Reporting from Shanghai— The jeans are stiletto-thin — you won’t find baggy pants on these racks — and the customers squeezing into them are looking for denim that makes a bold statement.
“She looks like she has attitude,” said Mike Dai, eyeing his girlfriend, Amy He, after she wiggled into a narrow pair of Levi’s on a September afternoon in a high-end mall.
The brand is All-American but the San Francisco jeans-maker is offering up clothes that are all-Asian — pants designed in Hong Kong with an edgy, worn-and-torn finish that can sell for as much as $149 a pair.
As the U.S. market continues to sputter and China’s continues to boom, U.S. retailers are updating business plans to include the world’s second-largest economy as well as the rest of growing Asia. Just as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Apple have erected temples of capitalism in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, Western apparel makers are infusing their clothing lines with Asian sensibilities in look, feel and size while embarking on aggressive store campaigns in this part of the world.
by aniie + Elizabeth