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A vital piece of history has been stolen from the Levi’s Archives!

The priceless 501 “Bunkhouse jeans” have been stolen. This is a blow to the denim community the world over. Let’s Help!

Sometime between Saturday the 5th of August and Sunday the 6th, a pair of priceless jeans went missing from the Levi’s archive. The early 501 “Bunkhouse Jeans”, as they are known, date from somewhere between 1901 and 1910 and represent an essential part of the Levis archive.

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As many of us denimheads know, all records from the early days of the company were lost in the earthquake of 1906 and the ensuing fire that swept the town. Pieces predating this are essential to the designers and archivists for inspiration and information.

Levi’s are keen to spread the word in hopes that the Bunkhouse jeans can be found and returned to their rightful place in the archives, ensuring their survival for generations od denimheads to come.

Naturally, jeans of this age and with this history carry with them distinctive markings that can help identify them.

  • 9 oz denim (far lighter weight than modern jeans)
  • Large hole on the right back pocket in middle of the arcuate
  • Smaller hole beneath the arcuate
  • Backward L-shaped wear pattern on the left back pocket
  • Detailed wear (honeycomb pattern) on back of knees
  • Cuff/fold marks on hem
  • Brown staining (dapple marks) on front side
  • Inner patches on both knees (round patch on right side; square patch on left side)
  • Back cinch
  • Suspender buttons
  • Crotch rivet

If you happen to come across them in your travels, do the right thing and get in touch with the guys over at Levi. The denim community as a whole will owe you a debt of gratitude that will see you getting a beer bought at any and all denim events the world over!

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Editorial | Marc