In many ways, Levi’s Vintage Clothing emerged from consumer interest in original vintage Levi’s jeans. Today, the brand keeps the history of the company alive and makes it tangible. This is the story of the brand.
The pro-American Japanese consumer culture fostered a huge base of collectors of worn-out original American jeans long before the American brands even realised the potential of the market. Around 1987 Levi’s in Japan introduced replicas of vintage Levi’s jeans.
A few years later the commercial “Capital E” line was launched in America, but it wasn’t until 1996 that the earliest Levi’s Vintage Clothing concept was introduced along with the early craze for vintage Levi’s jeans in Europe.
Fashion Editor of the Danish magazine Euroman, Frederik Andersen, worked in a Levi’s store in London when that happened. To Rope Dye he explains:
“Back then, Levi’s Vintage Clothing was reserved only for the most enthusiastic customers, who most appreciatively would have to ask the Levi’s Vintage Clothing-savvy employee to get the products from the stock, as they were not even on the shelves.”
Since then, the exclusive denim line has achieved great commercial success and today it has a much broader appeal. The concept is still based on restoring and reproducing the original copies of the classic 501-jeans, and lately, an increased consumer focus on original Levi’s jeanswear items has created demand for t-shirts, shirts, knit and outerwear as well. Every piece in each collection is an exact copy of an original product from the San Francisco archive, which has built up Levi’s over the years.
Since the first Levi’s jeans were created in 1873, the traditional work pants has undergone several changes in both fit and design, mainly based on changes in demand from customers. The development of the jeans is clearly illustrated by the almost 20 different models that the Levi’s Vintage Clothing collection contains.
To denim enthusiasts, Levi’s will probably always hold a special place in our blue indigo hearts. Each and every piece from the Levi’s Vintage Clothing collection clearly tells a chapter of denim history, which may be why these jeans are the preferred second-best alternative, only matched by a pair of unused original Levi’s jeans that are almost impossible to come by.
By going into detail with the evolution of the classic 501-jeans, Levi’s Vintage Clothing demonstrates how the company’s products have provided the framework for jeans, as we know them today. You can read more about the company’s earlier history here.
In today’s fashion, the narrow silhouettes of the 501ZXX from 1954 (as those in the picture below) and the 505 from 1967 (see more here) are popular.
All denims for the 501s are US made by Cone Mills in North Carolina, which has been the main supplier for Levi’s since 1915. All shrink-to-fit models are made in America, but the pre-washes are made in Turkey.
Learn more at the Levi’s Vintage Clothing website.