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The COVID-19 pandemic killed the skinny jean trend, says denim expert

Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News on

Published in Fashion Daily News

There’s good news for Americans who packed on the pounds during the pandemic — skinny jeans are no longer in style.

Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh says consumers are getting away from the hipster-inspired look of at least the past decade.

“Cycles do come and go,” he told CNBC. “I think the pandemic definitely played a contributing role to consumers looking for a more comfortable, more relaxing denim.”

According to Bergh, his denim-maker’s sales started last year were boosted by one new jean design that ballooned out at the bottom, and a second style that was loose fitting with a high-rise at the waist.


“The last real denim cycle was driven by skinny jeans,” Bergh said to CNBC. “That cycle lasted about 10 years.”

Bergh isn’t ready to bury the skinny jean look altogether, but he says there is now a “very strong demand” for looser fitting denim, from both male and female consumers.

CNBC reports Levi’s sales were down overall in the first quarter of 2021, but believes the ongoing pandemic’s impact is depressing retail numbers. However, the company’s stock is up 25% on the year and the iconic brand expects sales to be back to 2019 standards in the final quarter of 2021.

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