s would be hesitant to do so. I mean, Bud Light has lost a significant amount of revenue over the last few months since they partnered with transgender Dylan Mulvaney.
However, there may be a slight difference with Levi’s.
As I mentioned before, a gender-neutral line for Levi’s isn’t exactly a new thing. In fact, they’ve had one since February of 2017. At the time, the Toronto Sun noted that the brand was the first to create “truly gender-neutral looks that go beyond simply putting a feminine twist on a masculine style.”
Then, during the pandemic, Levi’s put out a guide to unisex shopping, explaining the whole idea was to create styles that work for everyone, “non-binary, female, and male bodies.”
The brand noted that everyone should be able to wear “what feels right and speaks to your true self.”
Now, they are continuing that idea by adding new items to their gender-neutral line.
To be sure, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always wear my biological gender’s clothes. As an outdoorsy female who enjoys hunting, fishing, and even chopping wood, I know all too well that sometimes what they make for women to wear and “work” in just doesn’t cut it.
For instance, my husband’s boot socks are far better than any I’ve found for women, as if clothing companies don’t expect women to need the same amount of comfort and breathability as male feet.
In fact, it’s only been in the last 10-15 or so years that I’ve even been able to find adequate women’s hunting clothes. Again, as if women didn’t participate in such activities before then… but I digress.
And is there anything more comfortable than a big ol’ man’s t-shirt to wear around the house every now and then?
I imagine I’m not the only woman who’s come across these issues. So I’d say Levi’s is smart to adapt some clothing items to fit one or the other sex better. But to create whole lines of clothing that don’t fit either?
Then again, this is coming from a company whose CEO isn’t exactly silent on his political views. Over the years, Bergh has made it no secret how he feels about a number of political issues. And so, it should be no real surprise that he’s pushing his company to follow those ideas, even if they could lead to Bud Light-like consequences.