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'Know thyself' is a good mantra for an influential label such as Levi’s. The brand’s iconic 501 jean turns 140 this year, and the classic shrink-to-fit jean is as relevant a style today as they were back in the 19th century.

If one needs to study up on the history of the 501, this video below and pdf are a good place to start. But Levi’s is putting out all the stops to commemorate the 501’s 140th year anniversary. It’s taken the campaign a step further with a neat timeline on the Levi’s Vintage Clothing site.

LVC has done a fine job in releasing special reissues of every 501 model over the years, but the Historic 501 Timeline is the first time all that information has been offered in a nice visual package. And it’s a lot of information. Each LVC 501 jean is made using Cone Mills denim to the exact specifications of its original model—from fit and hardware all the way down to the labels and packaging.

The illustrative timeline begins in 1890, the year Levi’s patented its riveted jeans (from 1873, the 501s were known as XX), and goes on to chronicle all the models up until 1978. It’s filled with all kinds of useful archival tidbits, marking the introduction of belt loops in 1922, the first time the now-famous red tab was sewed on in 1936 or when kids began calling them “jeans” instead of “overalls” in the 1950s.

Head on over to Levi’s Vintage Clothing to view the Historic 501 Timeline.


Call it a great PR move, call it a step in an interesting direction, call it whatever you will, it's happening. A month ago, Levi's announced a new collection of denim incorporating post-consumer waste. The Levi's Waste<Less line is made up of 20% recycled product, namely plastic bottles, food trays, etc. Your pair of jeans from the collection will contain about 8 12-20oz. bottles. Thus, the Spring 2013 Levi’s Waste<Less collection will utilize over 3.5 million recycled bottles. Sounds like good karma.

To make the jeans, recycled PET plastic is sorted by color, crushed into flakes, then made into a polyester fiber, blended with cotton fiber, and woven into traditional cotton yarn by Cone Denim. The colored recycled material adds a unique undertone to the final product—which we'll be interested to see, touch, and try on in person.  

Skinny jeans, straight fit 504s, trucker jackers, and women's boyfriend skinny jeans will all be available in the Waste<Less line beginning in January 2013.