#tbt :: 501 day and the world’s oldest jean

Tomorrow is 5/01 or 1st May. Levi’s® marks this date to pay homage to the jean that started it all – the 501. I’ve been caught up with my shibori experiments and I just realised I haven’t yet made a single post on my first love which is denim. So, here are some happy memories to pay tribute to a true fashion icon.

In 2013, The Levi’s® brand historian Lynn Downey, brought some vintage goodies from the LS & Co Archives to India.This included the famous ‘XX’ a.k.a the world’s oldest jean. Did you know that this jean is dated between 1873 – 1890?? The ‘XX’ was the very first 501 jean, but it wasn’t called that till after 1890.

Also showcased at the event (under the watchful gaze of security personnel) were rare beauties like the Levi’s® Calico mine jeans (c1890s), a pair of 501s from the 1930s, 1950s and the 1960s. 

Security guarding the precious vintage 501s

Lynn spent a few hours hours helping us understand the origin, history and the legacy of the 501.There was also a display of 501s from Levis Vintage Clothing line. Through this display, we could visually grasp how the 501 had evolved since it’s birth more than a 140 years ago. I know they all look the same in the photo, but the devil is in the details remember?

501TimelineAnd my perk for having put together this event? Some quality, alone time with the “XX”.



If you’re interested in the history of  jeans, Lynn’s Images of America :: Levi Strauss & Co. is a great read. Or, if you’re in San Francisco, make sure to drop by the Levi’s® museum to soak in some iconic pieces of history.

Happy 501 Day.


<< Disclosure: I’m a former employee of Levi Strauss & Co. However, I have NOT been approached by the company or it’s representatives with regard to this article. All opinions are my own. >>


One response to “#tbt :: 501 day and the world’s oldest jean

  1. Pingback: destiny, memories, an old mine and a pair of jeans! | Theindigophile·

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