On 20 May 1873, the world’s first blue jean received its official patent – a day now commemorated each year as “501® Day”. The Levi’s® 501® jean’s distinctive five-pocket design, straight fit and button fly has come to signify rule-breaking, gender-bending, wear-it-how-you-want effortless cool. What was once a utilitarian uniform has become the fit favoured by everyone from pop stars and politicians to tech rebels and rockers – and it’s the blank canvas for the creative expression of style-setters. Mystery surrounds why “501®” was chosen, but one thing is for certain: it’s the number that changed everything.
To celebrate 149 years of epic denim, Levi’s® hosted a 501® Day event at Levi’s® Haus of Strauss Africa, setting the stage for the icon’s 150th birthday in 2023. Levi’s® honoured the iconic Levi’s® 501® jeans with a space that immersed guests into the world of 501®.
The event experience began with interactive stations such as tote bag laser printing, where guests were able to select a design to be printed on a unique denim tote. There were also 501® fortune cookies, and a station where you could write a postcard for a friend.
Guests then journeyed through a 501® denim tunnel that signified the road to 150 years. Additional spaces at the event included some insight into 501® history and an outdoor projection area to enjoy an array of 501® content. Additionally, earlier this year, Levi’s® teamed up with local visionaries who embody the spirit of the 501®, to pay homage to the pair that started it all.
The legacy of 501® jeans continues to represent the past, present and future of iconic style – a fit that really does get better with time.
Levi’s® 501® jeans are available for purchase online at Levi.co.za, in Levi’s® stores and at select retail partners.