The Levi’s and Google collaboration is the ultimate in tech + fashion. But is it necessary?


An internet-connected denim jacket? It exists. We’re clearly living beyond the sci-fi worlds we ever imagined when the internet-of-things can remove the barrier between cool-kid coat and the world wide web. You can access your Instagram, respond to texts, skip to the next song on your “Monday blues” playlist…

With your sleeve.

The first official product offering from a Levi’s and Google partnership that began 3 years ago, the Levi’s® Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google, part of Google’s experimental division ATAP and Levi’s “Commuter” line aimed at creating better clothes for bikers, seeks to dissolve the boundaries between tech and fashion in a way that makes it more function than gimmick.

Are they successful?

That’s more up to the user to decide.

The price tag sits at $350, which seems steep, and then doesn’t seem so bad, as many jackets that don’t do anything but sit on your shoulders have considerably higher price tags, and then seems expensive again with the realization that the latest Apple Watch (which does virtually the same exact thing, in an arguably more effective manner), the internet-free version of Levi’s Commuter jacket, or this Totoro Sleeping Bag Sofa Bed

can all be purchased for less.

But really, it’s made for the bikers. And we’re all in support of things that make #bikelife easier for our two-wheeled commuters.

(Levi’s has been all about this as of late: They also make denim jeans with cuffs that act as reflectors when rolled up.)

And the Twin Cities are certainly biking cities. One of the most bike-friendly metros (weather notwithstanding) in the country, in fact. Over 4,000 (average) ride the Midtown Greenway daily. Could they benefit from a safer way to make calls while on the road?


The pitch is that you can just reach over and brush your sleeve to interact with your phone while biking – safer than fumbling with your smart phone’s touch screen while cruising down the Greenway or entering traffic. Users attach a “tag” to the left sleeve, set up which function (swipe in, swipe out, or double tap) and you’re good to go. When fully charged, the tag gets about 2 weeks of battery life, and can be removed when you need to do laundry.

And, for the record, it works with both Android and iPhone.

We’ll soon be able to get them in Minnesota. Currently, the jackets can be found only at Kinfolk in Brooklyn, NY, Fred Segal in West Hollywood, CA, and Concepts in Boston, MA. But only until October 2. Then they’ll be available for purchase online, and at Levi’s storefronts as close as Chicago.

If you want to join the future, and look stylish doing it.

Or just jump on the latest gimmick.