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  • Written by Moe Wang


This year, Levi’s is welcoming its 150th anniversary year of the 501 Original, their first-ever style jeans. To celebrate the yearlong milestones, the brand created an immersive 501 Experience museum at the San Francisco Armory live from May 19th-27th.

The Levi’s 501 has been our staple for jeans throughout various decades. Known for its iconic slim straight silhouette, the denim-giant brand is now a must-have pair in everyone’s closet.

Since it was first made as work pants for the farmer and ranchers in the American West in 1873 by Levi Strauss, it has become an influential fashion piece that has won the likes of many celebrities, from Marilyn Monroe, Lauryn Hill, and Kurt Cobain to Steve Jobs.

“The 501® fit has transcended from pure utilitarian workwear to an everyday uniform adopted by fans in every corner of the cultural landscape, across multiple generations,” says Karyn Hillman, chief product officer at Levi Strauss & Co.

The iconic blue jeans have also been associated with a splash of youthful energy alike away from mainstream culture. In moments of subculture movements, like the 60s hippies, the punks, and the early hip-hop scenes, Levi’s remained relevant to the underground culture and was loved as streetwear looks by youths.

During the celebration event, the display of archival 501s as well as important highlights from Levi’s history was shown, which altogether encapsulated the immense history of the brand till now. Guests, including Rickey Thompson, Salem Mitchell, Kilo Kish, and more, came in with their best denim looks, from the classic 501 styles to much more playful bejeweled jean mini skirts.

At the denim workshop stand, visitors could repair their favorite Levi’s pair, shop for vintage Levi’s 501 jeans, and participate in workshops to personalize their own unique 501 pieces, all in favor of sustainable fashion.

Special performances by local Bay Area artists like Toro y Moi, DJ Shadow, mxmtoon, Tune-Yards, and more also hyped the event.


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