Levi’s 501 Jean Celebrates its 144th Birthday with Special Anniversary Collection

On May 20, 1873, a style icon was born. It was a simple piece, but it has since changed the way people dress, lasting through generations and worn by everyone from workers to rock stars and even presidents. Even designer Tom Ford himself said he wished he invented this very item of clothing.

Now, 144 years after its inception, the Levi’s 501 jean continues to be a style staple in virtually everyone’s wardrobes, especially since it can be easily styled to fit anyone’s own unique style, whether that be with a graphic tee and Chuck Taylors like Kurt Cobain or with a black turtleneck and New Balance sneakers a la Steve Jobs. And that’s the best part of the 501, which has since evolved into a family of many different fits — its premium quality and classic style combined with its affordable price point makes it accessible to everyone, everywhere.

The 501 jean has also played a big role in the music world, with big-named musicians such as Cobain, Beyoncé and Kanye West wearing the style. It is for this reason Levi’s has decided to celebrate the 501 jean’s 144th birthday with concerts held around the world (San Francisco, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Shanghai and Mumbai, to name a few) and a limited edition collection that honours rock ‘n’ roll. This collection will include a Men’s Celebration 501® Jean ($328) and Trucker Vest ($298), both featuring hand-distressed denim, scribbled embroidery and vintage customizations.

Photography courtesy of Levi’s.

The collection is inspired by the Levi’s design team’s road trip to American music capitals of Austin, Nashville, New York and San Francisco. The team doodled and sketched memories from each leg of the tour, and combined the artwork so the celebration collection would have nods to each city —bats for Austin, Golden Gate Bridge for San Francisco, Folk City for New York and Music Row for Nashville.

Photography courtesy of Levi’s.

In addition to the concerts and the limited-edition collection, Levi’s will also release its latest installment of the brand’s 501 documentary series. Called “The 501® Jean: Stories of an Original, Music,” it explores the relationship between music history, Levi’s and the 501, featuring iconic musicians such as Solange and Snoop Dogg.

The Levi’s 501 celebration collection will be available May 20 at select locations including Hudson’s Bay and Simons.

For a detailed history on the Levi’s 501 jean, check out the gallery below: