Ms. Riley, 29, is hard at work surveying the landscape of the exploding $100-plus jeans segment and determining just how the original denim creator can stake its place there.
Even her husband has been enlisted to help, pointing out brand names on passers-by's butts. "It's easy to sit in the office and write briefs," Ms. Riley says, "but we have to be out there looking at the market."
Jennifer Sey, Levi's director-consumer marketing, is happy to have Ms. Riley out there. "Karen brings expertise not only in traditional marketing but strong knowledge of fashion and retail," Ms. Sey notes, to reach the premium consumer, "who can be difficult to reach."