Lee goes for laser washed effect with Body Optix jeans line
US denim label Lee has adopted a laser washed effect for its jeans, using the latest in jeans technology for the new Body Optix collection. While the first laser machines allowed Lee to customise jeans and work on details, their latest generation gives the label the means to create ultra-targeted effects.
At the recent Paris Fashion Week, Lee presented its first collection for the European market, which will be available in-store next spring. The concept has already been launched in Asia. The designers at Lee Europe have revised the range of fits for the collection, which is exclusively dedicated to women, to adapt it to the morphology of Europeans. It will then be launched on the US market too.
To introduce this novelty and highlight the way in which it was developed, Lee called on Steve Zades, the VF Corp. group's Vice-President in charge of innovation. "We began by studying how human beings see things. Our Cognitive and Design Lab at Irvine, California, is distinctive for its ability to combine the skills and ideas of researchers and designers, and to also let consumers to have their say. It is a novel approach, and we have a team of six people engaged on it full-time, as well as a plethora of specialists we involve regularly."
For this project, the lab team worked on what the human eye perceives and on how trompe l'oeil effects are obtained. It also utilised its database to cross-reference the styles which are more appreciated by consumers. They used software to identify the most popular choices, through a process selecting the colours and details preferred by consumers.
"With jeans, and also skirts, dresses and jackets, we worked on the precise intensity of tone which gives the visual impression that light emphasises certain parts of the clothes, said Steve Zades. And we have also totally made over the garments' construction, to adapt them fully to this evolution."
The Body Optix collection will consist of 16 items for its first season, and the range will be greatly expanded the following season. Yet, though the collection is the product of a major research and development effort, in its advertising communication Lee has steered wholly clear of this theme, and also of that of the water savings allowed by laser washing.
In other words, Lee wants to avoid the pitfalls of using technology and the environment as commercial themes. The Body Optix collection's video is based solely on the product, with no mention of data or technology. Lee is instead keen to appeal to consumers by promising charm and comfort.
The Body Optix line will be priced between €130 and €150, and will be available at selected European retailers from next March.
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