Jeans therapy

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The Independent Online

Jeremy Clarkson and Tony Blair have a great deal to answer for. For these two men seem to have rendered what was once one of the most popular garments in the world, Levi jeans, uncool. Three years ago, when Levi Strauss & Co made its first round of job cuts in Scotland, the decision was widely attributed to the Clarkson-Blair effect, the sad sight of middle-aged men trying to be trendy.

Now the decline seems to have spread, roughly in line with the rise in Mr Blair's global profile. Levi's, whose products had become almost synonymous with denim, has seen its sales slide in the past five years, and must now fire 3,300 people and close six plants. Levi's needs new models, the coolest Britmen to show off their studded denim. We think the sight of Robbie Williams, David Beckham and Peter Sissons in shrink-to-fit blue jeans could help the firm turn the corner. But only if they refrain from wearing a belt.