LOS ANGELES -- For the past 18 months, the folks at Levi Strauss & Co. studied women around the world, conducting thousands of interviews and looking at 60,000 body scans of women in 13 countries.
The company says the result -- besides confirmation that for women, jeans shopping ranks right up there with buying bras and bathing suits -- is a new global denim program that, by taking their curves into account, will provide nearly any woman a five-pocket pair of jeans that feels custom fit to her shape.
Called Curve ID, the line officially launches on Sept. 2 and consists of three fits: a slight curve (for the woman who finds that regular jeans "fit in the hips and thighs but are too tight in the waist"), a demi curve (if your jeans "usually fit in the waist but don't flatter the figure") and a bold curve (if jeans "fit in the hips and thighs, but gap in the back").
"The fits that we're launching with account for 80 percent of the women's body shapes in the world," boasted Levi's President Robert Hanson in a phone interview.
"And when we launch the fourth one -- our most extreme curve -- at the end of this year or early next year, then we'll have 96 percent of women covered."
You Nguyen, senior vice president of women's merchandising and design for the Levi's brand, explained that the fits are based on the differences between a woman's hip and seat measurements -- formulated from the body scans and information Levi's gathered over the past year and a half.
He declined to be any more specific than that, noting only that Levi's store employees have been trained on what measurements to take, and that a digital fitting room to assist online shoppers was scheduled to go live soon at the Levi's website.
"That's like our (recipe for) secret sauce that we don't share," Nguyen said. "The exact ratio is proprietary information."
But Nguyen did offer a few famous figures that might be appropriate for each fit. "Now these are just my opinions since I don't actually have any of their measurements," he cautioned.
"But off the top of my head, I'd say the bold curve would be someone like Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez, a demi curve would be someone like Charlize Theron, and the slight curve would be Lucy Liu."
Hanson emphasized that Curve ID was not a plus-size program.
"This is about shape, not size. Look at the photo for example. All three of those women are wearing a size 27 (-inch waist), but each one is a different shape."
The waist sizes of the Curve ID program range from 22 to 34 and will be available in three styles (boot cut, straight and skinny). Prices at launch range from $60 to $148.