Gap’s 1969 Jeans Answer Levi’s

Levi Strauss & Co. is no doubt bristling at rival Gap Inc.’s announcement last week that it is launching 1969 jeans, its own version of dark blue, stiff-looking, retro-style jeans that closely resemble Levi’s Hard Jeans product.
The jeans–named for Gap’s founding year, and made with copper rivets, coin pocket and leg cuffs–launch this week and will be available only in select global markets and at Gap’s online store (www.gap.com). Only a limited number will be made, and each pair sports a leather patch with its own serial number.
Gap will support the release with ads by its in-house ad team using the tag “1969. It’s a jean.” The effort will tout the product’s “authenticity”–an approach that recalls Levi’s “Hard Jeans” campaign, although the latter also focused on its jeans being almost uncomfortably tough.
A Gap representative downplayed the similarities between the products. “1969 is being launched to add further dimension to Gap jeans, and to bring our customers a new level of fit and styling,” she said. “1969 is a completely unique jean with its own look and feel.”
Levi’s declined to comment about 1969. One company source, however, noted, “Levi’s feels this look is its invention.”