Find out about one of the leading companies that makes denim as well as the latest trends for men in this Men's Lee Jeans Interview with Dan Sterbenz. You may be surprised at the wide array of styles being offered as well as the evolution of Lee Jeans!
Men's Lee Jeans Interview with Dan Sterbenz
LoveToKnow (LTK): What is your role at Lee Jeans?
Dan Sterbenz (DS): I am in Product Development at Lee, which means I oversee merchandising, design and development of all men's denim products that we manufacture. A great part of my job is watching what consumers do: how they shop, dress, what motivates them to buy what they buy. We are like social anthropologists, constantly evolving with trends and the culture. It really is a fascinating job because each day is different and there is a tremendous blend of strategic and creative thinking every day. I love it!
About Lee's Denim Collections
LTK: Can you tell us about Lee's men's denim collections?
DS: We offer a wide variety of products to satisfy a diverse consumer base. Our line is tailored to different consumers under various product lines - everything from Core Basic 5 pocket jeans to more fashionable styles and washes under the Premium Select, Lee Dungaree or Heritage labels, and most recently development of a more modern X-Line.
LTK: What makes the Premium Select line so unique?
DS: I think the idea behind Premium Select is where we have really created something new for the Lee brand. We did a lot of consumer research and co-development to give our target consumer exactly what he wants in a jean, which is a new and comfortable fit, soft and durable fabric, with updated wash and details. Then we positioned this to be an incredible value. It's not the lowest price jean we make, but when you compare the product to what else is in the market I think you'll see - and more importantly - feel the difference when you try it on. This product line gives us an opportunity to ask today's modern consumer to reappraise the Lee brand, and be pleasantly surprised when they try it on.
LTK: What styles are the most popular for men?
DS: This really depends on what type of consumer you are, traditional or contemporary. The majority of men still prefer a traditional 5 pocket jean - not too fussy - just a great pair of jeans that will service them for all their needs, from relaxing at home to going out to dinner. The recent expansion of fits and finishes in jeans has given consumers a lot of new choices to consider, such as Boot Cut, Slim Fit, Straight Fit, Regular Fit and Skinny. We see more contemporary consumers are willing to wear a variety of products and that is very exciting.
LTK: What celebrities endorse Lee?
DS: Lee has a great history of celebrity endorsement. If you go back in history a bit -- Marlon Brando, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe -- they are all classic examples of Lee in popular culture. Recently we have had numerous celebrities work with us to support Lee National Denim Day, our cause we started 15 years to help fight breast cancer. We've raised over $85M since its inception, and we've had support from celebrities such as Rob Lowe, Christina Applegate and most recently, Felicity Huffman. Recently, we have collaborated with Mike Rowe (from Dirty Jobs) to launch our new Premium Select line. He's a guy's guy with a lot of connectivity to our product and consumer base
LTK: Where can Lee Jeans be purchased?
DS: In most major mid-tier department stores such as JCPenney, Kohl's, Sears and Belk.
Trends in Denim
LTK: What are the latest trends in denim for men?
DS: There is so much going on in jeans! Almost anything goes, from dark to light, clean raw washes to total destruction (rips/tears), plain pockets to highly embellished. On the fit side, slim and skinny dark jeans are in most demand right now, but whatever you call it, being comfortable is still king. We're also seeing a lot of stretch denim come in the market for men. Once considered as being only for women, men are actually finding how comfortable it can be. I would add that authenticity is important...products need to look naturally aged so the aging feels genuine.
Style Tips and More
LTK: Do you have any style tips to share?
DS: Most guys are creatures of habit, and really don't like to change what's always worked for them. My one tip would be, don't be shy. Try on something you would normally not consider. It's free to try on, right!? I've seen a lot of guys who say they wear the same thing since high school try on something new, and can't believe how good it is.
LTK: Are there any new products coming out?
DS: We always have a lot of new things coming out....lots of development in Slim and Straight fits with updated washes and details. Plus our basic jeans are getting a facelift, with new fabric, fit and finishes that are more modern than in the past. Our new X-line features some incredible new fabrications and pocket treatments that are inspired by much higher-priced jeans. It's a fresh look without being too over the top.
LTK: What else would you like our readers to know about Lee Jeans?
DS: We obviously have a rich heritage in the jeans world, but not everyone knows how much we have evolved over the years. We're bringing a lot of new products to market that are superb quality at a great value, and we're committed to bringing new innovation to the market.
LoveToKnow thanks Dan Sterbenz for his informative men's Lee Jeans interview! Be sure and check out the official Lee Jeans website for up-to-the-minute information on deals, store locations and how to get the perfect fit.