Levi's sports white knots in support of gay marriage

Now that Memorial day has passed, Levi's has begun outfitting its mannequins in white. This year, however, the bright color doesn't just represent the beginning of the summer or a nice accent for denim. Rather, the jean giant has also begun using white to demonstrate its support for gay marriage.

The White Knot program encourages people to demonstrate their solidarity with marriage equality by wearing a small piece of knotted white ribbon. A subtle symbol, white knots have appeared on the clothing of celebrities ranging from New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg to comedienne Kathy Griffin. And now, of course, they are appearing on hundreds of Levi's mannequins.

This is an interesting move for the company. While Levi's once represented the pinnacle of jean fashion, it has long since been replaced by an endless procession of other brands.

Current favorites, including Rock & Republic, Diesel, 7 For All Mankind, and True Religion are priced far out of the range of most Levi's. Moreover, the company's decision to launch its "Signature" line, which is primarily marketed through Wal-Mart and other discount retailers, could be regarded as an admission that the company is permanently positioning itself as a mass-market brand.