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Levi Strauss talking cell phones

Levi Strauss Europe will launch a line of mobile phones and accessories.

Levi Strauss wants consumers to dial 501, not just wear it. Levi Strauss Europe will be launching a line of mobile phones and accessories based on the iconic jeans brand. The line, which will be available in Europe in 2007, will incorporate the jean company's signature denim and rivets, according to the company.

Levi signed an exclusive agreement with ModeLabs Group, which will manufacture and distribute the Levi's brand mobile products in Europe, ModeLabs Group CEO Stephane Bohbot said in a statement.

As cell phones become just as much a fashion accessory as a communication device, more designers and brands are getting in on the action.

ModeLabs announced a similar partnership with Virgin Mobile in September. Dolce & Gabbana released a gold Motorola Razr V3i in June that came loaded with D&G ringtones and graphics. Elle Magazine released the GlamPhone for use with T-Mobile and Cingular in August (its screen doubles as a mirror). Disney has a line of children's cell phones, as well as a mobile-phone service for families in the U.S.

Not all mobile branding schemes, however, have met with success. Brands that stepped beyond the phone itself into other services, have had some problems.

In August, Disney postponed plans to launch a U.K. version of its U.S. family friendly mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Disney Mobile, a service that includes the GPS tracking of children. Disney also closed its unsuccessful Mobile ESPN, an MVNO in the U.S. that was based on the ESPN sports cable channel brand.

(Photo: Levi Strauss)