Design icon Levi’s 501: the story behind every jeans in your wardrobe

20 may is 501 Day. The founder of the classic blue jeans may today 144 blowing out the candles, but the old knar is not yet to his last breath.

© Levi’s

I wish had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.

– Yves Saint Laurent

The typical blue jeans is a democratic design icon: everybody has one in the closet. But although chains and fashion brands now own their own denim on the market seizes just about everyone back to the principles that 144 years ago by Levi Strauss immortalized. Together with Jacob Davis produced the who emigrated to America German in 1873 a sustainable werkmansbroek (then overalls is called) with five-pockets, reinforced with copper rivets. On 20 may 1873, received Strauss the patent for his design, which today we all know as the jeans – including the 501 jeans. When the first shorts, in fact, under the sewing machine came in, got the garment in just the name XX. As the pants more and more popular and there are more designs to come, was there to appeal to the numbering system that today still sustains. That first model was given the lot number 501: the first fivepocketjeans with rivets.

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Although the jeans was originally meant for the workers who toil verichtten was the garment soon adopted by the ordinary man in the street, by pop stars and musicians, movie stars and presidents. Time Magazine called the 501 out to the garment of the 20th century, a timeless design that just about anyone could afford and in which just about everyone has their own style and appearance could be preserved. The chances are that your parents have a 501 around their buttocks have had. Your grandparents. Your great-grandparents probably. It is almost unimaginable that a design of a half century ago continues to remain relevant, let alone that he also, literally, the ravages of time passes. The durability that Levi Strauss originally had in mind, he has indeed know reality.

“Last year, I have a pair of jeans purchased, which dates from 1880, and he was still virtually intact,” said Tracey Panek. “The dust was everywhere torn but the model was clearly visible through the sturdy seams and the rivets.” Panek manages the well-stocked Levi’s archive of more than 5,000 pieces-including a jacket of Albert Einstein from the thirties. Her job is quite uncommon. Around the world she goes in search of old Levi’s pieces and to their associated stories. Who collects and manages them in the Levi’s archives, the famous ‘Vault’, where Levi’s designers and employees to gain inspiration and come into contact with the historical values of the more than 140-year-old label.

Real heritage

‘Heritage’ is a term that is happy to be claimed by fashion brands, and Levi’s the word with right and reason in marketingpresentaties use. “The history and the origin of a brand, will that brand always drawing, and so it is important to know what your heritage is,” explains Panek.

“The more stories I collect, the clearer the image is. The bluejeans was created for the working class of the 19eeeuw. She is modest and democratic, properties that are currently still intimated, but we are adding always new aspects and associations, as we are more personal to hear stories.”

“Our rich history plays greatly in our favor”, says Levi’s CMO Jennifer Sey. “Through the years, we have learned that we should not be blinded by hype in the mod, but that we must be subject, not only as the leader, but also as the inventor of the entire industry. In addition, it is very important to the denim to create a place where the public needs.”

That which needs change is quite logical. The Levi’s 501 is the founder of just about all jeans in your wardrobe, would that not mean, however, that the 501 as 140 years at the top. The somewhat looser fit through the straight pipe and a breasted button instead of a zipper are only in the last few years again in vogue, and the brand is also have to deal with time stretch and the fit slightly to fit. Moreover, Levi’s is not only the face changing consumenteisen. The competition seems higher than ever before. Luxedenimlabels as Denham open everywhere during the year, Nudie knows hearts to conquer with their ecological views, but also outside the denimmarkt lurks the danger. Fashion brands like Liu Jo or A. P. C have jeansbroeken in their ready-to-wearlijn included and even in chains such as H&M or New Look , you can “jeans” to buy. Levi’s can still boast a position as the market leader and a status as ‘original’, but is that enough to make the monopoly on the broekenplank to get one?

Levi’s CEO James Curleigh will find that this does not need. “Of course, there are other people who jeanslabels buy. Also people who have Levi’s in their closet will have yet another denimmerken wear. But for me, it’s not necessarily for the jeans, it’s about what you’re doing. You can wear other jeans, but you live in Levi’s.”

Live in Levi’s

Not happen to be kicked just the one of the most successful marketing campaigns of recent years. In 2014 was “Live in Levi’s” launched, a large-scale marketing strategy with an accompanying hashtag that stories of Levi’s wearers from around the world collected. Levi’s gave the first impetus, but in the meantime, the fans, the torch acquired, a phenomenon where the tag had counted on.

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“Each Levi’s employee will tell you that everyone spontaneously their Levi’s story with you share when you tell what your job is,” laughs historian Panek. “I went once to Milan, and I wanted to per se The Last Supper. A woman told me that she was there as a teenager on the low wall next to the Santa Maria Delle Grazie avid has tried to get her 501’s there will be more distressed to look by with her buttocks over and over again to grind, much to the dismay of her mother.”

It’s those stories that Levi’s CMO Jennifer Sey and her team turn to #LiveInLevis. “Levi’s is a brand that, by many different people for so many different reasons is worn, but what connects people is the emotional connection that they all have developed with their Levi’s jeans,” says Sey. “I wish those feelings, to show how people their live in Levi’s.”

Who on the hashtag in Instagram click to see mostly photos of sultry summers, short shorts to music festivals, torn pants at a garden party, jeansjasjes carelessly neergeslingerd at in a year, a pair of jeans that after a wild night on the bed, rolled next to a pair of high heels,… the photos are almost photographs itself, were it not that this is unadulterated moments from the life of you and I, moments that the brand perhaps could recreate, but there never would succeed to the authenticity of it perfectly. And that is just so damn clever. Levi’s, which allows the customers to marketing, a desire to create points for atmosphere and comfort handing. Moments be a momentum.

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The campaign has the denimmerk in any case, money laid. Levi Strauss & Co. if the fiscal year of 2015 ended with a net profit of 4.5 billion dollars, a global rise of 1% in comparison with the previous year. For the past three consecutive years, could Levi’s a growth, something which the brand in more than twenty years, no longer allowed to do. Success is obviously not only in profit, to measure; the brand is also insanely popular. And not only with the older generations that the jeans from nostalgia to their wardrobe to add. Also young people, who have difficulty to know what Woodstock is, to embrace the label. Complex , a web platform for twenty-somethings, took Levi’s in the popular list of15 Brands Hipsters Love‘, along with Band of Outsiders, Acne , and other indie designers.

Authenticity as a motor

#LiveInLevi’s, of course, is not the only one responsible for this triumph. A lot has to do with the society in which we live today, with the values and standards that we have high commitment. ‘Authenticity’ is with reason one of the buzzwords of the past few years. The Authentic Brand Index (ABI) has shown that the stronger a brand comes across as authentic, the more people to the brand, there are ambassadors for. Authenticity, as the researchers conclude, is the engine of success in today’s market where consumers are looking for a deeper meaning, a story and a certain sincerity in the products they choose.

When the Levi’s in the late nineties, early two thousand to deal with financial setbacks was also fully within the prevailing zeitgeist. We were right in the digital revolution, innovation was the key word and fast fashion, faster than ever before. The tienerkledingmarkt with brands such as Abercrombie&Fitch and Hollister seemed, but not saturated, to get plastic surgery, sun tan bellies and blonde tresses were legion.

“That was not a climate in which Levi’s thrives”, ” Curleigh. “We never lost the way, but the road ran just not always by our landscape. If you are looking for temporary novelties then you should not be with us. Now everyone has a little bit of the return is their life behind a screen, real experiences take precedence, and that is right up our alley.”

Birthday cake

The last few years, the 501 several updates have been received: there was a stretch were added, some models were narrower or shorter pipes, but the basic elements were preserved. A design classic key, you best not be too much, even though the 501 yet regularly an artful update, be it in the form of embroidery, well placed cracks or other decoration. Fans eagerly look forward to 2018, when the jeans its 150th birthday, but the icing on this birthday cake is also quite tasty. The Levi’s design team went on a roadtrip to the American capitals of the music, and took inspiration for a limited edition 501 Day celebration collection consisting of a jeansvest, -short, and pants, of which 501 pieces available. The pieces bring each a tribute to rock’n’ roll.

In addition to the collection is also the 5th episode of the501 Documentary Serieslaunched, that the effect of the jeans on our society study.The 501 Jean: Stories of an Original, Music goes in search of the relationship between music history and the 501, with testimonials from artists such as Solange and Snoop Dogg.

501 Celebration Collection © Levi’s

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