Not Fade Away - 150 Years of Levi's® 501® Jeans

Posted: 15/05/2023 @ 17:02PM

On May 20, 1873 Levi Strauss collaborated with Jacob Davis to get a patent for rivets on trousers. This was the initial version of the 501s®, and the blue jean was born. Some of those famous Levi's® touches would appear later, the iconic Red Tab® first appeared in 1936, but 2023 is the year we celebrate 150 years since the birth of an icon.

What began life as utilitarian workwear quickly morphed into a fashion neccessity, the post war period would see the Levi® 501® embraced by youth subculture generation after genaration. The timeless "cool" of the 501® is partly down to it's simplicitity, "cool" isn't something to be something to try hard to acheive, it's effortless and these laid back jeans fit the bill perfectly. The simplicity of style also created something of a blank slate, a canvas for individual expression via rips and patches, safety pins or even paint jobs. 

Levi's® themselves are commemorating this milestone year with "The greatest story ever worn", a campaign designed to celebrate the millions who have worn 501s® and tell some of their stories throughout time. The short film "Fair Exchange" (via YouTube)   tells the tale of a young mod in the early '80s who exchanges a cow for a pair of 501® jeans. His family thought him foolish but the locals dubbed him a legend, either way he becomes part of the greatest story ever worn.

Meanwhile at Atom Retro we are pleased as always to be offering you a fantastic selection of 501® jeans and products from the wider Levi's® range. Of particular interest this celebratory year are the fantastic Levi's® 501® 150th Anniversary jeans which feature fantastic rip and repair details and a special 150th anniversary Red Tab®. There's no reason not to join in with the festivities and help celebrate the birth of a cultural and style icon.