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Levi's CEO: Don't put the jeans in the freezer



Bergh turned heads and noses in an event in May 2014 when he announced that he had never washed the 501 Levi jeans he was wearing at that time. He still hasn't washed the now 10-year-old pair of jeans, admitted Bergh on CNN Business & Markets Now live show with Alison Kosik on Thursday.

He also does not freeze his jeans.

"It's an old woman's story," he said. "It does not work."

He also never washed or frozen the jeans he had on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday for the company's IPO celebration – even though he said the deans were newer.

Bergh had a lot to celebrate: Levi's stock increased 33% in his debut.

Why Levi Goes Public

It is not the first time Levi has been published. The company was sold in 1
971 in 1985, when it was privatized. Levi ( LEVI ) became public again to increase investment in China and expand into new categories.

Bergh noted that the company makes its rivals in technology, including its online store and other digital products.

He said most fashion companies have more choices for women, but Levi is more known for his men's line of jeans. The company has expanded its women's product lines for several years, but Levi's plans to use cash as it raised to market and develop these products more heavily.

"Growing our portfolio is driving results," Bergh said.

Levi's also wants to make a more meaningful press into China. He noted that some smaller competitors have come before Levi in ​​China. Although 20% of the clothing industry is in China, the region represents only 3% of Levi's business.

Bergh noted that Levi's jeans had been a symbol of American culture for over a century, and young people behind the iron curtain clamored for them after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

"Unlike Other parts of the world where this mark had a deep history, passed from generation to generation, or it was a forbidden fruit that symbolized everything that was good about America … we don't have that story in China, "famous Bergh.

What kind of market Levi enters

The market dealt with Levi's well Thursday, but it has not been kind to any other IPOs in recent times.

Levi is profitable, unlike many companies that went public in recent years. Granted, many of them have been technology companies, which usually take a while to find their feet.

So will the market continue to support Levis?

Alicia Levine, chief strategist at BNY-Mellon, believes it. She said on "Markets Now" on Thursday that the economy would be weaker in the first quarter than in recent quarters, but it will be stronger during the year. So she expects earnings to fall by about 4% in the quarter, but grow for the rest of 2019.

Levine owed Fed's excessive hawkish rate hike in December and President Donald Trump's growth rate growth. But she was urged that the Fed sign a stupid stance on Wednesday, and she believes China and the United States will soon come to terms.

"We think this is trough, and we'll see acceleration throughout the year," said Levine. "Part of the reason why this market stands out is because we need a trade deal. I expect a pop [if there’s a trade deal]. I don't think it's fully priced."

"Markets Now" streams live from the new York Stock Exchange every Wednesday at 12:45 ET.

Hosted by CNN's business correspondents, the 15-minute program has incisive comments from experts.

You can see "Markets Now" at CNN.com/MarketsNow from your desktop or on your phone or tablet. If you can't catch the show live, check out highlights online and through MarketsNow newsletters delivered to your inbox every afternoon.

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