Levi’s 501 jean has kept up with the evolving styles of young pioneers. It is a mix of both vintage and current, as it continues to reinvent itself to be more relevant in the modern age. It’s worn by artists to athletes, activists to heads of state, including Hollywood icons James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Marilyn Monroe.
It was 144 years ago when Levi Strauss and Nevada tailor Jacob Davis partnered in 1873 for the first riveted pockets on men’s pants. The number 501 was assigned to the world-renowned copper riveted waist overalls as lot numbers were then used to classify products made by the duo.
Seventy years later, in 1943, the classic Arcuate design on the back pockets of the 501 jeans was registered a trademark and remains to be the oldest one still in use today. In 1964, a 501 pair entered the Permanent Collections of Smithsonian Institution.
The iconic 501 is where vintage meets classic. In 2000, Time magazine named the 501 jean as the fashion item of the 20th century, edging out the miniskirt and the little black dress.
In celebration of its 144th year in the market, Levi’s has launched a celebration collection featuring limited edition jeans, shorts and vests. The brand also released its fifth and latest episode of the 501 Documentary Series, The 501 Jean: Stories of an Original, Music, which explored its relationship with music history.