Luca Bacherotti, newly named Acting General Manager of Levi’s Italy, talks about Levi’s new global approach and the recent launch of the Levi's Go Forth global campaign. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

Which new challenge is Levi's facing at the moment?
For the first time in its history, Levi’s will pursue a single global strategy worldwide and will act according to this the same way in every market. This was never done so stringently by Levi's before. From f/w 2012/13 it will offer a single collection, the same one for all of its 140 markets worldwide to be sold correspondingly in the same price range. It will approach exactly the same young consumer worldwide - basically all people with the same taste, interests and desires all over the world. The company will pursue its aim through single global advertising campaigns and communication strategies.

How did this whole process start?
This initiative was first started at Levi’s San Francisco headquarters in 2009 with the launch of the first edition of the Go Forth campaign, initially only aimed at the US market. After two years of testing, the company decided to launch it worldwide. For this, we presented the first Levi's Go Forth marketing campaign and the first European Levi's Go Forth Workshop in July 2011 with B&B Berlin. In August, we then launched the new Go Forth video via social media and from September on it is being released to consumers.

Nevertheless, other important steps were already taken before the official worldwide launch this September: In September of 2009, we launched the Levi’s Curve ID worldwide as a new approach to the women’s jeans market by offering new fits and silhouettes in creating jeans around the different types and proportions of a woman’s body. That was a big success since - in Italy only - it brought an increase by 18% in sales of our women’s jeans. In May of 2011, we launched the Waterless campaign aimed at showing how jeans can be treated without wasting water. This campaign was the first one of a series of “...less” campaigns since in the future we want to focus more often on alternative ways for preserving the environment by saving, for instance, energy and other precious resources.

How exactly will you approach different markets, climatic conditions and local tastes for fashion?
All markets are treated as a big single market where there are simply climate differences, but no different tastes. There can be a different speed in reacting to trends, though everyone will get to appreciate our new products. We know that, for instance, a trend launched in Europe will be accepted earlier in Europe compared to the US or the rest of the world. That had also happened with skinny jeans: European men liked them right away. For women, things usually go the opposite way: US women and Hollywood celebrities pick - and launch - trends earlier than European ones do.
In fact, the first real global collection will be offered starting in f/w 2012/2013 to be sold in our showrooms from November 2011 on. In addition to two main annual collections, we are also offering new deliveries every month all year long from which retailers will be able to choose from.

How exactly can different markets be served according to this new approach?
We are following a geo-marketing approach through which we recognize three different clusters of cities. There are “World Key Cities" like New York, Paris, London, Milan and Moscow, “Regional Key Cities” such as Rome, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and “Local Key Cities” like Turin, Frankfurt, or Manchester. According to these different city categories, we act following a distinct market approach and retail strategy. For instance, the "World Key Cities" usually have important shopping areas that usually don't change. For this, it's a must for us to be represented there. In “Local Key Cities", there’s more change which means a less important area can suddenly become cool, and vice versa. The aim of Levi's is to open a flagship store in every World Key City. In Paris, for instance, our Champs Elysees store was recently redesigned into a beautiful new store on 800sqm.

What about the status quo regarding your distribution network in Italy?
In Italy, Levi’s is represented via 1,000 wholesale doors and 55 retail stores. We are fine with the current situation since we have been doing a significant clean-up in recent times. We mostly aim at still increasing our presence in the stores where we are already selling Levi's.

Editor's note: The Levi Strauss group sells its products (Levi's, Dockers and Denizen) in 140 countries. According to the group's annual report, in 2010 it registered $4.4 billion fiscal net revenues, 7% more than in 2009.