Happy 145th birthday to the original blue jean
Today, 20 May, the original button fly jean, the iconic Levi's 501, celebrates its 145th birthday. To mark the occasion, this 501 Day we're giving away three pairs of 'made in South Africa' Levi's 501 selvedge jeans.
Created in 1873 Levi's jeans are one of the most widely recognised garments and for generations have captured the attention, imagination and loyalty of diverse individuals. As the inventor of the category the original jeans continue to define denim.
Following South Africa's democratic elections in 1994, Levi Strauss & Co. was one of the first global companies to re-enter the South African market and today many Levi's jeans sold in South Africa are manufactured in the production facility in Epping. For the first time this factory will produce selvedge jeans.
Don't know what selvedge denim is? Before the 1950s, most fabrics were made on shuttle looms, which produced tightly woven strips of heavy fabric. The edges on these strips of fabric were finished with tightly woven bands running down each side to prevent fraying, and because the edges come off the loom finished, denim produced on shuttle looms are referred to as having a "self-edge," hence the name "selvedge" denim.
When the demand for jeans increased dramatically in the 1950s, projectile looms were introduced to reduce costs with the edge not finished in the same way as selvedge is.
"In the past few years, due to the heritage movement in menswear, selvedge denim jeans have slowly been making a comeback. For denim aficionados, we are very excited to be able to offer a premium selvedge 501 to our fans at a reasonable price." Says Candace Gilowey, Head of Marketing Levi's Africa.
The 501 selvedge jean is made locally from imported selvedge fabric and to celebrate this feat we're giving away three pairs of Levi's selvedge jeans. To win, simply comment on the post telling us what you'd wear your jeans with.