Lee is the legendary jeans label that goes back to 1889 and is one of the world’s most iconic signatures of quality, innovation and craftsmanship. Following the establishment of the H.D. Lee Mercantile Company by Henry David Lee in Kansas, U.S., in 1889, Lee embarked on its journey to become a legendary denim brand. Over the years, Lee has made history with its many product innovations including the worlds’ first-ever zip fly jeans – the 101Z in 1926, the iconic Hair-on-hide leather label and the Lazy S back pocket stitching. From the launch of the first Lee bib overalls to the 13oz 101 cowboy jeans, Lee has demonstrated an undying passion for innovation, and has transformed itself from a practical and durable work-wear maker to a contemporary and trend setting fashion giant. Naturally then, Lee Jeans has always been synonymous with innovation in the world fashion scene over the last 128 years. Lee’s history tells a story of constant progress and innovation and of course of change and standing out over generations.
Lee Jeans recently also unveiled Jacqueline Fernandez as their brand ambassador to further re-instate the brand’s own personality. Jacqueline’s immediate campaign with Lee will showcase their latest product innovation for the Indian woman the Body OPTIX™. This is said to be a game changing product innovation designed for the Indian woman which is BODY OPTIX™ denims. Here, traditional denim designs are combined with ground-breaking vision science and design to create holistic body shaping specifically for the Indian female body. Lee BODY OPTIX™ is a joint accomplishment between vision scientists and denim designers. After extensive scientific tests and consumer research, premium LYCRA BEAUTY® fabrics and authentic design details have been incorporated with exquisite craftsmanship. The collection promises to create holistic body shaping specifically for the Indian female body, with an unprecedented 360° total body shaping and fully flattering fit. Lee’s passion for denim, together with the constant pursuit of innovation, has produced the finest denim garments. Each piece is testament to the heritage and craftsmanship that has exemplified Lee as one of the worlds pioneering denim brands. BODY OPTIX™ is the result of more than 128 years of experience and expertise in designing the best denim. These denims are the result of the work between their vision scientists and designers from VF Design Science Lab in Los Angeles. A team of ten vision scientists have collaborated with designers from Bangalore, Mumbai and others parts of the world to create BODY OPTIX specifically for women. Lee continues to stay curious and explore all things new, constantly looking at the world from new angles, and never restricting themselves to the possibilities of better and more purposeful denim designs. Sharad Walia, Brand Head – Lee, India at VF Brands India Pvt. Ltd. tells us more in an exclusive conversation.
Tell us about your new range of ‘BODY OPTIX’ denims?
LEE Jeans has always been synonymous with innovation on the world fashion scene for over a century now. As it’s always been, Lee’s history tells a story of constant progress and innovation. Recently we unveiled a game changing product innovation designed for the Indian woman, called BODY OPTIX™ denims. With BODY OPTIX™ denims, Lee Jeans is revolutionizing the way denims have been envisioned, created and worn in the country. With BODY OPTIX™ denims, Lee Jeans is revolutionizing the way denims have been envisioned, created and worn in the world! The primary objective of the brand has always been to bring to the end consumer, denims that are comfortable, easy to wear, yet add that certain X factor for the wearer and enhance their denim-wearing experience
The ‘BODY OPTIX’ denims is scientifically designed by vision scientists and denim designers – can you elucidate this further?
Lee has collaborated with vision scientists and designers from the VF Design Science Lab in LA. Vision scientists work together with consumers and designers to co-create innovative apparel. This includes extensive and continuous consumer research and insights. The scientists collaborate with designers to come up with solutions that answer to these insights, so that the resultant denims are optimally suited to the existing market conditions and unstated but desired consumer needs.
You mention that these jeans flatters, enhances and shapes the Indian body type – how is this achieved?
These denims use principles from Vision science to help achieve a holistic body shaping. Anatomy shading helps us give an overall flattering fit, with effects of shading done for different sizes that help in enhancing and accentuating the necessary figure. Double Side Seam in a few styles uses the principles of linear technology that helps your legs look longer. The contoured yoke and pockets follow the natural curve shape of the body, making the figure more appealing as against the traditional linear cut lines
Please detail the scientific tests and consumer research done before rolling out the product?
Consumer researches are done through in-depth consumer interviews, focus group interviews, shadowing social media profiles and product testing which may also include product clinics, among others. Here we have dedicated and intense focus group interviews done by agencies who are specialized in that. We invite a set of selected women for detailed sessions of 4-5 hours long which deep dive into this research. What we do is look at different age groups right from 18 to about 35, where we schedule some interviews, have devoted wardrobe audits and do social media profiling. So, we try to understand the person and psyche. We try to understand what they are saying/ meaning/ and how they are behaving. It is a very qualitative approach and not just a random questionnaire.
You have used premium LYCRA BEAUTY® fabrics for making these jeans. Why has this fabric been chosen?
The nature of the fabric has a bi-stretch function that adds to the wearers comfort. But more importantly it has a much higher recovery. The feel on the skin is also an added advantage.
What are the products in the pipeline?
For the Autumn of 2017 we will do Body Optix top wear which will give you the same shaping effect and is based on the same principles of vision science.
This story appeared in the June 2017 issue of Apparel Magazine here: Lee Body