The Levi’s® brand is packing a lot into its new L Pack.
For the brand’s accessories team, the newly launched bag isn’t just another product debut — it represents a shift in thinking and big aspirations for global growth.
“For such a simple bag, a surprising amount of thought went into it,” said Bruce Knoll, global senior merchant for the Levi’s® accessories division.
The accessories team had been looking for just the right piece to help push the Levi’s® brand from undisputed denim leader into an overall lifestyle brand.
They quickly realized that the huge global market for casual bags — $30 billion and growing annually — was the perfect place for the brand to make its mark. With the L Pack, the accessories team believes there’s real potential to grow our share of that market within years, Bruce said.
“We felt like the bags could be a great pivot point into a lifestyle point of view for Levi’s®,” Bruce said. “You don’t become a lifestyle brand just by saying it. You have to have a point of view and a robust assortment of accessories.”
To start, they did their research. The team held sessions in San Francisco, Shanghai and Paris, gathering consumers around tables loaded with prototypes and competitor bags to suss out exactly what it is that people are looking for in their bags.
They knew they were on the right track when they found that the words people used when describing their ideal bag — quality, durability, value — are the same words that people already associate with the Levi’s® brand.
They also did an in-depth analysis of the marketplace — competition, distribution landscape, price points, product features, etc. — so they could deliver a quality product with more features than the competition at a price that hits the “sweet spot” for most consumers.
Part of what they found is that backpacks aren’t just the domain of schoolchildren anymore. Today’s young, urban-dwelling consumers are using their backpacks as a kind of mobile command center for an increasingly on-the- go lifestyle, Bruce said.
It’s not uncommon to leave the house early, hit the gym before heading to the office, and then not return home until after dinner. And when you consider the essentials for that type of lifestyle — gym clothes, laptops and a plethora of other electronic devices and charging cords — the result is that the casual bag has taken on a central role in people’s lives.
“This urban lifestyle, being gone from sunup to sundown, is really enabled by the bag,” Bruce said.
The L Pack is designed to cater to those nomadic needs, featuring a boxy silhouette — “unique enough that people will recognize it, and democratic enough that everyone can wear it” — that maximizes capacity without sacrificing style or comfort.
The real innovation is inside: Incorporating feedback from consumers, the storage pockets have been reimagined so that smaller items can be organized and easily accessed in the larger front pocket, rather than jumbled in the bottom of the bag.
And that’s just the beginning. The brand plans to take the same design insights and apply them to a range of complementary silhouettes, like duffels and cross-body bags, building a whole L Pack family.
Want to get your hands on an L Pack? Grab one at levi.com and in select stores now.
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