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It's denim with a kick
Jeans brands strut their stuff at New York Fashion Week

Los Angeles Times
Modified: February 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm •  Published: February 21, 2012

NEW YORK — It looks like New York Fashion Week came down last week with a serious case of the blues.

Blue jeans that is.

While the twice-yearly showcase of designer clothing has never exactly been devoid of denim, the presentation of fashion collections for fall-winter 2012 is serving up a noticeably robust roster. West Coast brands including Levi Strauss, Hudson Jeans, 7 for All Mankind and a relaunched Rock & Republic have joined the ranks of the luxury labels.

Levi's, whose last high-profile appearance at New York Fashion Week was in 2007 for the launch of a Damien Hirst collaboration, has spent the last year rejiggering and streamlining its product mix and marketing efforts. It hosted a presentation last Wednesday to unveil its first global collection.

"We know we're not a couture brand — and we're not pretending to be," said Levi's creative director Len Peltier." We're using the energy of the week to announce our global line and introduce a new look for Levi's."

He described this week's presentation as "uniquely Levi's" as well as a departure from the traditional runway show format.

Different, but downright tame in comparison to the "phosphorescent invasion" of the meatpacking district that Hudson Jeans organized — part black-light rave, part live art performance-installation by Brooklyn street artist Aakash Nihalani, whose medium is glow-in-the-dark tape. The event was to launch the label's new tuxedo-trouser-inspired jean called the LouLou, which has a racing-stripe side seam down each leg that glows under black light. (Hudson, which traditionally shows its wares to buyers and media on the Las Vegas and New York trade show circuit, isn't a complete stranger to the more upscale New York Fashion Week.

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