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Men of French village Levis offered free jeans… but not from Levi’s!

Hundreds of denim jeans are to be handed out in the 200-resident village this weekend as part of a publicity campaign

The jeans will be available for free in the village of Levis this Saturday afternoon, while stocks last Pic: Risen20019 / BGStock72 / Shutterstock

All male residents of the French village of Levis (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté), situated around 150 kilometres south of Paris, are set to be given a free pair of jeans…but not from the US brand Levi’s! 

Instead, they will come from the French clothing store Celio.

The counter-intuitive PR coup is set to accompany the brand’s new advertising posters, in which men wearing Celio clothing stand in front of the village’s name sign, with the caption: “Even here, they wear Celio.”

The tongue-in-cheek campaign is a bold reference to the well-known US brand Levi’s.

Celio is to hand out the free jeans in the 200-inhabitant Bourgogne-Franche-Comté village on Saturday, March 11. 

A van will be on-site between 14:00 and 16:00, with around 10-15 members of Celio staff. 

Three types of jeans will be available while stocks last: the ‘skinny’ (tight on the legs), the ‘slim’ (tight on the legs except for around the ankles), and ‘straight’ (looser fit all over). The brand is expecting to give out around 500 pairs. There will be sizes available from 36 to 52. Changing cubicles will also be on-site. 

One pair of jeans is available per person, and they will be non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Only men’s jeans will be available, to dovetail with the menswear campaign.

Mayor Etienne Ramuai has welcomed the initiative, telling France 3: “I was thrilled when they called us, for once Levis is being talked about! We don't have any tourist sites or businesses, so it's a nice publicity campaign.”

He added that he had been informing residents by using flyers, and the response has been positive.

He said: “In a little village like ours, people are quickly informed on the grapevine. At the start, residents were a bit surprised. But then they got into the spirit of it. At the Mairie, people are really looking forward to getting their jeans. I’m going to get some too.”

Levis is a small village in the department of Yonne

Director of Celio's creative division, David Hermelin, said: "This is the first time we've organised an event like this.

“There will be a stand to present our jeans, and advice on how to wear them. When we contacted him, the mayor welcomed the idea. It's an event for the whole village!"

Residents are pleased with their free denim, but we imagine that inhabitants of the city of Nîmes (Gard, Occitanie), from where the name ‘denim’ originates, could have something to say about it…

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